This doctor is helping the Black community improve their health

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By Rolling Out

Dr. Renee Matthews knew early on that her mission in life was to help others. She is doing this by educating African Americans on the health issues plaguing our community through her platform Ask Dr Renee. She serves as the health correspondent for TV One’s “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin. She also writes health columns and is a contributing writer for Ebony magazine, BlackandMarriedwithKids.com, Goodenoughmother.com, MadameNoire.com, LivingwithAsthma.com, DiaryofaFirstTimeMom.com, and BlackDoctor.org. Dr. Renee has also appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Oprah After the Show” and “The Katie Couric Show.”

Her professional journey has been interesting. After graduating from medical school in 2005, Dr. Renee spent the early part of her career as a professional educator and radio host for “Reach MD” on XM Satellite Radio. During this time, she started MEGA (Matthews Entertainment Group & Associates) with her sister. MEGA, a management and publicity agency was home to Chico DeBarge, TROOP, Steven Russell Harts, Lady Te, Chef Jennifer Gavin, DJ Joe Kollege, Marshall Knights and Zzajè. Driven by her passion for medicine, music, and money, she is truly an example that your gifts will make a way for you. We sat down with Dr. Renee to find out more about her and Ask Dr. Renee.

Tell us a little more about Ask Dr. Renee.

My mentor Karen Taylor Bass named me Dr. Renee the summer after I graduated medical school. I started my blog in 2008 because everyone would always say Ask Dr. Renee health questions, or money saving tips, or what is going on in Chicago etc. After writing for several years, I started writing columns in several publications.

What is your motivation for educating and helping people become knowledgeable about their health?

I have always wanted to be a medical correspondent, but started to think that wasn’t possible. I got my first radio show on satellite radio in 2006 and that is when I realized that I really can educate the masses about their health. I think everyone needs health, money, and music to live. There have been studies that music helps in healing people. These elements became the foundation for Ask Dr. Renee, my YouTube show, and will be the foundation of my future television talk show.

Your journey to this point in your life has been interesting. What major lessons have you learned?

1. As long as I have faith in God and I work harder than everyone else all my dreams will come true.
2. Words have power! Most of the things that I have said have come to pass … You can’t tell me God is not great!
3. Persistence is the key.
4. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.

Technology and social media have played a major role in your success. Not only do you have almost 10,000 followers, you have made major connections via social media. Tell us more …

I have always been a great networker. Once twitter came on the playing field, I learned how to use that as a networking tool. I have made real friends with several of my Tweeps. I realized that you no longer have to call an office and pray the gatekeeper will give the person your message. You can go on twitter and directly contact whoever you are looking for. I have had the opportunity to meet major celebrities who knew who I was because they follow me on Twitter. I was once introduced to Ralph Tresvant, who said he knew who I was because I gave the best advice on Twitter. I have also secured writing deals through Twitter. I followed Rene Syler for a while. One day she started following me. Then one day I noticed her blog Goodenoughmother.com did not have a doctor so I pitched myself and this year I will celebrate two years of writing for that site.

What tips do you have for entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams?

My biggest tip is if you have a good idea, don’t give up! Find mentors as soon as possible. Your mentors don’t have to be people you speak with. On the internet you can follow everyone and see how they did it and learn from their mistakes. Also, utilize social media because it is free marketing!

What is next for you and Ask Dr. Renee?

I am going to keep writing. I may have another radio show soon. I am producing The Ask Dr. Renee Show every week on YouTube. I am going to begin doing more speaking engagements in addition to everything else. I will have my first live event this summer in Chicago. At the end of the day I want to help as many people as I can live the life they deserve.

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