Millennials across the globe have acquired a reputation of being lethargic, sluggish.
In the last few years, a surge of influencers has overwhelmed various social media platforms, where they create informative and at times irrelevant content to make a living. Very few people deploy the use of social media to make a difference. The young, future doctor, Ethan Smallwood (also known as ‘Doctor Ethan’) wants to change that.
Currently, a student of Medicine and Surgery at the Nottingham University, Ethan loves to share his life inside and outside of medical school through social media. With a significant following of over 100 thousand followers on Instagram alone, the medical influencer shares content relating to his medical career, while coupling them with engaging posts that highlight his active social life. Ethan hates to sound like a preacher and plays it out like your regular boy-next-door on the photo-sharing app. He likes to credit his inspiration to Doctor Mikhail Varshavski, popularly known as Dr. Mike, who he believes makes medicine popular and interesting.
Doctor Mike enjoys a following of more than 3 million users on Instagram. His posts cover important discussions on the evolution of medicine on prime-time news debates, while also treating his fan base to adorable pictures of his pets. Dr. Mike was also hailed as ‘America’s SexiestDoctor’ by People Magazine and spends much of his time working in New Jersey, USA as a family medicine doctor. He possesses a strong sense of visuals, which is evident in the real-time stories that he uploads on his timeline.
What does Ethan’s inspiration opine about the use of social media to spread awareness? Dr. Mike states, “Look at vaccines. There is a lot of incorrect information out there about vaccinations, and how there's a possible risk between autism and vaccines that is untrue. So, I take it upon myself to educate the world, making funny videos, entertaining videos, and educational videos - to get people to know the truth through evidence-based medicine in a very fun way.” This is one of the very many examples where social media can influence medicine in a very positive way.
It is also clear that the Internet is changing society’s approach to health and disease. It has been surveyed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, that 54% of youth and 42% of tech-savvy adults prefer connecting with renowned healthcare professionals using social media. It allows users to engage in discussions surrounding medical policies, campaigns, diseases, and treatment. Based on similar studies, it has also been observed that 88% of practicing physicians deploy the use of social media and web to investigate pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices, while 76% of physicians are utilizing mobile devices in their place of practice.
Like most social media sites nowadays, Instagram has proven to be replete with businesses trying to sell their products and services, to drive marketing or sales related goals. It has been noticed that more than 71 percent of businesses use Instagram to market their brands. On the other hand, entrepreneurs, public figures, celebrities and influencers leverage Instagram to expand and connect with their fanbase. Ethan has established himself as an influential Instagrammer who is not sacrificing his personal beliefs for the sale of products.
He has now decided to make the next step in building his audience through the impending launch of his YouTube channel; ‘The Student Doctor’. This will provide unprecedented access into life as a medical student as well as becoming a platform for educational videos relating to healthcare and disease prevention.
Ethan may be relatively new to social media but has already made a big impact in such a short period of time. With his continued efforts both online and in his work, it feels inevitable that ‘Doctor Ethan’ will be one of the leading influencers in medicine for many years to come.