We talk to Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Thrive on her passion for healthcare and how small businesses can embed health and wellness into their operations
Where did your passion for healthcare come from? What inspired you?
I decided at the tender age of 5 that I wanted to be a doctor. A few things inspired me: my father is a physician who immigrated from Pakistan and beat all the odds to become a physician. His passion for service and for serving the underserved, in particular, has inspired me throughout my life. I also found inspiration in my maternal grandmother’s health struggles. She was an incredible, warm, loving woman who raised me until age 3, and I saw firsthand how she struggled with diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, she tragically passed at age 59 from a heart attack. Watching someone I loved so much die so suddenly and in such an unexpected manner propelled me to want to change our healthcare system and advocate for those who have trouble navigating it.
How do you help empower and support female entrepreneurs?
Supporting female entrepreneurs is one of my greatest passions. I love advising, mentoring, and reviewing pitch decks for women starting interesting companies. I also do angel investing when I have the conviction that something is going to work. Being at Thrive is a particular joy because we have an incredible female founder and CEO, Arianna Huffington.
Our work at Thrive focuses on educating individuals, teams, and organizations about how closely linked wellness is to optimal performance and purpose. We work to create behavior change on both an individual and organizational level that empowers people to show up authentically in the workplace and live their lives with less stress and more joy.
What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs and small business owners in the mental health and wellness space?
Be authentically you. Seek mentors and allies who are female or male. Find your focus and believe in your ideas. Create the right culture.
How can small businesses ensure that mental health and wellness are embedded in their work cultures?
Wellness starts at the top. Whatever behavior the leaders exhibit explicitly signals what is acceptable for the employee base. Ensure leaders can be vulnerable and open and discuss how they care for themselves. Make sure that the organization values connection and empathy and fosters gratitude.
Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Thrive
Dr. Aaliya Yaqub is the Chief Medical Officer at Thrive Global. Dr. Yaqub is a Board-certified Internal Medicine physician with years of experience as a leader in tech, medicine, and mental health. Dr. Yaqub received her M.D. from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and completed her residency and fellowship training at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. At Thrive, Dr. Yaqub: Oversees our Scientific Advisory Board; Leads the charge in expanding our offerings into the healthcare space; Champions an upstream approach to well-being with a focus on prevention and habit formation; Serves as a leading facilitator for customer engagements, including workshops and webinars.