Show Notes–Jessica Louie
Hillary B: 00:02 All right, so today we have a special guest on the talk to your pharmacist podcast critical care pharmacist and it Clarify, Simplify, Align founder, Doctor Jessica Louie. Dr Louie is the CEO of clarify. Simplify. Align is a declutter and burnout coach, professional organizer and certified Konmari consultant who helps busy professionals and women gain clarity of their purpose, simplify and declutter their home and minds and align their work into their lives with simple processes to avoid overwhelm, lead with confidence and curate lives they love. She is a doctor of pharmacy degree owner and has her advanced practice pharmacists license and is board certified in critical care. Jessica, welcome to you to talk to your pharmacist podcast. Thank you for having me, Hillary. Well thanks for joining us. And now that our listeners have heard just a little bit about your background, maybe you can fill in some gaps from that intro and maybe share a little bit more about your personal life.
Jessica Louie: 01:14 Yes, of course. So I am Doctor Jessica Louie and I’m really passionate about helping people find confidence to live intentionally. And I think that this helps create meaningful contribution to the world, , in pharmacy or outside of pharmacy. And , I’m a university of southern California and graduate. I stayed in Los Angeles area after completing her residency at University of Utah and critical care and I’m an assistant professor at West Coast University School of pharmacy. I’m originally from the Midwest and I really enjoy, , prophesying in the academia world and being able to reach beyond the classroom with some of my businesses.
Hillary B: 01:56 Wow. Well you definitely are staying busy, Jessica. Well first let’s talk a little bit more about your role as a critical care pharmacist, uh, and your, your faculty appointment because that is your full time work and then love to dig in a little bit more as I’m sure the listeners are very excited to learn more about what you’re doing with the Clarify, simplify and align. So first, let’s talk more critical care and what it’s like to be a critical care pharmacist.
Jessica Louie: 02:30 Yes. So I’ve been a critical care pharmacists for the past four years. So graduated in 2013 and pursued a PGY one residency and pharmacy practice at University of Utah and stayed on for my PGY two in critical care. So that’s how I got into the field. And then later on I then pursued my board certification in critical care and I think that, , as a great field to get into. I loved hospital practice and I thought that critical care was one way where I could really impact a lot of patients because it’s still abroad studying. As my other interests lay in solid organ transplant and cystic fibrosis, which can be a little bit more specialized and have, , smaller impact on that special patient population. So that’s how I got into it. I really enjoy the surgical ICU in the medical ICU and right now as faculty, I practice at a level two trauma center community hospital studying, which is a little bit different than practicing in a big academic medical center that I have previously come from.
Hillary B: 03:38 Yeah. Interesting. And Jessica at your hospital now or are you rotating through? Some of the different, uh, ICU areas. I know, um, a lot of times there might be different sections as you, you describe medical ICU or surgical or cardiac, um, is what is the, the setting that you’re most in right now?
Jessica Louie: 04:05 So I can take care of all of the ICU patients. It’s, , a smaller ICU of lesson 20 beds. So it’s a mix of surgical, medical, cardiac type patients. But I would say that my main focus is really teaching and fostering the environment for the students. So I’m really focused on either ITP students are mostly APP students, either in the hospital studying and internal medicine type rotations or academia rotations with myself, , learning how to go on to the academia track. And then I spent a lot of time at the university. It was teaching responsibilities and service responsibilities and transitioning into more of a wellbeing advocate within the schools as well as my role as a critical care specialist. Wow.
Hillary B: 04:53 All right. So that’s, that’s very helpful and it kind of helps set the stage. And so most everyone has probably heard about the Marie Kondo or about her at this point. She had a Netflix, a sensation at the beginning of the new year when everyone’s kind of trying to clean out and, and, uh, declutter and make donations to goodwill, etcetera. But how did you become trained in the KonMari method and, and how did you, um, really find a passion and interest in, in De cluttering because you’ve, you’ve had this, uh, certification for, , obviously longer than, uh, the Netflix kind of new craze has come out in the beginning of 2019.
Speaker 3: 05:45 Yeah.
Jessica Louie: 05:46 Yes. It’s definitely has become a lot bigger exposure with a Netflix show. But , it really actually goes back to my own burnout story in pharmacy that gotten me into the Marie Kondo method and being certified as the KonMari consultant. So I can go briefly through that process. And, how it really changed my life. Bback in 2013, 2014, I was a resident and I experienced burnout at that time, but I didn’t know what to call it because I wasn’t aware of, , what was going on. , I had really unclear goals, , and I was experiencing a lot of the classic symptoms of exhaustion, , physical and emotional exhaustion, , bringing work home and really getting used to the acuity of the patients. And we were, , a high level center where, , there was a lot of death in the ICU.
Jessica Louie: 06:38 So there was a lot of, , emotional exhaustion related to that. And, um, , I had a lot of low self efficacy really as I transitioned into my first career as faculty after pouring a lot of hours into research and prospective and retrospective trials that were not published. It, , I took a very long time for those things to get published and have public data on them. So I was really coping with a lot of this increased stress by accumulating physical things, a cluttered home of bulging closets, um, more credentials after my name and things like that. And I really felt burnt out from all those scattered goals. So I had some license life events happen, or my family member, , died at a young age suddenly. And I really learned that I need to live more intentionally and really more precedent, , surrounded by people that really spark joy and things that spark joy that led to a more intentional, joyful life with less physical clutter and emotional clutter.
Jessica Louie: 07:40 So, I really found Marie Kondo’s life changing books. I read them, I applied her method, she my own home, and then I applied her method to the rest of my life. So I really became more intentional about my health, my wellbeing, my relationships, my finances, and then, , I really think that my family saw the change in my friends saw the change, so I helped them. So the same process in their homes and that’s how it eventually grew into this full time business. Um, where I started my own process back in 2015, 2016 and that over the last couple of years it grew and Marie Kondo came out with official certifications that and whereas officially certified then in 2018. Wow.
Hillary B: 08:24 That, that is a really remarkable story. And I don’t know that I have heard of any other, um, certainly pharmacist that is certified in the Konmari method, but, um, do how many, uh, people in the u s even have that certification? It seems like there may not be that many.
Jessica Louie: 08:50 Right? There’s about 130 certified Konmari consultants in the states. There’s about 220 consultants worldwide. So it is a worldwide program and , it is a long process of the certification, um, with training with Marie Kondo and her team, uh, practice clients and exams and things like that. So, it definitely, there’s not enough coaches and consultants for the need that’s out there. Um, but it definitely is great to see that people are embracing the method and apply it to their homes, into their lives.
Hillary B: 09:30 That’s amazing. And so Jessica as you went through this process personally and then it, that kind of expanded into family and friends. Um, how did you decide to create your, your platform or your or your business? Clarify, Simplify, Align.
Jessica Louie: 09:51 So Clarify, Simplify, Align, really was born out of a need where I had helped myself heal from burnout and then helped some of my close friends and family members heal through that process. So I wanted to create a business back in early 2018 that really aligned with what I was doing. So I had two other businesses that I had created and , I love them and they taught me a lot of how to run a small business and be a business owner. But I wanted to transition into something that really helps people clarify their purpose and their values because I think that was one of the first steps where I was unclear about at the beginning. And then really think about how we could simplify our lives because there’s so many, so much noise and so many distractions in our lives nowadays that we really want to buy back some more energy and more time. So I wanted to create that symbol process where you go through clarification, then simplification, and then you can align your entire life together where you really build in that self confidence, that mindfulness and things like that. So that’s where it came about. And I help people both in person through that declutter coaching and uh, and virtually with burnout coaching. So we really can, , at work side by side, and I’ll be, your accountability partner has to everything.
Hillary B: 11:22 And so Jessica, who are your typical clients are people that are coming to you, are they pharmacist or are they students or non pharmacists? Do they know that they have burnout or do you, are you seeing, um, just like you mentioned, you were like, I didn’t know what to call it whenever I was experiencing burnout myself. Do you think there were creating enough awareness about what burnout is so that people are starting to, um, identify and start to seek solutions?
Jessica Louie: 11:59 Yes, I definitely think there needs to be a little bit more and discussion around the topic of burnout in terms of the people coming to me. I would say there’s a mix: it can be pharmacists, other healthcare professionals – most of my family’s in the health profession and physician world – so I’m very familiar with the processes. And then just general public as well in terms of they are either looking to apply the KonMari method to their own lives or when they’re looking for burnout coaching, they’re really, overwhelmed. They don’t really feel that they’re getting off this hamster wheel of life and they’re kind of frazzled and they may turn to their institution, their organization that they work for first for help. But many times those organizations don’t have the necessary resources in place, at least not yet.
Jessica Louie: 12:50 I know that when I left residency, the wellbeing and resiliency center was formed after I left. And , sometimes also people are not comfortable talking in the work environment about these problems and challenges in their personal lives. So , bringing in outside external person can be helpful then to coach them and see, , what is going on, what can we change and make little baby steps to reach a certain goal. So I think that it is a mix. I definitely would love to see more pharmacists who need help getting the help they need so that they stay in the profession. Because I think especially in critical care where I work and with my work and the society of critical care medicine as CCM, we are losing a lot of critical care professionals to burn out. And , it’s unfortunate because you train so many years for this specialty and it’s really difficult to replace these people. And we want to keep the people in the profession.
Hillary B: 13:54 That makes total sense. And burnout was one of the big topics at Apha’s annual meeting. Anywhere in the pharmacy profession at least there’s, there’s just more discussion about it. But people like you and others that are coming out with, with resources is really helpful. And you mentioned this at the University of Utah that established the wellbeing and resilience center? Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s awesome. I haven’t, haven’t heard of any other centers like that that have been kind of popping up. Um, I know that a lot of times the workplace will offer like life coaching or balance or different things like that. But I think that you the methods that you’re bringing are just really practical and can help just as you described, like decluttering their life and decluttering their minds so that they can have that sense of purpose and so many people are kind of falling into that helplessness cycle. Um, so what would you say is that the first step or for somebody that would be a really good candidate, like to get some, uh, some help with a decluttering and simplifying some of their lifestyle.
Jessica Louie: 15:38 So I think that someone who is going through burnout or just a really highest stress time in their life, , the person that would be great to start the process is really anyone and just someone who is going to commit the time to making it happen. Because we need carve out time in our schedules to commit to reaching these goals. And it doesn’t happen over night. And then, , I tell a lot of my clients who are really focused on the Konmari method and the decluttering physical items that we didn’t accumulate everything that we own overnight at usually talk years to decades possibly to humiliate all those things. And they won’t go away overnight unless you throw away everything, which we’re not going to do because, , we cherish a lot of those things that we own. So it can be a three to six month process and we have to commit to those daily things on our schedule to set our goals and then weekly so that we can get there. And I think that it’s also really important to know that you’re not alone. That if you’re feeling these things and , feeling helpless right now, that you’re not alone and other people really understand what you’ve gone through and hopefully more people talking about their own stories will de stigmatize mental health and burnout so that people can see the resources they need.
Hillary B: 17:04 That was helpful to also share a little bit more about the timeframe that it, that it is a commitment and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight as a quick fix. But having an accountability partner like you and that can kind of help and walk through the journey would be incredibly helpful as they are moving away from that stress decluttered type of mindset to I’m getting that sense of purpose and letting things go and only keeping the things that spark joy. So that was really helpful. So Jessica, we’ve talked a lot about um, some of the heavy things: burnout and decluttering and in a lot of that stuff is, is hard. But what are some of the things that you see that excites you about the future of pharmacy?
Jessica Louie: 18:08 So I think pharmacists have so much potential and were so well trained and it’s just getting out there and I think increasing our public relations, our PR image as a profession. I think that we have been divided in the past and I think, , coming together as for fashion to show our value and really focus in my own opinion on preventative care. So I see some of the worst of the worst happen in the intensive care unit. I see you have a hospital and I think a lot of that could be prevented. And I think that focusing on preventative care, being proactive instead of reactive in our healthcare environment right now is very important. And as we transition into that and focus on that there’s gonna be a lot more opportunities in ambulatory care settings and in other settings for pharmacists to work in.
Jessica Louie: 19:00 I personally have a passion for Post ICU Syndrome, which is similar to PTSD from the ICU. And I have a passion for transitioning patients out of the ICU and how they’re going to have different quality of lives. Over the next three to 12 months after they’re out of the ICU. And I think that being able to realize that transitions of care and ambulatory care are big fields we can really be more involved in will be helpful. Um, and just be really open minded about new learning opportunities that might present themselves because there’s a lot of things in healthcare that we can add value to it. Just taking that first step and showing that we’re capable of doing it. And I just learned something I wasn’t as familiar with the Post ICU Syndrome and, um, that makes perfect sense. The whole transition from out of the hospital and transitioning from out of the ICU would be a great place for pharmacists to insert in and provide that value. So I agree with all of the different things that you mentioned about opportunities for the future of pharmacy. So thanks for sharing that. And, um, I, I think that that there’s a lot of fun things ahead for the profession and certainly, um, having some great advocacy and, and, um, sharing great messages like you are, um, can help unite and support the profession to do that. So Jessica has our final question. What is some advice that you would tell your younger self or for other pharmacists who are just getting started in their career?
Jessica Louie: 20:51 I would tell my younger self to really know the why behind your desire to enter pharmacy school and be open minded to different fields and trying out different fields you can work, you can work as an intern or you can volunteer in different fields. But I personally tried out community pharmacy, volunteered and amb care clinics and underserved populations was an intern at a hospital setting. So there’s lots of opportunities. You just seem to make the most of each one. And the final thing I would really recommend to students is to not let your career or your job title define you, who you are as a person. Because I think that we’ve worked for so many years most of us six to eight or nine years of training and we can really get lost in the job title and our career being the main portion of our lives. But we’re so much more than that as human beings. And, I really encourage people to have passions and hobbies outside of pharmacy that they love and they can contribute to throughout their day that is such great advice. Don’t let your job title or a career define you that you’ve got to have passions and things outside of pharmacy, um, to be able to be involved in your community and be a leader there.
Hillary B: 22:18 So, Jessica, such great advice and it was such a pleasure to have you as a guest on to talk to your pharmacist podcast.
Hillary B: 22:24 Thank you so much, Hilary.
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