[00:00:00] Maggie Chui: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Asian Hustle Network podcast. Today. We have a very special guest with us. Her name is Tiffany Moon. Award-winning anesthesiologists, frontline workers, supermom to six-year-old twins. And philanthropist Dr. Tiffany Moon took over televisions this year as the first medical doctor and first-generation Chinese American cast member in franchise history to be a part of the real Housewives of Dallas.
[00:00:28] Now moving into the content creating space. Dr. Moon has most recently launched her very own YouTube channel “Paging Dr. Moon” with various lifestyle, medical and comedic videos. Dr. Moon resides in Dallas with her husband, Daniel Moon, vice president, and general counsel for jewelry and accessory brand Sam Moon. Together with their parents to six-year-old twin girls, Chloe and Madison. And Tiffany is step-mom to 16-year-old twins Nathan and Nicole. When she’s not in front of the camera or saving lives, Dr. Moon also serves on the board of directors of The Family Place, an organization that empowers victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling, and skills that create independence while building community.
[00:01:16] Dr. Tiffany Moon, welcome to the show.
[00:01:19] Tiffany Moon: Hi guys. Thank you for having me.
[00:01:21] Bryan Pham: Of course, we’re excited to have you here. And my goodness, what an introduction and what a resume.
[00:01:28] Tiffany Moon: That was a mouthful, Maggie. I think you should get a break from reading that.
[00:01:33] Maggie Chui: It’s only because you’re so impressive.
[00:01:36] Bryan Pham: It just comes to show the type of person that you are.
[00:01:39] So I want to hop on to your story. Walk us through your childhood. I feel everything you’d done, you did such a bad-ass job at it. And I want to understand who this person is. That’s driving everything. Who are you? So what was your childhood like?
[00:01:51] Tiffany Moon: My childhood was fragmented and I say that because my parents left me in the care of my grandparents when I was three years old to come to America to study, which I think is a common thing that a lot of Asian I think it was a sacrifice that they made to leave me behind and not see me for three years. And it made our relationship difficult because when I was six years old, I got put on a plane by myself and landed in JFK. Not having seen my parents for the last three years and not knowing any English. And torn away from my grandparents who basically raised me and were all that I knew. So it was, I had a difficult childhood. You can imagine that not knowing English and starting first grade at the age of six in a not-so-great neighborhood in the middle of the Bronx in New York was difficult.
[00:02:42] Bryan Pham: I’m sorry to hear about the childhood story and it just made me reflect some more about your achievements. To be honest, I think we looked up your bio and you graduate top of your class at age 23. You actually graduated early from college too.
[00:02:57] Tiffany Moon: Yeah. I was 19 when I graduated from Cornell.
[00:03:01] Tiffany Moon: So I think that’s a little early.
[00:03:05] Bryan Pham: Oh, yeah. That’s really early, actually a couple of years early. What motivated you so much, like driving yourself is that inner passion to always have been a part of you since the day you were born? So that value gets installed in you by your grandparents, your parents? How has this highly ambitious person come about?
[00:03:21] Tiffany Moon: I think a lot of that probably was externally driven in the beginning because my parents would always say things like, we sacrificed our good life in China and brought you to America so that you could have more opportunities for a better life.
[00:03:39] I heard that all the time, it was this lecture that my dad would give every time I would not eat every kernel of rice in my bowl. It was a common lecture that I heard. And I think inside I did always feel the need to please. I still do in many ways. And I felt the need to somehow repay my parents for the huge sacrifice that they made on my behalf.
[00:04:05] I felt that if they gave up all those things in China. So to bring me over so that I could become someone. Then I better become someone. I better not have those sacrifices be for not. And I guess that’s where it started.
[00:04:22] Bryan Pham: They must be so proud of you. For you to be called just everything and yeah, I think we all heard that story too about, oh, we sacrificed so much for you to come here and it’s a common theme, especially in my childhood and Maggie’s childhood as well.
[00:04:34] Tiffany Moon: Yeah.
[00:04:34] Bryan Pham: You have to study hard because we sacrificed so much for you to be here and it puts a lot of pressure on us. Really. It really shapes us to become who we are. In some ways I feel throughout most of our childhood that sorta just pigeonhole us into certain careers, right? I want you to be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer.
[00:04:52] And funny enough, all three of us fall into the three categories. But then what really stood out to me the most is the fact that you decided to pursue your passions, right? And this may not fall to the pigeon hole of being a doctor only. And that tends to be the case of a lot of people, whether they feel, oh, I’m a doctor. All I can do is become a doctor. And that’s it, the rest of my life. I’m just in this container. But for you, you can branch out that container and prove that you’re more than a doctor, that you do all these things proven by your introduction earlier, you do a lot of different things.
[00:05:25] You’re on TV, you’re a TikTok star, you’re a mother. You put on a lot of different hats and I’m curious too. What gave you the reason to do more and become more than just a doctor? How did you become the star on the Real Housewives of Dallas? I’m curious about that story.
[00:05:42] Tiffany Moon: That is an interesting story. When I was young, I had this intense need to prove to my parents that I was worthy of their love and the sacrifice that they had made. I was singularly focused on pleasing them, which meant excelling in school, being what they called a good girl, which meant don’t talk. Don’t offer your opinion when your opinion is not being asked, which it never was. And don’t make a fuss, keep your head down, do your work, get good grades, and become a doctor. And so I did. I did everything. My parents asked me.
[00:06:18] I graduated Cornell when I was 19, went straight into medical school, graduated at the top of my class when I was 23, went to the best anesthesia residency program in the country, which is UCSF graduated from there, got a coveted attending position at the age of 28. And half of my residents were younger than me and I’m teaching them and I looked around and I was like, is this it? Is this all I’m going to do? I’ve achieved the pinnacle of my personal career, I’m going to sit here and be an attending and get married and have kids. And I just thought, there’s this whole other side of my brain that I never got to use that I had, all these creative passions, and I wanted to make people laugh and be a comedian.
[00:07:04] And can you imagine if I had told my mother that I wanted to be a comedian or something else? When I grew up, I was told in no uncertain terms, you’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer, and I hated history class, setting all these old things that happen and laws and stuff.
[00:07:23] And I really did love medicine, biology, and technology. And I still do so luckily for me, one of the professions I was offered, I actually wanted to go into. But once I achieved everything, there was, I was like, this can’t be all. There’s gotta be more to life than just pleasing your parents.
[00:07:44] Maggie Chui: Wow, that is so powerful. And I think a lot of people in our age and community can relate to that too. And going back to your original point, our parents do sacrifice a lot for us, and I think that’s why we tend to feel a sense of, we owe them a lot for what they did. A lot of our immigrant parents sacrifice everything.
[00:08:02] They gave up everything and had only the clothes in their bags. So if they want us to become entrepreneurs, or if they want us to become engineers or doctors and lawyers, then it’s almost like we feel we have to because they did so much for us. But I think now in our generation, we’re now realizing that there is more to life than our nine to five or, the role or the position that our parents want us to be in.
[00:08:26] And I’m so glad that you realize that. It’s just very powerful. Obviously, medicine and you being a doctor have been such a big part of your life. You graduated at the top of your class and you were an oral board examiner for the American Board of anesthesiology. You’ve published over three dozen original manuscripts reviews and book chapters.
[00:08:48] And I think you had mentioned that you didn’t see a lot of women doctors on-screen, on TV. And I think that’s so important for us to build representation because if we don’t see ourselves on screen, on TV. We don’t think that there’s anything out there like us, right? There’s no one that’s doing what we’re doing, what we want to do.
[00:09:08] So I want to know because you didn’t see a lot of that on reality TV or this doesn’t even have to apply to just doctors in general, but we don’t see a lot of Asian women on TV at all. And so I want to know how that shaped your mindset and how that kind of contributed to you doing what you do today in anesthesiology, as well as, being on the Real Housewives.
[00:09:29] How did that shape your mindset? How did that kind of push you to believe? I need to set that foundation. I need to build representation and be the person who can be an inspiration to other young girls too.
[00:09:39] Bryan Pham: You are a pioneer in this space, so we want to understand everything about it.
[00:09:43] Tiffany Moon: I totally understand what you’re saying, Maggie. When I was a young girl, I was allowed to watch TV. On rare occasions, there was no one that looked like me. And I always thought that I was ugly because I didn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes and got made fun of, and I sorta would just take it, I didn’t have the voice that I have now.
[00:10:01] And I remember going home to my parents and saying like, people at school are making fun of me and calling me “ching chong” and doing the eye thing. And my mom was, just ignore them. They’re stupid, but she didn’t empower me to speak up against them. She told me, just ignore it. They’re not actively hurting you, so just ignore it, which I did.
[00:10:21] And as I grew up and started to find my voice. I thought that maybe now that I found my voice, I could use that for other little girls who still haven’t quite found theirs yet. And I could help them find their voice by showing them an example of how I came to find mine, which is one of the reasons that I decided to join the Real Housewives of Dallas, because if you had told me the year I graduated medical school, that 10 years later I’d be joining a reality TV show, which mostly features drunk, middle-aged women, arguing with each other. I would have told you that you need to not take drugs.
[00:11:01] But with that being said, so much has happened in my life in the last 10 years that I thought. If I can go on this show and show people that you can be a professional, but still have a sense of humor and be in a good marriage and be a good mother, but still be vulnerable about your shortcomings and your struggles with work-life balance. Just be real and authentic and show people your wins and show people your failures and let them come along for the ride because viewers are smart and they see through things, these people with crafted storylines and things that they want to get across.
[00:11:42] And I said, I don’t have any point that I want to get across. I just want to live my life. And I want to show it in an authentic way so that other little girls can hopefully look up to that and say well, if she can do it, then I can too.
[00:11:57] Bryan Pham: That’s really amazing. I’m really glad that you are authentic to yourself and you’re finding the voice for not only yourself but the little girls out there that are watching and looking up to you.
[00:12:07] And I know you mentioned earlier that your mom told you to stay quiet. Don’t worry about all the racist stuff. We know this also I happened to show as there are a couple of racist remarks. I don’t want to spoil it for our listeners. So, first of all, tell us what happened, and then, how did you deal with the situation knowing that you have your voice now and knowing that you’re willing to use it to speak up?
[00:12:25] Tiffany Moon: When I was brought on the show, one of my castmates had some video resurface where she was mocking her slanted eyes and saying, what kind of Asian do you think I am? It was sort of this supposed to be a funny video that I think in retrospect, she decided wasn’t appropriate and quite ignorant to put out there.
[00:12:45] But they put the onus on me as the newest cast member. And of course the only Asian in the group to address her. So all of a sudden I have this huge burden on my shoulders to explain to her why what she did was wrong. I didn’t come on the show to talk about racism necessarily.
[00:13:02] That became what it ended up being, which is fine, but it was a big order to put on my shoulders from the very beginning. That actually was fine. She and I are fine. I explained to her why that could be insulting to a lot of people and shared with her my personal story about people actually doing that to me as a child.
[00:13:24] And she was like, “Oh my God, I can’t even imagine those sorts of things happening. Now, I understand. Thank you for teaching me that and sharing something about yourself with me”. So we’re good. That was all fine. But then as the season goes on another of my castmates. After I had taken her to a dim sum lunch, which I eat every weekend with my family, the group chicken feet, which, I get, is not everyone’s flavor, but it was a fun moment.
[00:13:58] And the producers were, oh my God, making them all eat chicken feet, it’s a TV moment. And we were all in on the fun, except one of my castmates subsequently after dim sum decided to put on her Instagram, a picture of her dog food line and say “Chicken feet. No, thanks. I’d rather eat dog food.”
[00:14:18] And that’s where I drew the line and I was, that’s not okay. So I was, that’s really offensive. At this age, you can’t say stuff like that. Everyone’s very touchy about things right now. And she just saw absolutely no problem with it doubled down and then, I mean, this is also crazy to explain to people who haven’t watched the show because they’re, what And then she ended up calling me a racist because I had made a TikTok about my mom who used to throw her house slipper at me whenever I would talk back to her, not steady or something that.
[00:14:53] And it’s this haha about our moms, hitting us with spoons and slippers and other things. And she said that I was racist because stereotyping is racism and apparently making fun of something that happened in your actual life is stereotyping. And so she just jumped to that conclusion and then subsequently her husband tweeted “Anti-racism is racism. The last time they tried that in Germany, it didn’t work out so well. I wonder how many of your patients would be comfortable with your open vile racism” and then tagged my employer who is a large medical university here in town and who his father happens to have an endowed chairmanship at which means they’ve donated millions of dollars to have an endowed chair position named after his father.
[00:15:52] You can see why at that time, I was very concerned and had to contact my lawyers to get involved because they were actually coming after my actual real job in career, which I’ve worked my entire life for over nothing over what I don’t even, I still don’t understand what the argument is.
[00:16:18] Maggie Chui: Oh, wow. That’s insane.
[00:16:19] Tiffany Moon: That’s a lot, right?
[00:16:20] Maggie Chui: It is a lot. I’m still trying to process.
[00:16:22] Tiffany Moon: When I explain this to people, I’m like, okay, you have to just be quiet for the next five minutes and not interrupt, which you guys did an amazing job at. Because people want to interrupt. They’re, wait, but then she said, and I’m, just let me finish.
[00:16:34] And then you can ask questions because it’s super convoluted and crazy.
[00:16:40] Maggie Chui: Wow. And first of all, anti-racism is racism. I feel that doesn’t even make sense.
[00:16:45] Tiffany Moon: It doesn’t even make sense. I’m like, did you not run this by anybody before you put it out into the universe, you didn’t check, you didn’t have any friends or a publicist or to read through something before you just tweeted it. Do you know what I mean?
[00:17:02] Maggie Chui: Yeah, but that happens to a lot of people, whenever we experienced racist attacks in, you know, for her to Gaslight your situation. It’s a personal experience that you had, I think a lot of people who have immigrant parents, deal with, their parents throwing slippers whenever we get in trouble and stuff like that. But that’s a personal, real experience for us, and I think a lot of people would say oh, that never happened. Or, to just bash on that situation. It’s inconsiderate for them to bash on a personal experience. But I love the fact that. You go the extra mile to actually try to educate that person and try to make them empathize.
[00:17:42] Because I think a lot of the reason why racist attacks happen is that they don’t know how to empathize because they don’t realize the struggles that we actually go through. And a lot of times we just think about ourselves. We don’t realize that people go through these experiences and have a lot of adversaries and struggles that we go through.
[00:17:58] But there are times when they know and learn about these situations, they learn about these challenges and they’re able to empathize. They’re able to be, okay, I’m going to learn more about your culture. Maybe I just misunderstood. And you went that extra mile with the first person and she actually understood. So you did your part and I just want to applaud you for that because that’s, sometimes that’s all it takes.
[00:18:21] Bryan Pham: Yeah, I personally think that you handled the situation really well. I think if it was me, I’d probably be a little ruder than that, but I really appreciate the way you handled the situation. It’s very professional of you and I just want to carry the conversation back to you and to put more emphasis in the podcast on who Tiffany is.
[00:18:40] So, taking a huge step back. I wonder how you set your goals. Because I know you mentioned that you had a really rough childhood. A lot of people at that point will just be a victim and start blaming everything on their circumstances, not really taking control.
[00:18:54] And I feel the opposite spectrum. You really took control and sort of led your life down the path that you want to live, in every single aspect of you right now. So, I wonder how you set goals for it back when you were just starting medical school and after medical school, and a TikTok star, a reality star. These tools are pretty miraculous cause you imagine they hit the top of the cream every single time. So how do you personally manifest everything, set your goals, get your mindset straight, to be like, I can do this? Why not me? And actually put together a small actual step to get there. We want to hear more about that.
[00:19:29] Tiffany Moon: I believe in setting 1, 3, 5, 10, and then life goals. And that’s usually how I plan. Out of my year. Every quarter or so I get my planner out and I look at what I wrote down and I write these things down because if you don’t write them down, you’ll trick yourself into thinking, no, I didn’t say that.
[00:19:49] And I write things down. So, it’s to lose five pounds by June 2022 or be able to bench press this much by this. These are concrete. There are short-term goals. I believe in having a career, family, and then personal, which is my mental health, wellness, fitness, how I look. And for my family, it’s getting my kids into private school, making sure they’re at least a year ahead in their learning than the actual year that they are, making sure that my husband and I are having a date night every night and we don’t lose our marriage because a lot of people’s marriage, they just grow apart because they’re focusing on their careers and the kids. So you have to nurture a marriage. And then of course my career goals were publishing, doing research, mentoring, and teaching medical students and residents, which I continued to do. And then you mentioned the TikTok thing and the reality TV thing but really those were never, I never wrote those down as goals. TikTok happened on accident because of quarantine. And because I have two step-kids, Nicole and Nathan, and when quarantine happened, they were with us and my kids were five, so I had five-year-old twins and 15-year-old twins and we were stuck in the house.
[00:21:04] And my 15-year-old at that time, Nicole, was doing these dances. on her phone, and I was, what are you doing? And she’s oh, it’s this app called TikTok. And I was like, what is that? So I downloaded it on my phone so that I could like her videos. And then one day I just was like, oh, I’m going to make my own TikTok. And I did. And it went viral and it was, things inside an Asian house that just makes sense or things you do at an Asian. I don’t know. And it was, you come inside, you take off your shoes. There’s always warm rice, all these sorts of things. And it went viral. And then all of a sudden I had a hundred thousand TikTok followers.
[00:21:41] And I was, oh, this is cool. And then we just kept going and going. And now I have over a million, but I didn’t plan that. And it wasn’t a goal, that was an accident. Same with the reality TV thing. I went on the show because I wanted to increase the representation of Asian women and especially of professional Asian women, because I think there’s this fallacy that, you can’t possibly be a doctor and be on TV, having a good time, because that makes you less of a professional in some way. And I think there’s a double standard there towards women as well. It’s okay if guys do that, but for women, it makes them less of a professional. And I just wanted to show people that you can be all of these things and while adjusted well relatively and be a happy person that gives back to the community.
[00:22:31] And so that’s what I did. I did not know at the time that I was taping for Housewives or that it came out and I was watching it. We only get the episodes two days before it goes out to the public. So by then, it’s too late to fix anything. I had no idea that this was going to blow up and that I was going to be contacted by major news outlets to talk about AAPI activism and women in science and medicine.
[00:22:57] I say that it’s an accident, but in some ways I was the right target to speak on those things, right? If I didn’t have all of my life experiences that we’ve been discussing, and then I went on Housewives and got drunk and misbehaved and whatever, they wouldn’t have called me about AAPI activism because I have no experience in that.
[00:23:20] So, I say that it’s an accident, but I suppose in some ways I was led to this position in my life to be able to talk about these.
[00:23:30] Maggie Chui: That’s just so powerful to me because I remember you mentioning that when you were asked to be on The Real Housewives of Dallas, you were so busy that you didn’t even know if you wanted to be on it. But then, because they knew that you were with the right person to speak on these different topics, they had asked you to be on the show. And I think you also realized that even though you were so busy, it is the perfect opportunity for you to be on the show because there’s so much inspiration and resources that you can provide to other young girls. So it worked out perfectly, and I just love how that all happened.
[00:24:01] I love that you mentioned that Nicole was the one who was on TikTok first. What was your reaction when you blew up on TikTok? I’m just curious.
[00:24:09] Tiffany Moon: She is equal parts fascinated and embarrassed because she is now a senior in high school and just got accepted into several universities. So she’s going to be choosing which one she’s going to go to this fall. But she was, oh my gosh, this guy came up to me the other day at school and he was, oh my God, I follow your stepmom on TikTok. And she was, that’s cool. So, it’s cool whenever I get free stuff, people send me PR packages. And I’m like, Hey, do you want this face mask? Do you want this nail polish? Stuff that. And she’s, they sent you this for free. And I’m like, yeah she’s that’s so cool. But then whenever, I’m being embarrassing, she’s like, God, you’re so embarrassing.
[00:24:57] Maggie Chui: Oh my gosh. I love that. And the topic about the face masks being sent to you and stuff when Dr. Tiffany Moon says that you can literally do it all. She really means that because even though. Your TikTok videos are on family stuff and anesthesiology. There are so many people who comment on your TikTok videos and say they can’t stop staring at your makeup because it’s so perfect. And that’s what I mean when I say you can literally do it all because your makeup is always so perfect. I would have mistaken you for a makeup artist.
[00:25:26] Tiffany Moon: That’s so funny. One of my TikToks. They have different things that are trending. But it was a couple of months ago. And it was when you went to school for 24 years, but the most common question you get asked is what’s your makeup routine?
[00:25:40] Maggie Chui: Oh, I love it so much.
[00:25:41] Tiffany Moon: That’s so funny.
[00:25:43] Maggie Chui: So now that you’ve built up such a big following on TikTok and on Instagram, we know that you are working on a new YouTube channel called Paging Dr. Moon, and it’s going to be covering a wide variety of topics from pop culture, fashion, food, medical practicing, and more.
[00:26:01] Can you talk a little bit about that? What are your goals for doing your YouTube channel?
[00:26:07] Tiffany Moon: Yeah. I get questions on TikTok and Instagram. How did you become a doctor at the age of 23 or I’m 30 years old and I just now decided I want to be a doctor? What do I need to do? Or just, what’s your makeup routine?
[00:26:19] But on Instagram, it’s hard to explain a whole makeup routine. And on Tik TOK, they give you three minutes maximum. And so I needed a platform where I could talk for a longer period of time. And my friend was, you should start a YouTube channel. And I was like, aren’t I 10 years too late to that game? And she was like, oh, it’s never too late. Let’s just start it. I’ll help you edit your videos. We started it. It’s grassroots, but we called it Paging Dr. Moon because I wanted to evoke the sense that you could page me for things to help, like with relationship advice, or career advice or makeup advice, so that we thought it would be cute to have Paging Dr. Moon and then you say what you’re paging me for.
[00:27:03] Bryan Pham: So we’re going to page you right now. Can you give us some relationship advice?
[00:27:06] Tiffany Moon: I freely dispense relationship advice.
[00:27:10] Bryan Pham: So, what is the secret to a happy marriage? I asked you a very hard and simple question at the same time. We’re paging you, Dr. Moon.
[00:27:17] Tiffany Moon: I think it’s, it is hard and simple at the same time. The real answer is communication. It’s being on the same page, because so often in a marriage, people get their feelings hurt because there’s a miscommunication. I thought that you, blah, blah, blah. When the other person, that’s not what they were thinking, or that’s not what they meant. And the longer you let that go on, the more divergent you end up being.
[00:27:40] And so my husband and I from the very beginning had a very open communication policy. And then this is not sexy at all, but every Sunday we sit down for an hour without the kids and we talk about stuff. And we run our schedule for the next week. He’s oh, I have this investment dinner on Wednesday night. So I won’t be home for dinner with the kids. And then I’ll be like, oh, I have this other thing. Or, I’m traveling or he’s traveling. So we’re just matching up calendars. And then we make sure to have a date night every night. Every week, one night we go out without the kids.
[00:28:16] And even during quarantine, we didn’t go out, but we bought groceries and we would cook together. And our nanny would have the girls eat in our theater room and watch a movie and have pizza and stuff. And then he, and I would have a separate dinner with wine and we’d grill some fish or something. So that we had a clear separation of time to work on our marriage versus family time.
[00:28:40] Bryan Pham: I love that. It’s absolutely great advice. Maggie dating, not sure you guys know, but we’re also co-founders of Asian Hustle Network. So it’s so easy for us to talk about this all the time. So we actually got into a habit of time blocking everything. Where it’s this is a seven to nine is strictly non-business related things. Just talk about fun things. And I do agree that it’s all about communication because there are so many countless times that we can mention our relationship, where we argue for no reason. Because we weren’t on the same page. Communication itself sounds easy, but it’s hard.
[00:29:14] Tiffany Moon: It’s very hard. It’s the root of most human arguments.
[00:29:18] Bryan Pham: Absolutely agree. So I’m going to page you again. This time, I’ll ask you about mental health because I feel you’re putting out so many different hats every day. You’re a doctor, you’re a TikTok star, you’re a mom. You’re doing a lot of different things, taking care of your family and everything. How do you take care of yourself? Because that is so important. And it’s so easy to slide back and forth into like, I always call it oblivion. It’s like, things are going well, it’s not going well. And then when you’re doing your own thing, you do lots of things. It’s when you go through an emotional roller coaster. So how do you keep that part stable?
[00:29:49] Tiffany Moon: Yeah, I think for probably the first half of my children’s lives, I thought that it was a badge of honor to not take care of yourself, not eat healthily, not work out, not prioritize my own sleeping. Because I was either working or taking care of my children. Those were the priorities on any given day. It would either work and then two would be the kids or some days it’d be the kids and then work if they were sick or something like that. And then, last on the list was me and I hit a point where I was just, frazzled and running thin that I didn’t have anything left to give to any of my interpersonal relationships. I was an empty shell of a person because I had poured from my cup for so long that my cup was empty. And I realized that adage is true. You cannot pour from an empty cup. And so from then, I made it a point. To take care of myself concurrently while taking care of other people. But I didn’t really do that until the last several years. So I have what I call self-care Sundays, which is a segment of YouTube that we’re working on, where I basically share my tips for how to stay well. Because I think the problem with Americans and the healthcare system here is that we focus too much on treating disease instead of staying well in the first place.
[00:31:13] And I, myself, fell victim to that. And I see it every day in the hospital. We treat heart attacks and strokes and ischemic limbs after people have had diabetes and hypertension for decades, but very little goes into nutritional teaching, and, teaching people how to stay fit and well, I think that’s the problem with the healthcare system here. So I’m sharing a lot of my tips for wellness on my YouTube channel.
[00:31:39] Bryan Pham: I like that. And it’s funny again, so many parallels. Maggie and I have mental health Sundays. It’s even more, there’s even more parallel between us. So you graduated college at age 19. I did too.
[00:31:55] Tiffany Moon: Where did you go to school?
[00:31:56] Bryan Pham: I went to school at SoCal. We have a lot of commonalities already. I’m like wait a minute.
[00:32:02] Tiffany Moon: That’s so funny.
[00:32:06] Bryan Pham: So, Tiffany, what’s next? You’re so amazing at everything that you do. What else do you want to do? Do you want to go to space?
[00:32:14] Tiffany Moon: I’m not Elon Musk. I have no such space aspiration.
[00:32:23] Bryan Pham: Don’t say that yet, it might happen.
[00:32:24] Tiffany Moon: No. I looked at my planner the other day, which we alluded to previously and I don’t have things on there. Be on a reality TV show or, all these things. I’m happy with where I am in my career. If I’m never on TV again, that is just fine by me, it was such a unique opportunity that I was given. And I’m so glad that I did that, but it was never my goal. Like I said, to be a reality TV star.
[00:32:49] I would love to write a book about my life and my tips and advice for other young women. So I’m marinating on that. I wrote a children’s book about fitting in and discovering your own uniqueness. Pride yourself on your own unique individual instead of trying to be like everyone else, which I think children are focused on. So I’m going to try to get that book picked up by a publisher. It’s a children’s book. And then I don’t know. I am happy doing all of the things that I am doing right now.
[00:33:23] There’s not some secret project that I’m working on that I’m not telling you guys if all I ever do from now on is be a doctor and be a mom and be a wife and be a stepmom and be a mentor and a teacher and a TikTok star. I’m fine with that.
[00:33:40] Bryan Pham: That’s a lot of things already.
[00:33:44] Maggie Chui: That is a lot of things, but we can tell that you are just so confident and so happy in the place that you are today and you just exude that confidence. So it’s just amazing to hear you say that. Is there a title for the book as of right now? Or is that a secret?
[00:33:57] Tiffany Moon: No, it’s not even written, it’s in my head. Okay. I just finished the children’s book. So I think, the book it’s a, I would put that, on the three to five-year plan.
[00:34:09] Maggie Chui: Perfect. Okay. We just want to make sure we promote it.
[00:34:12] Tiffany Moon: Oh no, it doesn’t exist right now. The only thing I’m promoting is my candles
[00:34:17] Maggie Chui: Wow. Okay. We didn’t talk about that.
[00:34:21] Tiffany Moon: During the quarantine, I started a candle line as a way to relieve my anxiety because I have severe anxiety and then COVID hit and I was still working as a full-time anesthesiologist, intubating people. And I would get it in my head that this patient coughed on me and that I was going to bring COVID home and give it to my kids and, the worrier goes.
[00:34:41] And so then I started mixing essential oils, aromatherapy to relax. And humans are incredible. We have an incredible olfactory memory, which is when a smell hits you and it takes you back to Grandma’s.
[00:34:55] So I started training my brain to associate certain smells with tranquility and rest and relaxation because I would start having the beginning of a little panic attack about COVID-related things. And I could feel my heart rate getting high and my breathing getting shallow. And so I trained my brain.
[00:35:15] I smell something. It sounds so wonky. I know. And then I would train my brain when I smelled that to start relaxing and meditating. And so then instead of just having essential oils on a stick, I just poured them into the wax and started burning it. And then I sent them to all my friends as a COVID care package, because I was worried about all my friends and if they had anxiety and we couldn’t see each other and all these trips got canceled. So I made these cute little candles by hand-writing cards and sent them. All over the country all my friends and I called it the COVID care package. And one of my friends said to me, did you make this candle? And I was, yeah. And she was, you need to sell this. This is amazing. And I was like, no, no one wants a candle. They’ll just go to Bath and Bodyworks and buy a candle. And she was, no, this is so good. It’s hand-poured. I can tell that you personally designed all this stuff. So she encouraged me to sell it. And if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have done it because. I think it could become anything.
[00:36:15] And so then I started the website with my friends, learned how to make a website, and put it online. And my 2021 sales were high. I sold a lot of candles. I don’t believe it. When I look at myself sometimes I’m like, this is crazy. People really like candles.
[00:36:40] Maggie Chui: People love candles.
[00:36:41] Tiffany Moon: It’s crazy. I’m like, oh my gosh, the candle business is going to make as much as the doctor business.
[00:36:50] Maggie Chui: But it’s true. When you smell a certain smell, it kind of triggers. It has the ability to trigger a memory. That’s why a lot of people love it.
[00:36:59] Tiffany Moon: Yeah, that is another productivity hack that I will give you guys. So I have so many scents now and the ones that I did research on, there are certain scents that are energizing to the brain such as citrus, grapefruit, especially. And it also curbs your appetite. It’s good for the five pounds that I need to lose. So when I need to do work, I burn certain candles and that makes my brain think oh, it’s work time. It’s not TikTok] time. It’s not farting around with your kid’s time. And then there are other candles that I burned for certain situations. There’s a sexy time candle to thinking of communication.
[00:37:35] Maggie Chui: Like I’m this candle.
[00:37:37] Tiffany Moon: This candle is lit, I’m telling you something.
[00:37:41] Maggie Chui: So Tiffany, we have one last question for you. And that is if you could give some advice to a young girl who.
[00:37:51] No. How about this? How about advice to a professional in a medical field that wants a side hustle? I feel a lot of my PA friends, dentist friends, autocracy friends are like, oh, I can’t do anything else. I’m pigeonholed into my career.
[00:38:05] Okay, but I do want to know about the advice for young girls.
[00:38:08] Tiffany Moon: We’ll do both because I am an overachiever.
[00:38:11] Maggie Chui: I want my advice that I can give to young girls.
[00:38:14] Bryan Pham: Sorry for talking over you, Maggie.
[00:38:15] Maggie Chui: It’s okay.
[00:38:17] Tiffany Moon: I’ll do Maggie’s first. Cause ladies should go first. I think about this question sometimes. What advice would have really hit home with me when I was a young girl and it’s not so much advice. It’s just having someone to look up to and who can say to you that you can do it. Because so often when I was a little girl, I was told you can’t do it. I was told you shouldn’t even try because that’s out of your realm.
[00:38:48] And I think we’ve really pivoted as a society to encourage young women to do things that before they may not have been encouraged to do. And I think that all children really need is someone to be a good example for them and someone to really believe in them.
[00:39:06] Maggie Chui: I love that. Thank you so much for that advice. And then Brian’s question. What advice would you give to someone in the medical field? Who’s looking to start a side hustle.
[00:39:16] Tiffany Moon: Yeah. There are droves of physicians, quitting clinical medicine, and I could go into hours about why that is. But suffice it to say that there are many medical professionals that are looking for what we term a side hustle, which is basically a way to not do clinical medicine 100% of the time because frankly we’re burned out. That’s the truth. Um, It’s not impossible. You have to have good business sense. And everybody thinks that just because they did good in biology and they’re smart and they’re a doctor that they’re good in business. That’s not true. Doctors are some of the worst investors. Ever. So I say, educate yourself, you went to medical school. So you’re obviously okay with school, pick up books on investing, real estate, Bitcoin, whatever your jam is. I have friends who deal with horses. He buys horses, trades horses, and makes a lot of money.
[00:40:12] I don’t know. You have to learn about it though. You can’t just think that it’s. Easy money, right? Oh, I have a hundred thousand dollars laying around. So I’ll just do this and it’ll turn into this. No, because if it were that easy, everybody would be doing it. But the side hustle thing is not impossible.
[00:40:29] You just have to pick a niche. What exactly are you going to do? Are you going to do something medically related? Coaching other people or commonly done in real estate. I have a friend who bought an Airbnb and now he has seven. And he makes mad cash on renting out Airbnbs. My parents do a lot of real estate investing as well, but they do apartment complexes here in Texas, buying those and developing them.
[00:40:56] So you just have to pick a niche of something that you are passionate about, or perhaps you have a connection to that field and then learn about it and then just start doing it. It’s everything else in life.
[00:41:08] Maggie Chui: That’s really powerful advice and yes, I absolutely agree. Anyone can do it, but you really have to learn about it rather than just jumping right into it. So thank you so much for sharing that and Dr. Tiffany Moon, how can our listeners find out more about you online?.
[00:41:23] Tiffany Moon: I have my website, which is tiffanymoonmd.com from there you can email me or you can follow me on any of my social media channels, which is just @tiffanymoonmd on Twitter, Instagram, and most importantly, TikTok as well as my new YouTube page.
[00:41:40] I would love it if you would subscribe. Cause I have a hundred subscribers.
[00:41:45] Maggie Chui: We will be sure to add all of that to our show notes of this episode. Tiffany, it was amazing having you on our podcast today. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
[00:41:54] Tiffany Moon: Thank you so much for having me and dealing with my issues last week. I was so embarrassed about that.
[00:42:00] Bryan Pham: No worries. Thank you so much, Tiffany.
[00:42:05] Tiffany Moon: You guys have my email if you guys want to talk more or have other collaborations, just let me know.