Lecia Bushak explains how Dr. Peter Rezkalla (aka Dr. Disney) has become the med-ed go-to for eight- and 10-year-olds on TikTok. This week’s policy update focuses on the pharma industry’s planned price hikes for 2024, amid the government’s rollout of Medicare price negotiations. We also preview the 42nd annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. And the health-focused films shortlisted for this year’s Oscars top our Trends segment, along with TikTok’s hormone balancing trend. Music by Sixieme Son.
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Note: The MM+M Podcast uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast.
Read the full episode transcript here
Hey, it’s Marc
Welcome to the New Year, everyone. We hope your holiday break was a good one.
As we embark on 2024, my colleagues and I look forward to bringing you an intriguing lineup of podcast guests; more breakdowns on the biggest marketing, policy and media trends; and highlights of the stories that make healthcare marketing the vibrant sector that it is.
A recent study found that doctors and nurses are among the most popular professions on TikTok. We also know – from other research – that Gen Z and millennials are increasingly turning to TikTok for health advice and information, in lieu of speaking to their doctors.
The convergence of those 2 trends brings us to this week’s show. Our first guest of the year is – appropriately enough for this era of h/c social media – a doctor influencer.
Dr Peter Rezkalla – aka Dr Disney – uses his TikToks to detail the day-to-day life of a pediatrician and break down medical topics into easy to understand content.
Several of his videos have millions of views. But unlike Arthur or SpongeBob – or what kids are consuming on YTKids these days – Rezkala makes sure they’re a safe space for learning about imp health topics.
As Lecia notes, Dr Disney speaks to the child in all of us. She’s also back with a health policy update. Hey, Lecia!
Hey Marc, today I’ll talk about the pharma industry’s planned drug price hikes for 2024 – amid the federal government’s moves to roll out Medicare price negotiations.
And that brings us to our Trends segment. Hey, Jack. What are we starting off the New Year with?
This week, Marc is previewing the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference taking place in San Francisco next week, Lecia breaks down TikTok’s hormone balancing trend and I dive into the healthcare-focused films shortlisted for this year’s Oscars.
I’m Lasha bushak senior reporter at mmm and I’m really excited to be here today with Peter. Rascala a social media influencer who’s known as Dr. Disney online Peter. Escala is a pediatrician and content creator who has more than 500,000 followers across tiktok Instagram and YouTube where he details the day-to-day life of a pediatrician and breaks down medical topics in easy to digest and often hilarious ways. He Brands himself as a Creator who provides health education through entertainment and has an audience spanning parents nurses doctors and children. Thanks so much for joining us Peter.
Thank you so much for having me. Oh my goodness. What an intro I couldn’t even read something about myself. Nice. Wow. Thank you so much for having me like
so Peter tell me a little bit about how you got started out as a Creator and sort of what inspired you to become a doctor
influencer sure it all started. So I am a theater kid by training. I was in the
Search and school doing plays and having a great time and that kind of well-roundedness is what gets you into medical school. And then the first two years of medical school were absolutely grueling like the the go-to phrase that everyone says is it’s like drinking out of a fire hose because it’s just so much information and it’s really wonderful that science has exploded but in that explosion, I think we’ve thrown education out the window and as a result, like I was super stressed out and studying for my national exam. We have three National exams the USMLE which is the United States medical licensing exam. One two, and three you take the first one after your second year of medical school and back in my day. Not that I like saying that phrase but back in my day you actually got scored on it, but the score is kind of a faulty score. I’m not gonna lie to you like they’ve done studies and it doesn’t really correlate with how smart you are but people still use this like number as how intelligent you are and it would affect where you would
Oh and I was so stressed and I realized as I was studying that I was like tipping a toe in depression. And so I told myself like as soon as I finish this exam regardless of the outcome, I’m gonna start a YouTube channel because I need to go back to my roots of entertaining and creating and I’ve done like video producing my whole life. So I wanted to start it as a commitment to myself to get back into creativity after all the grueling of med school.
That’s amazing. I was also a theater kid in high school. So maybe that’s why I like doing podcasts and things like that. But yeah, so you call yourself doctor Disney online on your tiktok profile and Instagram, where did that idea come from?
That’s an excellent question. Okay, so actually right at this exact point in time when I started the channel it actually wasn’t called Dr. Disney. It was called what’s up doc, and the reason why is because I wasn’t yet a doctor and I didn’t want anyone my school future employers.
Find and be like you misrepresented yourself as a doctor online. And so I was really nervous and I had to be very strategic from the start about like thinking about.
The worst common factor like someone who could find this who could put out a vendetta for me and how they could attack me. And so I tried to be really cognizant of that. And so I I called myself what’s up doc, and then I saw that a lot of my colleagues who were medical students who wanted to create Brands online. We’re calling themselves doctors. So and so even though they were medical students. So after a couple of months I said, you know what? I really love Disney and I really I’m gonna be a doctor I could call myself doctor Disney because even if someone does get upset about the doctor point, I’m kind of saying I’m a
I’m a provider of Disney content. So I think I could sort of weasel my way through like that. So I called myself Dr. Disney and I found that creating Disney content also brought me. Joy, because I’m a huge Disney kid too and those videos got viral really quickly. And I thought wow I could do both at the same time and find fulfillment from this.
So you really started out kind of doing this idea while you were still in medical school and it was almost like a stress relief for sort of a channel for you to kind of like you said go back to your roots and and find some Joy amidst all the stress of medical school. And you know, can you talk a little bit about those initial videos that went viral and sort of what happened from there?
Sure it was a really stressful experience at the start because I was writing my own content editing it directing it recording it and then that’s like the hard front end or the back end of it and then there’s all the front and stuff of like posting promoting and I a lot of people when they start their YouTube channels or their brands they’re like, oh all my friends and family but like my friends were all medical people and they didn’t really have one. I mean, I don’t like saying you don’t have the time because we all have the same 24 hours. So people didn’t prioritize watching my videos my friends and prioritize watching my
Videos because they were studying for medical school. So I kind of just was creating an avoid and I would spend like maybe 50 hours on a five minute video that was medical heavy to make sure yeah just because I didn’t want again anyone to attack me for being a medical student online who’s giving you know, not that I was giving advice but like one video I started off with that was really important to me was video game disorder like the World Health Organization came out and said video game disorder is now a diagnosis and I went through the Nuance of it because I’m also a video game kid and I was like anything can be a disorder if it affects your social life, like exercising can be a disorder if but like because fortnite was big at the time it was like this keyword, so I created a whole video about it, but it took me so much effort and it got like I don’t know 200 views and I was like, okay, I guess that’s fine for 50 hours of work and then Aladdin what’s coming out at the time and I reacted to the new A Whole, New World
And speechless sung by Naomi Scott from the movie and I was just like a whim video put did it in like six minutes and I posted it. It got a hundred thousand views on YouTube and I thought my gosh like I should do the medical content, but also pepper in this stuff that’s easier for me to make because I’m not gonna burn out that way.
Absolutely, and you know now you’ve sort of graduated to having a lot of followers across all these social media platforms and you know on tiktok you have several videos that have like millions of views and some of them are on health topics. Now, you know, I believe the adverse childhood experiences one was one that got like 12 million views or something. So, can you talk about
your research you really,
you know, can you how do you end up choosing which health topics to post about and sort of get those views with
that’s a good question. I
Tend to like my base, like if you see a video that’s come out. It’s kind of really based on what I’ve experienced in the hospital or in my training that day. Like if we had a lecture that I thought was really groundbreaking like we had a lecture about chat GPT and how it’s being implemented in healthcare and I thought that’s cool. Let me talk about that really quickly. But the aces video was one that has been really important to me even before I started medical school. I watched a TED talk about it and I thought dude. This is like formative like everyone should know how our childhood impacts us. And actually I’m gonna put a little plug here if you I mean it’s not really a plug but if you watch any piece of entertainment and you find out like the villains backstory, you will almost always find that it’s something that happened to them in childhood that like propelled them to who they are except for like the Joker but like even that is something that I actually that’s not even true in the movie The Joker it’s something that happened to him as a child his mom was not treating him the best and that I think we need to be more
Going to sense about that. So I said let me put this video together and just put the screening out there and in doing that in that video exploding and getting super mega viral. I realized I had to then finish the story and like talk about positive childhood experiences talk about the effects of Aces talk about how you can reverse it and how you should talk to your therapist and your psychiatrist that this is something that’s important to you and then really wonderful things came out of that video like people saying, why does the questionnaire ask if your mother was abused why doesn’t ask if your father was abused like those are things that I mean this questioner was made in 1980s. Don’t quote me on that but like it hasn’t been modified or updated since and I think it’s wonderful that the community like I don’t really like the word patience but like people could inform Healthcare based on the things that we’ve been using and they’re like actually it could be a little bit better.
Right and I think you know, that’s a good example of how much mental health is kind of a very popular topic.
On tiktok because something like, you know, the Ace’s score got so viral and everyone was so interested and you know how they, you know ranked on it and and stuff like that and you you say that you often tailor your videos to kids and to young people and sort of an educational way and that you want to address the child in all of us. Can you talk a little bit about your approach and why that’s important.
Am really big about playing to people’s highest intelligence and making sure that I am a safe space for people as best as I can be I’m not going to be perfect. I’m gonna make mistakes, but I try my best to have that as my goal and because of that I work really hard to not have curse words and to not have profanity or vulgarity in my content so that if a child it land on my content, which I’m I just finished a show a musical that I’m in It’s A Christmas Carol and there are some child actors who are in it and they came up to me like dude your doctor Disney and it’s like these eight year old or coming up to me. Like I just watched your video online and I feel so safe that they found my content. It’s not like I have to be like, oh, you know, you should have your parents watch with you or something like that. Like they could just enjoy my content and feel that they’re intellect has played to that. They are learning something new and they’re having a good time because
I didn’t really have that content growing up. I mean we all had
Arthur and and you know
SpongeBob but even like SpongeBob is not the most educational. So I try to fit the fill the void of content where I of something I could have watched and my parents could have walked in on me watching and I would have had no fear about that and also to make it fun and and fantastic.
Yeah, I think you know, it’s it’s not usual to find tiktok doctors who are pediatricians who are specifically tailoring their profile to sort of creating a safe space for young people and like kids see you definitely feel a role there on the platform. But you also create a lot of stuff for adults as well. And for people who might have other types of health concerns, you do have a video series. I believe it’s called the doctor’s note where you’re posting like daily videos like every single day, you know, when you’re coming home from work or from the hospital or the Pediatric emergency room and you’re kind of just providing little Snippets of your day to your audience sort of like a
Find the scenes view into what your life is like as a pediatrician. What’s the importance in your opinion of like developing like a daily series like that.
It’s so funny that you say that you call it a behind the scenes because we’re theater people kind of like, oh what happens in the hospital, but it kind of isn’t behind the scenes. I never even thought about it that way.
Oh my goodness. I’m gonna like think about rebranding now. Let’s just call it the behind the scenes of healthcare. So the I think the easiest thing about the doctors know is
When I was initially starting I started on YouTube and then I dabbled an Instagram and I didn’t really like Instagram because it felt very curated. And so I went to tiktok or back in my day. It was musically and it was a lot of dubbing and dancing and it was really fun and then tiktok came out and I wanted to continue making content during residency, but I knew that I could not continue with the writing a script editing a script directing recording posting and promoting because that is just way I to have that expectation of myself would have been unreal. Um, so tiktok kind of filled that gap for me where I could go on my phone a handheld recording device post something for one minute and people wanted short form content. So that made it easier for me and I was just in a sort of processing my day and also processing things that I learned I
Would you know because the the go-to in medicine is C1 do one teach one. So you like you see something done. You do it yourself, then you teach someone else?
So I would see something in the hospital. I would probably do it myself but in order for myself to synthesize and process that info or the experience that happened I would then go to tiktok and of course without patient information just like rework the story that so that’s not identifiable to people but also get the same message across and share that online and that helped me continue to be creative continue to process and I felt like I was a better doctor for it because I was really paying attention to my experiences during the day trying to find what’s the best element here that I could share with the global stage.
Yeah, that’s super fascinating. It’s like you’re using tiktok as an educational tool not just for your audience, but also for yourself in a way sort of documenting these things and you know, it’s helping you remember them and kind of process them. I think that’s really interesting.
It’s so true because like I would go back and if I find a previous video, I as soon as I hear the beginning words, I’m like, oh I know exactly what this video is about. I remember what I learned that day and I can pull it back
which is really cool.
That’s really cool. And you know, one of the things that we’ve talked about a lot on the M&M podcast here is this idea that tiktok is quickly becoming the main source of health information for young people gen Z Millennials and young people are more likely to turn to tiktok to learn about mental health or other health conditions. Then they are even to go to a physical doctor’s office and talk to an actual physician and because of that I think healthcare providers are starting to realize more and more that they actually need to be on the platform as well.
To be sort of like a trustworthy Counterpoint to some of the health misinformation that’s out there and it’s really Reach people where they are which is obviously on social media. So how do you see yourself in terms of being sort of an expert on tiktok or these other social media sites and being sort of a Counterpoint to health misinformation. There
are two points here. I want to talk about the first being Healthcare having to regain people’s trust.
For a long time and maybe even still Healthcare is kind of been. I mean the Silver Lining out of covid is that
shook the healthcare industry and people had to change how they did everything in healthcare and
I think people know what it’s like to go to a doctor’s office. Wait a very long time and then find a Doctor Who’s other dismissive who doesn’t care about their holistic health and then pushes pills.
And I love Pediatrics in that I care about the holistic child. I ask about home life school video games.
Sports I get to know the whole person in front of me and I’m trying to be their friend because in being their friend that will allow them to open up to me about some of this more intense mental health things that they might not want to share with someone and I kid you not like every single interaction I’ve had with a teenager in clinic they’ve broken down with me just because they’ve gone through covid and they have gone through so many things at home and covid itself might not have impacted them personally, but being at home
Is a stressor and then everyone being at home meant that families had to really see each other for 24 hours a day and you got to see the real dark areas of your family’s life. And that was a super stressor. And so teenagers are going through a lot children are going through a lot and Aces reveals that as well to bring it back to that and we need to do a better job as the health field to go away from like medicine and start talking about people’s holistic health and I believe it’s wonderful that we have physician in I don’t even like the word influencers that we have physician creators online because think about I always tell the my colleagues. We’re like, how did you do this? What why do you do this? And is it fun? Should we start? I’m like absolutely absolutely think about the three questions you get asked the most like you can talk about that online.
And record it once and it lives on forever educating people and of course you have to have a disclaimer like this is not you know Health got advice. You have to talk to your own doctor, but in meeting them where they’re at. They’re gonna want to talk to their doctor. They’re gonna want to find a doctor like you who hears them and is providing information for them and we’re not gatekeeping medicine or Health Care behind money or Insurance. There are a lot of hurdles to getting
Care and the more that we can break that down. I think a lot of doctors are tired and burnt out and distressed and to do this is extra work and I think the theater kids are finding it fulfilling to find this new Avenue to provide care and I’m all for it all all what does it all steam ahead all engines ahead. Whatever they’re saying
full steam ahead.
definitely and you know, I I think that sentiment is growing I spoke with another doctor Creator Dr. Austin Chang. Who was that Health in Las Vegas? I think you were there as well because I saw a photo of you with him and Dr. Mike.
Oh my gosh, you did your research
maternalist. But yeah, and you know Austin basically kind of had a similar mentality where he said he really actually believed that medical school should add a little bit of training for doctors like sort of communications training.
For All Med students to sort of learn how to begin communicating to people on social media and have that be a little bit more of a part of a holistic approach I guess and you know, so I think that idea is growing and we’re seeing more Health Care Providers join tiktok and sort of have positive experiences with it. So, you know to kind of close things up. What do you hope your audience ultimately takes away from your social media presence. And also what are your hopes for the future?
I would love to get into that but I don’t want to forget my thought because I’m remembering the Austin Chang comment. And I agree with him and another element that I noticed in my medical school training that I just want to talk about is they don’t do a good job about communication like bedside manner is not even a class. They’re like, oh patient-centered medicine and you go into the class and it’s all about the questions. You have to ask the patient without giving like we don’t learn statistics about how and this is a true thing on average. How long do you think a doctor lets a patient talk before they interrupt?
I’d probably say like
20 seconds 30 seconds.
What less than that 14 second
and they just like cut you off to get there and their questions and because that’s how we’re trained to talk and it’s horrible because then people don’t really feel like they’re listened to or we start anchoring on diagnoses without actually hearing your whole story. It’s just it’s not done well and because of my theater background the hardest classes for me in medical school were like the biochem classes and when my friends and I were talking together, I was like, oh my goodness guys biochemist so difficulty biochem is difficult, you know, what’s really difficult those patient classes like why are the patient classes difficult? You’re just talking to someone and they’re like, they told me this no one ever taught us to talk to people because you think about it Premed is like grueling science, like grueling calculus and all these like math and heavy questions and you’re like, why do we never learn how to like imagine if doctors had a public health class had a communication class, like imagine if we prioritize these things pre-med. Oh if I left if we had a whole talk about what?
Is and we could we could really change all of healthcare if we change medical education, but I think it’s been built this way because people are profiting off of it and I don’t know how they’re not able to see the clear gaps in training. Yes there needs to be a communication class because of that experience.
I went to my medical school and I said hey.
Let me create a class. I’m gonna teach a class called medical improv where I teach my classmates how to communicate better using theater games and like we would stand in front of each other and we’d like pretend to be mirrors and even just that ability to see someone make eye contact. These are things that they’ve never learned how to do because their heads are always in books. They’re not looking at people. They’re not hearing people and we had like 25 students who did it and they were like, this is Sensational. This is amazing. They like ask me to put it on for the whole Hospital nurses came and PAs cam as this huge thing teaching training doctors and Healthcare Providers to communicate better by bringing theater into the space. Like there’s an art to medicine that everyone’s been ignoring and it’s just like in our faces and because of that you have my yeah theater kids Galore actually at Health you would not believe it like every single person. I met I like talk to them about theater and they’re like, no way. I’m a theater. Okay answer.
Now like people have just the theater kids are changing Healthcare. They know that there’s a lot to life that has just been ignored and medicine is like Hootie Tooty science and snooty and it’s just like people don’t do that. People are complex and beautiful and holistic and we have to meet them where they’re at. So I hope the future of healthcare is to really prioritize health and not medicine and really, you know in my side in my side psychiatric patients and when I deal with them and take care of them 90% of that is behavioral things that are happening at home things that we need to build policies and programs to meet the child where they’re at and those children become grown-ups. I don’t like the word adults, but they become because we’re all just big kids trying to figure it out life because life has done a doozy and all of us and if our doctors and our providers could really hear us out and meet us where we’re at. Then we won’t have these problems and diagnoses that are just burgeoning inside of us and become like autoim
Disorders and it’s just it’s very complicated. But the answer is very simple bring back the art into medicine.
That’s beautiful and a great way to wrap it up. And thank you so much Peter for offering. You’re really important perspective on being a Creator on being a theater kid. I’m this idea of bringing the art back into medicine. I love it,
we really value insight and for anyone who wants to check out Peter’s tiktok page. It’s at Dr. Dot Disney on tiktok. Thanks again for being here.
Thank you so much for having me. I had an absolute joy and thank you for letting me share my perspective as well. Thanks Alexa.
Health policy update with Lecia Bushak.
As it does every New Year, the pharma industry is set to raise list prices on more than 500 drugs this January, according to Reuters and research firm 3 Axis Advisors.
Typically, pharma companies increase drug costs by about five to six percent every year, even amid backlash over high drug costs and a crackdown by the federal government on pharma companies that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation.
Pfizer has announced the most drug price hikes this year for the second year in a row, making up about 25% of all the increases planned, or about 124 drugs. Baxalta, which is owned by Takeda, comes second to Pfizer, planning 53 price hikes. UCB Pharma comes in third, with 40 price hikes.
While Sanofi has planned to reduce the prices of its insulin products this year, it also announced it will be increasing the prices of its typhoid fever, rabies and yellow fever vaccines by 9% each this year.
Some drugmakers ARE planning on cutting costs, however, with GSK saying it will reduce the prices of some of its asthma, herpes and anti-epileptic drugs in January.
The move comes as the pharma industry braces for the first wave of Medicare negotiations as included in the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022. Last year, the federal government chose the first ten drugs that will be included in negotiations. Later in 2024, it will announce the new lower prices of those drugs.
Typically, pharma companies raise prices every January, with the 1,425 drugs seeing increases in 2023. I’m Lecia Bushak, Senior Reporter at MM+M.
And this is the part of the broadcast when we welcome Jack O’Brien to tell us what’s trending on healthcare social media.
I want to throw it to you for a little preview of JPM next week sure and you know this Sunday, I’ll be heading to San Francisco for the 42nd annual JP Morgan Health Care conference known as the biggest week in biopharma. It’s of course where bdpe VC pretending to know what those acronym is mean and others converge to discuss potential m&a deliver Financial guidance and offer host of other updates on, you know, Regulatory and clinical matters and as such many look to this conference as an early age of how the year ahead is gonna play out. So just thought I’d share a couple of things that I’ll be on a lookout for deal making it is an investor conference after all last year many of the companies in biofarma and med tech and the investors put breaks on on their m&a.
Due to host of factors and when you look at the deal Market of last year, most of the deals came in the Q4 timeframe, so we had a sluggish first three quarters of the year and then the ramp up came toward the end of the year. So industrial look to sort of continue that that momentum going into 2024 and there are certainly a number of factors that are bringing them to the deal table among them is the 300 billion dollar patent cliff on on drugs, which is as someone pointed out to me recently three times what the prior patent cliff on small molecule drugs was that we saw about 10 years ago, which was largely replaced by biologics, which kind of came into their own the last decade. Also we have on the horizon as Lesha mentioned Medicare price negotiation kicking in very shortly and the macroeconomic picture is also improving with fed, finally sort of hinting. We’re in for some lower rates. So the cost to borrowing could come down but barriers abound including a Federal Trade Commission that has adopt adopted a decidedly anti-
Extensively under a new chairman and uncertainty around valuations, which is also a very important factor when VC and Business Development come people that work for the strategics. Look to do m&a next up. I’ll be looking at you know, therapeutic categories of Interest while the glp-1 drugs, of course made by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly emerged as Mega Blockbusters last year and dozens of companies are seeking to grab a piece of that market the biggest m&a of last year actually included Pfizer and it’s take over of sigen which is a maker of ecology drugs specifically antibody drug conjugates and have these acquisition of immunogen both of again also in the ADC area and so both were in the targeted medicine area and you know experts expect that Precision medicine will be a big focal point going into this year because people want to see drugs that really work for them for their specific.
Populations and makes Physicians feel better makes obviously patients feel more confident in the efficacy of those drugs in turn, you know, drug makers or more feel that there’s they’re less risky. We also see a lot of iteration Innovation, excuse me around selling Gene therapies. That’s getting a lot more interest. Obviously many more things to discuss, but those would be some of the key components. I’ll be watching out for as the sector converges on San Francisco next week. And if you’re going to be there, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.
And Mark, I said one more question before we go on to the next segment. Obviously last year. I remember you talking about how rainy it was and people always talk about how packed San Francisco gets me people having, you know meetings and coffee shops. I’ve even seen where they’ve been meetings in, you know bathroom stalls just to try and find any available space what has been your experience because you’ve been a few times over the years and it feels like it’s always kind of similar, but obviously a lot of activity goes on there, too.
Yeah, you know it’s a last year they had actually the attendance was down and I think was you know attributed to the fact that you know was the first year coming back from the pandemic years where it was 100% virtual there was two consecutive back-to-back years where it was 20 and 21. And so this year I’m actually interested to see what the attendance is. Like, you know, all indicators are that it’s gonna be you know gangbusters again, which is not a great thing considering, you know, having that many people packed into one, you know, relatively small building. There’s a lot of events going on on the sidelines, you know, yet buy a tech showcase being one of them and I think I believe JPM also is borrowing space and the Marriott as well, which is where biotech showcase takes place for some of their I think private track and so it’s good to see that there, you know expanding that the footprint a little bit but everything in around the city there’s there’s also you know panels I’m going to one panel
Tuesday morning. I was just invited to a second one Tuesday morning taking place off site. So there’s a lot of emphasis on just renting space, you know, wherever we can wherever it can be found. But you know, there there is that you know disturbing dichotomy of you know a city that you know, really shouldn’t be charging the outrageous prices. It does for meeting space and we see, you know, some of the crazy, you know, $100 an hour to you know, rent a table. You have a cup of coffee with somebody so it’s you know, there’s a lot to you know, not like about that.
Well, especially when you see these other conferences that are in some pretty, you know, interesting locales. I remember last year you talk about obviously just how much rain and now what it was. So yeah and thank you for reminding me. I want I meant to say we’re hoping for better weather. Yeah, last year was really a torrential. Excellent. I think we’ll be leaving as a snowstorm comes in on the East Coast. So hoping for better weather for sure. Yeah less and I’ll put up with that and you yeah, well you enjoy the weather. Well again, this is a good reminder because I’ve got a lot of pitches as well send those Mark’s way. I will not be in San Francisco send those to Mark and any interviews or you know opportunities for conversation feel them
you he’ll be right there. So that’s awesome. Looking forward to obviously the coverage we get from you next week.
Lecia, I want to throw over to you for our second segment.
In a TikTok video posted earlier this year, content creator Isabella Mainwaring says that “hormone imbalances” had taken away 10 years of happiness from her life.
Acne, bloating, difficulty in losing weight, disordered eating patterns, and anxiety and depression were among her symptoms. However, she details how so-called “hormone balancing” changes helped her “get her sparkle back.”
“I educated myself and realized that we live in a world designed for men and their 24-hour hormone cycle, which completely excludes our experience of a 28-day, on average, hormone cycle,” Mainwaring says in the video. “So I embraced my cyclical design and adjusted my diet and exercise to each of the four phases of my cycle. I feel like a whole new person – I have so much energy, clarity and I’m happy.”
The video comes off almost like a pharmaceutical ad – except instead of a specific drug or treatment, Mainwaring is marketing the idea of hormone balancing as a catch-all phrase to treat any hormone-related issue.
It’s part of a much larger trend on TikTok, where the hashtag #hormonebalancingtips have gathered more than 23 million views. Hormone balancing tips involve countless “holistic” solutions, like eating raw carrot salads, getting sunlight every morning, or drinking dandelion root tea.
Some of the steps listed in the hormone balancing TikTok videos are common sense: Maintain consistent sleep and waking times, limit phones and blue light use before bed, take morning walks and eat plenty of healthy, whole vegetables. Raw carrots, after all, can’t be harmful.
Still, the issue lies in TikTok creators making claims that holistic changes, supplements or cycle syncing will treat conditions that typically require a doctor’s guidance and real medical treatment. Additionally, the trend could contribute to people thinking they have hormone imbalances when they really don’t.
Yeah, I’ll hop in there first. I always think that there’s a risk. However, we do these segments about like is it gonna be too Niche is gonna be something that people haven’t talked about and then when you talk about these videos having 23 million views, I mean you think about for our audience of marketers, they’re like, oh if I if I only you I could get 23 million, eyeballs. All right, this FDA approved treatment or whatever and like you said, it’s glossy. It looks good. I watch the number of these videos on setting the story. It’s like I see the appeal and if I was an impression of I say impressionable if you were a younger viewer, but like even if you were somebody that maybe wasn’t that familiar with you know, who you should trust in terms of health care and your own care Journey, it could come off as as really coaching advice. When in the meantime it is kind of like
There is something to believe in it. There’s also.
As always got to do a little more research and gotta look for something a little more credibility. So yeah, that was my takeaway is just looking at and just seeing like, yep. It’s it’s only getting tougher to get that line between this is actual verified information. This is stuff that looks like it but there’s some more questionable backing on it.
Right. I too was struck by that comment that it comes across as a Pharma ad right which makes it harder to distinguish. What’s real what’s not but, you know less you pointed out and you’re reporting this past year that you know, Jensen Millennials as I mentioned in the top of the show are increasingly turning to platforms like tiktok to get Healthcare information in lieu of seeing their doctors and I think the one study you cited said 59 million people fall into that bucket. And so and it all it all comes down to language and lexicon, you know things like cycle thinking sounds real, you know, sounds like something legit and that’s where you know people like, you know your interview we just heard with Dr. Disney come into play, you know, people who grew up with social media and then combine that with the medical training and a real people, you know can can help to dispel some of these Trends and get real people on the quest or on the Quest for health like the rest of
Us back on track.
Absolutely. I think people like Peter fortunately. The number of Dr. Creators is definitely growing on the platform and they are really being a Counterpoint to a lot of these misleading Trends and you know will be definitely watching to see more of those Dr. Creators grow and establish more Authority on the site
and it’s just so interesting to just go back to Mark’s point a little bit on the language aspect. Like I don’t know about you like I’ll go on tiktok or something and I’ll see somebody that if they speak so authoritatively or we talked a few weeks ago about the the person with the self help book that was taking off on the Amazon like it’s kind of using that language I know usually has to do with like therapy or mental health care, but like people that it sounds like they know what they’re talking about. So I should believe them but then when you dig into it’s like, oh that’s not necessarily a real thing or it’s it’s more pseudo science than it is actual treatments. It’s just so interesting to see how it takes off and it’s it’s I’m glad that you’re able to have Peter doctor Disney on the show to be able to have an authoritative voice on this because
It feels like for so often we take these stories and it’s like somebody who’s just kind of shooting off at the hip and sometimes it lands and sometimes people are no better for it or their adversely affected. So, yeah, those those physicists and voices will provide a real Counterpoint indeed.
Just after we signed off for 2023, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released their shortlist for 10 categories at the upcoming Oscars.
Among these shortlisted films were those in the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short categories, which include some healthcare-focused narratives.
In the Documentary Feature Film space, there is A Still Small Voice, which follows Mati, a chaplain completing a residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she learns to provide spiritual care to people confronting profound life changes.
There is also Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which documents the acclaimed actor’s life living with Parkinson’s disease, American Symphony, which details Grammy Award-winner Jon Batiste’s tumultuous year while his wife Suleika Jaouad receives treatment for leukemia; as well as The Eternal Memory, which tells the story of a Chilean couple whose 25-year marriage is upended by an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
All of these movies, other than A Still Small Voice, are available to watch on major streaming platforms.
As for Documentary Shorts, there is Oasis, the story of Remi and his younger brother Raph, who lives with a disability, as well as If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis, which premieres on PBS next Wednesday.
The films nominated for the 96th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 23.
And obviously there are a number of stories that are going to be interesting to watch to see if they get nominated. There are a couple I would think that the Michael J fox one is the first one that jumps out to me would be probably a betting favorite for at least a nomination. If not a win. I know American Symphony and some of the sites that I’ve seen is also favorite there. It’s just always interesting to see some of these Healthcare Focus narratives really capture something in the broader general public. I know that’s obviously our work and we’re focused on it, but when it comes to healthcare media to see it take Center Stage like that is is really interesting. I remember last year. There was Nan Golden’s documentary which was nominated for best documentary about her struggles with opioid addiction and her
Trying to bring Justice or some sort of Justice to the Sackler family. So interesting to see this year is kind of more of a personal tale as well for those who do really well.
I think to your point Jack. This is just a sign that Health really does impact everyone directly. Sometimes it seems that you know Healthcare can be sort of a niche coverage area, but it really isn’t, you know, everyone is impacted by health and that’s kind of reflected and you know, these these documentaries and films reflecting a lot of health issues. Thanks for the list. I haven’t actually seen these yet but there’s several here that look really good and I’m probably gonna put them in my cue. So yeah, particularly the Michael J fox one I think will be really interesting to take a look at as well as the PBS special on Rural health care I think is going to be a really pressing issue as well. So thanks for the list.
Absolutely and Oasis was interesting too because the director of that I watch on the New York Times site, they have it for free for anybody that is worried that they don’t have a subscription for the times but it’s only 12 minutes and the director had said that he really wanted to focus this on more of a story Brotherhood, but you can’t watch it without recognizing that it’s a story Brotherhood Complicated by
Disability and being able to care for somebody in your life who has a disability. So kind to your point less it is all it all. It is all personal when it comes to health and I think that only makes the story is that much more meaningful to tell in a way.
Yeah, it really interesting segment here Jack. I think the mmms film and video awards category is going to see a record number of entries this year considering all these great masterpieces here and to let you to your point is it is a nice sort of contrast with last year’s documentaries a lot of a lot of the docuseries jack that you highlighted which seem to you know, play off that bad boy Trend. Yeah big vape and pain Hustlers the Bad actors of the industry and calling those out and kind of sort of applying a Hollywood lens to them. I would also think that a lot of in addition to a lot of you know people they’re gonna Ordinary People are gonna be watching these things. A lot of doctors probably are going to be watching these things which will increase their empathy, you know for all these you know, conditions and diseases but you know, I was recently emailing with somebody who is a filmmaker and works for a healthcare Media company in the industry. I won’t say the name for obvious reasons, but he was saying that
But you know amidst a lot of the Pharma sponsored and med tech sponsored films that they’re doing the docuseries are doing they’re doing shorter ones, but but higher volume so they’re doing a lot of these short form, you know docuseries type content that’s sponsored by industry that’s you know, focused on highlighting diseases or like the expertise of a Medical Institution or that kind of thing. So I’ll be definitely looking to to get some more insight on these. Thanks for highlighting them now and thanks for mentioning, you know, big vape and bad surgeon. Those were wow interesting. I was not holding out hope that they were gonna be nominated for an Oscar or pain Hustlers for that matter. No no offense to any Netflix Executives who are on our audience. So that was not a big letdown. Yeah.
Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of the MM+M Podcast. Be sure to listen to next week’s episode when we’ll be joined by Michelle Chen, president of Insilico Medicine.
The mmm podcast is produced by Bill Fitzpatrick Gordon failure, lesabusak and Jack O’Brien. Our theme music is by scissy him son rate review and follow every episode wherever you listen to podcasts new episodes out every week and be sure to check out our website. Mmm -online.com for the top news stories and farmer marketing.