What challenges have you faced developing the program and products?
I often get questions about impact and outcomes of the program. The question is “if a kid takes Little Medical School, are they more likely to become a doctor or nurse?” That is a really hard question to answer because there is so much that goes into the figuring out if there is truly an impact. Also it is difficult to get the data you need over time to figure out the impact.
I believe that whether they become a healthcare professional or not, does not actually matter. It is still a success if somebody takes our classes and decides that they want to be teacher or artist. What is the most important to me is that they be exposed to healthcare careers, learn how to be healthy and how to be a good patient.
However, I think is awesome when we have a student who goes on to college to be a pre-med and then a medical student. I find great satisfaction if we even played a small part in that decision.
“I realize that you can’t please everyone and failures are going to happen. You can’t let the little stuff get to you. The important thing is to be true to yourself and do what you believe is right. That is the key to success.”
Have you been faced with issues being a woman physician and entrepreneur?
I have always found myself in career paths with few women. It was true in my engineering undergrad program, and my medical school class had only 20 women out of 120. I have been blessed to find a strong network of entrepreneurs who are supportive and want to help. I have never thought being a woman was an issue.
What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those creating a product geared towards children?
Don’t doubt yourself. I remember in the beginning thinking that Little Medical School wasn’t good enough or wasn’t ready for primetime. But within the first couple minutes of class, when the students put on their white coat and had big smiles on their faces, I knew it was going to be great. Now I get to see pictures everyday on Instagram and Facebook of kids around the world enjoying our programs. It’s a great feeling for an idea that began at my kitchen table.
What is your favorite quote?
My mother would tell me when I was a kid, “You have to have thick skin.”
Now that I am older I realize that you can’t please everyone and failures are going to happen. You can’t let the little stuff get to you. The important thing is to be true to yourself and do what you believe is right. That is the key to success.
For more information on Mary and Little Medical School, visit littelmedicalschool.com.