Riya Patel.

Hi there! My name is Riya Patel. I am an Indian-American high school student from Austin, Texas. I am currently in the International Baccalaureate program, pursuing higher education in medicine. In my free time, I enjoy doing calligraphy, organizing, and writing. Welcome to my interview!

I see that you’re the founder of The Daily Dosage. Could you tell us a little about the initiative and what you hope your audience gets from it?

The Daily Dosage is a student-led organization that seeks to build a community between students interested in medicine, ranging from middle school to college students. Through this community, students are able to meet like-minded people and gain access to a multitude of opportunities within medicine. Through The Daily Dosage, our audience is exposed to complex topics in a simplified manner, allowing them to easily understand what goes on in our bodies or in our world (in terms of medicine).

What inspired you to create The Daily Dosage? Furthermore, what advice would you give someone who is thinking about launching their own startup but are hesitant due to the commitment and responsibilities that come with it?

At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I started participating in a variety of different competitions such as The Global Hack and The Quarter Zero Ø Cup. Through these competitions, I was able to learn how to make a website and found my passion for graphic design (for Instagram posts later on). I was also taking part in creating materials for Girls Got STEAM and Simply Neuroscience at the time, which were organizations that promoted STEAM and Neuroscience education. I realized that there was not a place for students wanting to go into medicine to create materials about anatomy and discuss various diseases, inspiring me to start The Daily Dosage.

For those of you who want to launch your own startup, keep in mind that it is a lot of commitment. However, you should take it in steps. Don’t try to do too many things at once, as you will be scattered around and unfocused on one idea, which will lead to burn out. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and network with other organizations! You’ll be able to learn so many tips and tricks from others – everyone is always out there to help you!

What is one of The Daily Dosage’s accomplishments that you are super proud of? Could you tell us a little about it?

One of The Daily Dosage’s accomplishments that I am proud of is our revamp of our Instagram and our growth. At first, it was really hard to gain followers and gain an audience for our blog. However, as time progressed I was able to gain a wider team of individuals interested in medicine like me who helped me grow this organization. Specifically, our revamp consisted of changing the color scheme of our organization and I am very happy with the way it turned out. Throughout my journey with The Daily Dosage, Iwas able to learn a lot about graphic design and how to appeal to other people which is something that will help me in the future with marketing and networking.

How has the pandemic affected you mentally? What things did you learn about yourself during the course of this pandemic that you didn’t know before?

The COVID-19 pandemic has actually given me a lot of time to introspect and find out different things about myself. For example, throughout the pandemic, I’ve learned that I enjoy embroidery, graphic design through Canva, website design through Wix, and doing puzzles! I have been very thankful that my family has been able to stay safe during these times, allowing me to take this time to myself and not worry about a single thing. Socially, I have been at home for 9 months, as I have 3 grandparents living with me, but I have maintained connections with my friends through Zoom, Discord, Slack, and other messaging apps!

What self-care practices do you recommend? Furthermore, why is it important to scope out time for yourself each day?

Take breaks between your work! Don’t work yourself tired, it’ll lead to burn out. Do a few pages of reading/homework, then go do something you enjoy! Draw, sing, walk, run, ANYTHING! Just take a break, it is very important for you to be more productive and motivated while working. It is important to take this time for yourself every day as you need to treat yourself right before anything else. If you aren’t taking care of yourself and your health, you won’t be able to do any work as you will lose motivation.

Are there any other psychological conditions/disorders that mean a lot to you? Why do they hold importance and how can we, as a community, help and provide support to people who go through them?

Depression is a concept that is close to my heart as I have had family members who have gone through it in front of my eyes. I think that depression needs to be widely addressed by our community as it can often be overlooked. The way that we can do this is to keep in touch with the people around us, especially during these times. We never know what someone is going through, and just giving them a call isn’t harmful. Check up on your loved ones, it’ll make their day!

What does mental health mean to YOU?

To me, mental health means self care. I think mental health is a vastly important issue to me, especially because I want to go into the healthcare field. One big thing that I believe is that if you can’t and don’t take care of your health, you won’t be able to take care of others. This is a prominent idea, especially in healthcare, as doctors work long hours, and if they don’t take care of themselves during their shifts, they won’t be able to take care of their patients.

Is there anything else you would like Revive’s audience to know about you? 

Fun fact about me: 

I recently found out that I am mildly allergic to hazelnut, which means no Ferrero Rocher or Nutella for me! I was also diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Morphea when I was 4. It caused me to have hardened spots all over the left side of my body from my arms to my legs!

Check out Riya & The Daily Dosage!

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