Dr. Leah Jeanelle Miller, Dr. Courtney V. Jones, and Dr. Sylvia Perry met in college and all lived on the same floor of the freshman dorm at Xavier University of Louisiana.
There they formed a bond and decided to start broadcasting a podcast called 3 Friends TALK in 2019.
Created by three southern women forever bonded through their HBCU education, 3 Friends TALK is grounded in sisterhood, a bond made stronger through each doctors’ individual commitment to her respective sorority; Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta, Inc.
As three Black pharmacists, they understand the history and mistrust of the medical system due to healthcare disparities that directly affect our communities. The podcast breaks down tough medical conversations in a fun way and equips you to hold your own at your next doctor’s visit!
For the month of October, the doctors are implementing the “Know Your Pharmacist Movement” to mobilize Black people to build a rapport with their local pharmacist. With nearly 9 in 10 Americans living within 5 miles of a community pharmacy, the pharmacist may be the health professional you see most and can speak with about your health regularly.
“Pharmacists have special training to help you manage and improve your health and are an integral part of your healthcare team,” says Dr. Sylvia. “Take advantage of their accessibility.”
Getting to know your pharmacist is as simple as asking questions about avoiding certain lifestyle activities and inquiring about the expected side effects of medicine, among other things.
Here’s what Dr. Courtney, Dr. Leah, and Dr. Sylvia have to say about living your healthiest life in 2021and beyond!
Since the pandemic telehealth has become popular. Some women feel these interactions may not be very thorough. What are your thoughts on televisits?
Dr. Courtney: Because of the pandemic, telehealth has been a good way to keep patients connected to their provider. However, every disease or condition cannot be managed through telehealth indefinitely.
Dr. Leah: This connection has been especially helpful for keeping patients on track with their medications, and shifted how we handle mental health in the United States.
Dr. Sylvia: On the other hand, just like doing our own nails at home instead of going to the shop, it’s a different experience. Important aspects of patient care, such as lab work and physical exams, cannot be completed via telehealth, yet are essential to keep us healthy.
What are the most important things everyone should know about the Delta variant?
Dr. Courtney: The Delta variant is nearly twice as more transmissible and contagious than the original Sars COV2 virus, meaning it can spread to more people faster.
Dr. Leah: Vaccinated people can still spread this variant. Those that are unvaccinated are more at risk of having severe symptoms, requiring hospitalization, and are also more susceptible to dying from complications of the virus.
Dr. Sylvia: Being vaccinated is the best defense against severe disease. Wearing masks properly and practicing proper hygiene and social distancing are still important as well.
There’s a lot of controversy on whether or not to get vaccinated. What factors should one use to make an informed decision about this?
Dr. Courtney: Speak with your healthcare professional. Consider allergies and prior reactions to other vaccines.
Dr. Leah: Who all over there? Are you around people that are immunocompromised, elderly or children that are ineligible to get vaccinated? Are you a caregiver? If you get sick, who will step up in your absence?
Dr. Sylvia: Considering the timing of the vaccine, you may have after effects, like feeling tired, arm soreness, feeling like you are coming down with a cold, but these symptoms should only last about 1 – 4 days. These are not unexpected side effects of the vaccine.
Stress is a silent killer. How can families find safe ways to unwind in a pandemic?
Dr. Courtney: Be creative. Find the things you enjoy doing together. During this pandemic, I discovered that my family enjoyed riding bikes around the neighborhood, and this became our evening escape.
Dr. Leah: I agree, be creative even with the mundane things like making dinner. I became a master griller and air fryer extraordinaire during the pandemic, and my son’s homemade pizzas became a staple in our household on Friday nights.
Dr. Sylvia: Honestly, I had to remember to leave the house! I’m an introvert and enjoyed events coming to me via my computer or TV, but I realized that social distanced fun with family and friends was necessary as well!
Follow at @3friendsTALK on all social media!