Jack O’Brien interviews Tayla Mahmud and Mark Westall about M Booth Health’s “Chosen Circles” study on how Black Americans are taking greater charge of their health via trusted personal networks. Lecia Bushak discusses lawmaker and lobbying efforts to extend Medicare coverage to obesity drugs, as well as Bernie Sanders’ latest push to regulate drug pricing. And Jack cues up three topics for our healthcare social media segment: Andy Cohen and “Real Housewives of Ozempic,” Aaron Rodgers at a psychedelics conference, and how doctors are the most popular profession on TikTok. Music by Sixieme Son.

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.

Hey, it’s Marc…

Over the past few months, we’ve featured conversations with healthcare leaders about the tenets of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

These interviews have highlighted the biopharma industry’s blindspots related to health inequities and what big drugmakers, as well as marketing agencies, have been doing to remedy these longstanding institutional flaws.

Still, when it comes to integrating DE&I principles into patient communications, challenges remain. Some populations, scarred by mistrust of traditional healthcare players like pharma companies, physicians and health systems, require a different understanding and approach to disseminate useful information.

For one, marketers have to recognize the importance of personal networks of trusted sources. The Black community leverages these social circles as a conduit for credible health information when considering big healthcare decisions. 

That’s according to a new report, titled “Chosen Circles: How Black Americans Navigate Health Decision Making,” which analyzes how organizations and brands can more effectively convey health information to underserved and underrepresented communities.

The agency behind that report is M Booth Health, and for this week’s episode, my colleague Jack O’Brien spoke with two executives from the firm – Tayla Mahmud and Mark Westall. They’ll review some of the study’s eye-opening statistics as well as how health marketers can create more meaningful dialogue with Black American health consumers.

And Lecia’s back with a health policy update…

Hi Marc, this week, Eli Lilly unveiled promising results on yet another potential weight loss drug – and some lawmakers and pharma companies are aiming to get Medicare to cover this increasingly popular class of medication for obesity. Plus, Bernie Sanders continues his drug pricing regulation push.

And Jack – where did we land on this week’s healthcare social media carousel…

This week, Andy Cohen jokes that ‘Real Housewives of Ozempic’ is already airing, Aaron Rodgers talks about taking ayahuasca at a psychedelics conference and a study finds that doctors, followed by nurses, are the most popular professions on TikTok.

Hi there, and welcome to the MM+M Podcast. My name is Jack O’Brien. I’m the Digital Editor at MM+M.

Please be joined today by two guests from M Booth Health. We have Tayla Mahmood who’s the EVP of Health Equity and Multicultural strategy and Mark westall, who is the SVP of strategy and insight Taylor mark? Thank you for joining me today.

Thank you having us.

Thanks for having us Taylor. I want to start our conversation off here. Obviously and Booth Health just released the chosen circles report and I wanted to really kind of get an understanding that high level overview of the report and some of the key findings for our audience if you want to start there

Sure thanks for delving into this topic. We’ve taken a commitment to Health Equity and Multicultural strategy and we started digging through the research that exists and certainly We Believe health and equities are serious threat to Public Health and there’s a lot of research on multiple factors that contribute to health and equities. Well one that we found that’s overlooked is relevant health information, so we decided to conduct a proprietary.

Study to really look into understanding how Americans are navigating Health decision making and more importantly what brands and organizations need to do to more effectively reach and Empower American consumers and what stood out to us was the data among black Americans and in the study we uncovered that black Americans are creating.

Personal networks of trusted sources to build confidence in the face of information overload mistrust and all the Dynamics and the healthcare system and we’re calling them chosen circles. So that’s what pegged the name and more specifically within that research. We’re finding that over 60% of black Americans are creating these chosen circles and really it’s out of the need to have greater confidence relatability and representation in health information. So it’s relevant to them

Mark. Is there anything you want to hop in on that point kind of adding maybe any sort of Statistics that stood out to you from the report as you were gathering analyzing the information.

Yeah. So, you know Taylor alluded to obviously that’s been a ton of attention long life of Jew around the inequities that facing black Americans and Healthcare System today and the net impact of that.

Many of these individuals that we spoke to in our survey is that they feel an inherent lack of confidence and distrust in that system. And so that’s why they’re creating these chosen circles and we actually unpacked that and ask them. What are you looking for in the individuals or sources that you want to include in these chosen circles? They really hit on those things that Taylor mentioned around confidence representation relatability. So 57% of black Americans said that they’re curating multiple sources of health information to make them feel more confident rather than relying on as we saw later on in the study hcps that they perhaps don’t trust or have felt let down by so that’s a major major motive. It really is about building that confidence in the face of a system that has ultimately let them down.

And then beyond that once they’ve built that confidence, what else are they looking for in terms of the individuals or sources that they’re including in these shows in circles? They’re looking for shared experiences. What a relatable stories around health issues that they can personally relate to and that was one of the top reasons, you know a half of the black Americans that we spoke to said that that was a main motor for creating these chosen circles and they listed similar reasons to this too. They’re looking for people like me who share the same identity components as they do and that goes far beyond just race. It’s about looking for individuals same gender identity sexual identity and orientation and understanding from no sources. What was your experience in dealing with the certain health issue that I can relate to and they feel I think that that isn’t something that maybe getting from more traditional sources. So these are some of the the big big motivations behind why we’re seeing these chosen circles become more and more prominent. It’s interesting to hear you both talk about kind of these and I

That we’ve reported on this in the past rep in this trust among black Americans when it comes to healthcare institutions and Medicine in this country. I am really kind of curious and maybe Mark you want to tackle this one first and Taylor you can hop in in terms of the audience that we have of the medical markers the represent some of these farm and biotech Brands. They’re always looking for. Okay, we’ve were aware of the situation. We know that there are shortcomings. What do we do to rectify that? How do we build back the trust?

With these communities that may have you know, their doubts or their questions is given, you know, very justifiable history on that front.

So it’s a great question and I think it’s interesting you bring up potential Brands and organizations that might be listening to this is because we did explore and ask this audience directly around how interacting with government organizations and the health sphere and pharmaceutical companies too. And it was interesting what we found attention emerged 65% of black Americans say that they recognize that government health organizations are an important source of health information, but only 19% said they’d actually used a government health agency website to learn about health and on the pharmaceutical company side more than half 53% again said that pharmaceutical companies are an important source of health information, but only 13% said they’re actually going to them for their health information.

We have further unpacked that to explore. Okay, what are some of the reasons why you mentioned near Jack that a lot of these organizations are aware that you know that black Americans maybe feel a sense of distrust and negative sentiment towards those Brands but we actually asked why and the top reasons were these and more than one in three for each of these data points. Black Americans say, they don’t feel representing the health information that they are seeing from those government health organizations or from this pharmaceutical brands or the second one as they do not think health organizations care about people with their background and the net impact of that is therefore they don’t trust the health information that they’re receiving. So in short it’s they don’t see people that feel like them that look like them that represent their background their health issues in the materials that government health organizations and pharmaceutical brands are putting out and therefore they don’t trust it and so that in and

Self that representation piece is a big driving Factor. One of the things that was really important for us when we conducted This research was not just to reiterate the problem or regurgitate what’s already out there but to your point to actually look for some tangible Solutions and I want to just make sure that I don’t try to represent the voice of the research for participants because we actually asked them what they believe a health marketers and brands should do in terms of more effectively reaching people with truly relevant and valuable health information and I want to tell you what they said before I offer our perspective on what needs to be done. They said that they expect government organizations and Pharma to deliver information that’s trustworthy that’s accurate that’s easier to understand and that’s more inclusive. So they have higher expectations of Industry then they do of you know their

Down the street or a member. That’s a member of their chosen Circle. That’s not you know, an accredited Source certainly. They want to hear from people like them. They don’t want to just hear from experts. So I they want to receive information from people with influence that are part of the community and they also want government and Pharma to meet them where they are. So don’t expect them to go to your website and find information and take action but to do you know, they want information truly delivered to where they’re already consuming info, um, social media podcast even messaging apps and also one thing that stood out to us is that in person communication really builds trust and authenticity and that that came through to the Forefront and what I’m seeing in all of those answers is a certain level of humanity right engage with me as a person.

Be mindful that I’m an individual. I’m not part of a broader group. And so that came through really clearly and then, you know broader when we started looking at all of the input that we were receiving. We we truly believe that as marketers and Brands communicate and engage with black communities. We’ve really need to be thinking of inclusion as an input multiculturals and input all of this is not an output of work, you don’t create and create information and then just change the person on the on the on the ad or on the communications. You really have to start from the beginning with an inclusive approach to research to insights having voices at the table. So some of that foundational integration of inclusive Multicultural perspective and audiences at the table is critical to all the work that

Do it. It’s very interesting to hear you talk about that too Tayla in terms of maybe some of the experience that I think a lot of the brand certainly recognize during the covid pandemic and saw these racial Health disparities. And now as we you know, just this week seeing the public health emergency come to an end. It’s really saying, okay. So now what are you gonna do? How are you going to be able to actually turn these into tangible solutions to your point? It’s not, you know, just simply an output it just kind of changing around the deck here. It’s really something deeper that takes a long time and I imagine a lot of investment of resources and time to actually make that come to fruition.

Well, and I would say a change in process and perspective right? So it’s it’s it’s changing the way that we fundamentally build strategies so that we are not putting out something that speaks to a group. So a need for a tailored strategies a need to respect the individuals a need for Community engagement. That’s authentic. So I think it’s a shift in how we work and also an acknowledgment that Multicultural marketing is mainstream because our audience’s mainstream now.

Yeah, I would just add on to that. I think there is a seismic shift that needs to take place for maybe how brands are considering how they’re messaging to Black Americans when it comes to healthcare information. I think there’s an innate desire and tendency to have direct to Consumer messaging that pushes a certain messages out or pushes certain creative ideas to these audiences when in reality what they’re doing is creating these children circles which by the way and made up of friends family members of the community online influences. Even therapists were among the top individuals that black Americans are referring to for health information. And so for the brands that you’re talking about Jack it’s about how do we actually connect to the individuals that are in there sir? Not just directly communicating to them as individuals. So can we get that credible information to the friends and family that and maybe leaders within that church and circle or working with online influences that are seen as trusted sources and getting them the right information so that we can for want of a better term like infiltrate that Circle in a meaningful and truly helpful way.

So I think it’s about Healthcare brands, kind of read considering when reaching black Americans not thinking directly let not thinking first of all, let’s see how we can reach these audiences on mass as individuals but rethinking

Who are the most important individuals in the chosen Circles of black Americans typically and how do we reach them so that our messages and our information is getting out in a way. That’s actually breaking through.

I want to follow up and ask when it relates to that Outreach, you know, you’ve talked about kind of identifying these key statistics in terms of what black Americans are expecting from Healthcare organizations how they’re consuming their health care information and you know, you detail some of these Solutions. I’m curious from your own assessment whether or not brands at this point in time are living up to that promise or taking advantage of these opportunities or is there room for improvement. Is there a hey, you know, here’s the information that’s really key. But you have to act on it. You have to actually put into action.

I mean, I think there’s certainly room for improvement it and we’re you know, many many organizations are making strides but I think they’re certainly room for improvement and the areas just kind of taking a step back. The room for improvement is really on the input side. So it’s not necess, you know, it is only true that inclusive information can be created with inclusive inputs. So I think we have to really think about a creating information that’s going back to this study results creating information with perspective of historically excluded and underrepresented communities at the table with you know, certainly authentic stories helping with that understanding considering social determinants and a systemic barriers when we’re devising approaches so that we can make sure that it’s relevant and I think it has to start there and then certainly

As we look at to Mark’s point that will help us tailor strategies, but then being really mindful of who are the right trusted and authentic Messengers to carry the information that already have trust that that are audience is already turning to for advice and information and really activating those Messengers as ones who will enact change and not just looking within our four walls for delivery of health information.

Yeah, I would just add on to your original question Jack on perhaps what brands maybe could do better or what is being done? Well currently I would say that the intention is absolutely that and I think there is what’s been refreshing of the last few years is how Health Equity has risen to the full front and that’s important and I think there has been a rush for Brands to show that they too are committed to helping drive more equitable.

Access and care across minority audiences, but sometimes in that rush you can skip the step that Taylor is talking about where you know.

Before you get to an idea and an output and a strategy for how to reach those audiences. Have you got the people in the room? They get a truly gonna tell you how you can reach them in an authentic and engaging way. We very intentionally for example in commissioning is very study worked with Sprout Insight who are a female loan and minority-owned research fun because we knew we had to get the perspectives of individuals who had expertise and innate knowledge of that community and and how to truly understand and explore those needs and it’s a case of taking that approach and applying it to everything you’re doing in your communication strategies. Are there people in the room that are going to be able to speak to what this audience truly needs. If there isn’t what can we do to make sure that those voices are heard and are being carried through as we develop communication strategies and creative ideas. And I think that is a step that as I say in this rush to show a commitment can also often be skipped and when you skip that step

You don’t come across as authentic and your audiences that you’re trying to reach know that and that can be where all kind of Falls away again. So kind emphasize the importance of as Taylor really alludes to being inclusive in the entire process of building our strategy most importantly they’re very very beginning.

It’s very interesting to hear you both talk about just how key that is where it’s not just it’s not just something at the end where it’s like, okay, that’s how we switch it around. It really has to be kind of a revision of the process as it’s been, you know, truly from the ground up and I know that a lot of leaders who probably listen those podcasts are saying like, you know, that’s something that we have to really commit to but if you want to have those results and reach these communities and be able to have your messages heard and and received that’s that’s how the process goes. So I really want to to kind of cap off the conversation here. Obviously, you’ve thrown a lot of different statistics and findings from the report that I think are meaningful for our audience. I’m curious and Taylor maybe if you want to start us off here if there are any sort of, you know, maybe.

And findings or things that stood out to you that you know, we haven’t discussed here that you think would be one of the things that was most surprising to me is the concept of one in five black Americans say they’ve gotten sick in the last 12 to 18 months because they didn’t have access to health information that they need it that they felt relevant to them. And so I think oftentimes as we think about the breath of health information that exists we think there’s so much out there, but if it’s not relevant to a person or accessible to a person this is the sticks are high and people are getting sick because it just doesn’t appeal to or it’s not accessible to them and that’s really key.

Yeah, I would just build on that. I mean the one in five number the Taylor mentioned just 10 million black Americans that are getting sick every year because they don’t have access to the health information they need so this is a crisis that that we really need to take note yourself as communicators and the one final point out that perhaps surprised me the most was within that staff right? That’s one in five of all black Americans, but that number goes up and Highest among one particular group and that’s gen Z black Americans and so one in three black Genesee Americans say that they have gotten sick in the last year or so because they didn’t have access to health information they needed and this is particularly pertinent to know because here we are talking about Health Equity and desperately trying to change all of these historical and failings of the healthcare system and you have the youngest newest patient population telling us that it’s happening all over again. And so it’s we’re at it like at a Crossroads now where we really need to set up and take notice of data like this and develop new ways of working and and strategic approaches to make sure that we stop this now

another audience. I want to call out where this these data particularly strong is also among black mothers and we recognize based on the you know, the maternal death rates that this is also a key audience that require first information and attention and and you know certainly change but you know another factor is Black mothers are certainly a group where they’re ignoring health information because they don’t feel that it’s relevant or that it’s inclusive of them and they’re most likely of all subsets to create these chosen circles and for myself as a black mother I offer this example of the level of detailed information that’s needed and not available. When I was pregnant. I was looking for relevant information on how to navigate that experience. It’s new for me and all I came across was negative stories disparities and a bunch of negativity.

And what I was actually looking for was specific Council on how to create a tailored birth plan or how to navigate how to help my husband navigate being a black man needing to advocate for me in the delivery room. We’re oftentimes there’s racism and micro aggressions and and for that, you know, we almost we created our own circle if you will. So, I think the level of specificity and the Gap in relevant information. That’s there you you would only understand that by bringing in the perspective of someone that’s in that position and can understand the situation.

Exactly that that whole I mean one. It’s a very powerful Insight Taylor, but that’s also goes back to what you’ve been talking about this entire time about having the inputs that actually are able to to lead you to that understanding, you know, if Brands don’t have that awareness than you know, they’re they’re not gonna be able to act and make the change that’s ultimately going to affect patient outcomes in the positive way.

Well, I appreciate you both being on the show and being able to share the insights from this report. I know it’s certainly meaningful for our audiences. Again, we’re coming out of the covid-19 pandemic, but these lessons are still there, and they’re still so relevant to the to the activities. They’re going on today. So Mark Taylor. Thank you again for being on the show, and hopefully if there’s any other research from Booth Health down the line that’s really meaningful for the medical marketing Community. We’d love to go over here.

Health policy update with Lecia Bushak

Eli Lilly this week unveiled results on its experimental obesity drug, reta-tru-tide, which showed efficacy in reducing weight by 24% over 48 weeks. The drug may soon join the ranks of other popular drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro in being a tool to mitigate the obesity epidemic.

But the next battle for the makers of these drugs, including Novo Nordisk, may be getting Medicare to cover them when they’re used for weight loss.

Congress stopped Medicare from covering obesity drugs back in 2003. But some lawmakers – and the pharma industry – are aiming to revert that rule.

Drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are currently expensive, with Wegovy costing more than $13,000 a year, for example. If Medicare decided to cover these drugs for weight loss – the annual cost to the program could be more than $13 billion, according to Kaiser Family Foundation.

But some lawmakers, including Senators Tom Carper, Bill Cassidy and Brad Wenstrup, have noted that crafting legislation that would allow Medicare coverage is a priority, even as soon as this summer.

Novo Nordisk also recently hired a lobbying firm to work on the issue.

This month, Bernie Sanders also announced that he would oppose President Joe Biden’s NIH director nominee, Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, until the White House creates a plan to further reduce drug costs.

Sanders wants the NIH to introduce something known as the “reasonable pricing” clause, which requires so-called “reasonable” prices for drugs developed in partnership with the federal government. While this clause existed in NIH contracts with pharma companies back in 1989, the agency removed it in 1995 following industry pushback.

As head of the Senate HELP Committee, Sanders holds some sway over the Biden administration’s ability to officially confirm Bertagnolli as NIH director.

I’m Lecia Bushak, Senior Reporter at MM+M

And for our next segment, we welcome Jack O’Brien back to tell us more about those three issues trending on healthcare social media.

The inevitable has finally happened: diabetes drugs experiencing widespread off-label use for weight loss have found their way to reality TV. And Bravo head Andy Cohen is poking fun at the trend.

A few days ago on Instagram, Cohen responded to a TV writer who joked in a post: “This summer on Bravo, The Real Housewives of Ozempic.”

“It’s already airing,” Cohen wrote in the comment section.

As is the case with any joke, there is a kernel of truth in Cohen’s comment.

A few months ago, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dolores Catania told Cohen that she started taking Ozempic to lose weight ahead of the show’s reunion taping.

Former RHONJ star Jackie Goldschneider, who has been public with her issues with weight and eating disorders, added in a podcast earlier this year that “a lot of people in the Housewives world” are using Ozempic.

“A lot of my friends are in the Housewives world, so it was tough for me to come back, and suddenly no one’s eating when we go out to dinner,” she said. 

Obviously, we’ve had a lot of conversations in the past few weeks about Ozempic and Wegovy obviously we saw the promising information this week from Eli Lilly about read a true tide ready to however we’re gonna say yes provide, you know, it’s interesting to see it kind of coming to the fore in terms of Real Housewives. I can say here as somebody who watches both Potomac and New Jersey not surprising at all to see this as somebody that’s watched it. You see them airing, you know in April of 2022 and then they come back for the reunion and they’re 20 pounds lighter, but Cohen did raise an interesting point where he’s like what happens when you go off of this short-term weight loss solution and you don’t change any of your habits and all that weight comes right back on.

Right. I mean that’s that’s kind of like the Dirty Little Secret I think of these products is that they really have to be used, you know for life because like you say, there’s there’s going to be an inevitable rebound if they’re coming off the drugs after using it for short term weight loss but it just reminds me of Jimmy Kimmel’s comment at the Oscars, you know, look around the room and I wonder is those epic right for me? It’s perfectly encapsulated, you know, the fact that these drugs are you know, the latest Hollywood weight loss Trend and no surprise that they’ve crossed over into sort of the b-list celebrities as well. Yeah, I mean vanity is the name of the game when it comes to the housewives universe and it’s it’s unfortunate too. It’s a lot of these women too are not, you know overweight or obese by any sort of stretch, but they’re obviously So Vain and concerned about how they look that. They have to go on those epic or would go V or I even saw Charles Barkley. It talked about going on Manjaro to lose, you know, whatever amount of weight that he was after so it’s interesting to see that it’s finally kind of hit its natural resting place, which is the housewives reality TV universe.

Right and with as Lecia mentioned Triple G findings up to 24% weight loss which is even more than munjaro or trousepatide as it’s known chemically which was already on par with bariatric surgery. It’ll just be fascinating to see as these drugs become not only more, you know part of you know popular culture. They’ve already been compared to Viagra and Prozac and in terms of their, you know, becoming cultural touchdowns that they’re just I think eventually, you know Medicare covers them as again unless she was talking about, you know, they’ll the prices come down. Just who’s not going to be on them exactly.

So no, it goes from celebrities to you know, just the everyday consumer. So it’ll be interesting to see how that all right that all plays out in that dynamic

As a fan of the New England Patriots, I never like talking about the New York Jets but this podcast requires that I do so on occasion because of who their new quarterback is.

Last week, four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers spoke at Psychedelic Science 2023, a conference hosted by a psychedelic advocacy organization, to discuss his experiences with ayahuasca, how it contributed to his MVP-caliber seasons in 2020 and 2021 as well as what it meant for his brain.

“I found a deeper self love,” he said. “It unlocked that whole world of what I’m really here to do is to connect, to connect with those guys, and to make those bonds and to inspire people.”

In addition to his comments about psychedelics, Rodgers waded into familiar waters by discussing his thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccines, Big Pharma and anti-vax presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 

This came five months after Rodgers blamed the pharmaceutical industry for his newfound role as a “villain” following his decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19 during the 2021 season, instead saying he had been “immunized.”

And just one final note, Rodgers demanded a trade this offseason to the Jets, which are owned by Woody Johnson, the billionaire heir to Johnson & Johnson.

I should say. Yeah not withstanding, you know at the Aaron Rodgers angle in terms of his movement, but I think it’s worth pointing out that the organizers of this conference the multitisciplinary association for psychedelic studies recruited a number of you know, famous speakers as the AP outlines. They included one former NHL player an Olympic silver medalists figure skater Sasha Cohen the rapper and actor Jayden Smith a couple of comedians as well. As you know, the chair of the Columbia University psychology department, but this is all part of a very coordinated public relations strategy to legitimize help legitimize psychedelics as and their additional properties, but it would be Reckless to not Recognize that these drugs have, you know dangerous side effects as well. There are risks to taking psychedelics. And sometimes that can be lost, you know in a venue like this where you’re just kind of be seen as kind of pushing the science. Yeah, and we were talking about this offline before we started recording but obviously there is a nuances conversation where it’s not just the war on drugs and saying there shouldn’t be any sort of, you know, liberalization of drug laws across the country certainly on the federal or state level, but it’s also not a free-for-all too. It’s not some sort of libertarian Utopia where everyone can just take whatever amount of drugs they want any time and you know deal with the repercussions. There are things they have to be put in place for our protections for consumers protections for patients and that hasn’t changed yet. I know this all part of like you said this public relations effort and this advocacy push and unless you were talking about to the fact that the FDA has even kind of waited into those Waters this week in terms of how they’re approaching psychedelics.

Yeah, the FDA just this week actually release the first ever draft.

Students for psychedelic drug trials that’s going to outline some guidance for trial conduct data collection and subject safety for researchers who are trying to examine, you know, what some of the benefits are for psychedelic treatments for certain conditions like PTSD anxiety other mental health issues. This guidance is specific to Classic psychedelics. So that’s like psilocybin I think is how you pronounce it most commonly known as mushrooms Ellis dear MDMA, so I don’t think Ayahuasca is considered in that but it is a very first I guess small step towards some sort of regulatory guidance around this area. So that just happened recently and who even knows what the timeline of that is and like you said, it doesn’t even cover some of the ones that were brought up at this conference and that’s kind of the most draft guidance, you know, there’s no, you know working it out.

It’s a small step in that direction, but it is interesting too in terms of maybe what’s gonna be the lead candidate out of there. I’ve always seen a lot of momentum behind psilocybin we’ve seen a couple of States even take that push, but then there’s people that are Advocates about you know, what MDMA or what LSD can provide and obviously Aaron Rodgers thinks that Ayahuasca was the reason that he won two MVPs and never made a Super Bowl but that’s beside the point. It’s you know, moving in some sort of direction towards whatever we’re gonna see in terms of action on either the federal or more on the state level, right Still Still federally illegal legal in two states are in Colorado marijuana as we discussed as much further along we’ve discussed ketamine which you know, it can be ahead through ketamine clinics and it’s FDA approved as an anesthetic but also has these kind of psychedelic properties. So it’s interesting that the FDA has sort of codified that or made efforts to start to codify that so interesting progress.

Healthcare providers — including doctors, nurses and dentists — are some of the most popular professions on TikTok, according to a recent study from Registered Nursing.

TikTokers spent 630 million hours watching videos involving doctors, more than 628 million hours watching teachers, and some 427 million hours watching nurses videos, the study found.

Plenty of other healthcare-related professions — including orthodontists, pharmacists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, psychologists, optometrists, pediatricians, physical therapists, counselors, psychiatrists and dieticians — all made the top 35.

In short, people are flocking to TikTok for health information – a notion that’s not entirely new. There are, after all, countless famous physician influencers building their personal brands on the platform, like Dr. Noc and Dr. Anthony Youn.

Lesh. I’m really just kind of curious what you took away from the study. Obviously. I don’t think it’s anything that really surprised us, but people love to watch doctors do their thing.

Yeah. I mean, I would say probably wasn’t too surprising just because you know, I’ve been covering viral health videos on tiktok for a while and I’ve you know written stories about the most popular doctor influencers.

And healthcare-related influencers and it was interesting that this study in particular found that like those doctor reacts videos that I think everyone has seen across there for you page at some point, you know, we’re a doctor reacts to a viral video or some kind of Health Trend going on those tend to be the most popular videos that people are watching related to doctors. We’ve obviously seen the plastic surgeon reacts videos as well things like that. So people are really I think flocking to these authoritative voices on the platform these like Doctor influencers Who are going to offer their thoughts on a trend or some viral video, but whether that information is misleading or accurate is I think a little more up in the air because you know, there’s been a lot of studies that I’ve shown that the majority of health and mental health related videos are misleading on the platform. So even though these so-called professionals are very popular on the app.

You kind of have to do some more digging to actually look into their credentials and if they’re legit or not because there’s been a lot of nurse or doctor influencers who turned out to not have like proper credentials, but we’re claiming to be doctors on the platform. So kind of have to make sure that you’re taking those videos with a grain of salt I would say

And it’s interesting that you bring that up too because I it’s one of those things that you’ve obviously done a lot of reporting on the fact that there is a lot of misinformation on tiktoking you would think that a study like this would almost give these Healthcare professionals more of a responsibility to be providing credible information and saying their sources and some of them do but some of them again just they see those numbers go up. They see the clicks go up and they’re like, well I can go on there and say whatever and maybe kind of disregard that that medical ethics side that they have.

Yeah, definitely and as you point out the story less you say to this study from December 22 that found that 84% of mental health videos are misleading didn’t necessarily cross reference it with how many of those are Tech Talks by purported health professionals but just goes to your point that a lot of these have to be taking with the grain of salt and even those you know purporting to be health professionals may have questionable credentials. I’m most fascinated by the trend of other doctors, you know learning on the channel when we see these stats like the other one you you cited that gen Z and Millennials are increasingly turning to tiktok for health advice and information. A lot of those Millennials are health professionals, you know, this is they grow up with this and they’re comfortable not only creating in this medium. I think the creator of the year last year the year before was a physician we interviewed on the podcast and so, you know, they’re the ones that are both consuming and creating when we talk about tiktok for medical education. It’s just endlessly fascinating topic. So we’ll you know, continue to read your pieces with interest

for sure if I can just have one final note on it too. It’s really interesting because I’ve I had conversation for a magazine story. I wrote a while back about the state of Twitter and obviously post Elon Musk buying and everything kind of where Physicians and Healthcare professionals go because they love Twitter so much but then you see something like this. It’s like they’re crushing it on tiktok, too. So maybe if Twitter’s not the home anymore, even if it just gets a little too crowded not to their liking there’s plenty of these where it’s doctors like you said looking at what their peers are doing communicating with their peers Community communicating with patients, you know, just straight up so it’ll be interesting to see if that kind of continues that migration over towards the app because it still allows them to have that sense of community. Absolutely.