ZDoggMD’s advice for medical students

Dr. Zubin Damania, better known as medical rapper ZDoggMD, is a Stanford-trained internal medicine specialist famous for his satirical music videos. “Readmission,” his parody of R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix),” has been watched more than 2 million times on YouTube. (”Let’s just prevent readmissions/manage those chronic conditions/ Need time preparing the handoffs/ Move along to other clinicians”)

Since creating his first video in 2010, Dr. Damania has used humor and music to address a wide range of healthcare topics including vaccine controversies, healthcare reform, and burnout.

On March 22, 2017, Dr. Damania took questions from Figure 1’s community of millions of healthcare professionals. You can read the full discussion on Figure 1. Here are some highlights:

1. How to reason with an anti-vaxxer:

“Get to the root of what they are afraid of and try to motivate them with compassion rather than directly challenging their beliefs through reason. People are motivated by fear and unconscious conditioning and ideology. Sometimes we have to compromise and go slowly.”

2. What to do about medical education:

“It’s truly an archaic system stuck in the Greek era. It is going to take a complete revamp to really make it a system that trains people to work in a collaborative practice. There are opportunities with newer schools to lead the charge (UT Austin, UNLV, etc).”

3. His advice for a medical students:

“Don’t overplan. Sometimes your path will emerge in unforeseen ways … most times, in fact. Let it happen, be open to new paths and experiences, and stay connected to the ‘why’ of what you’re doing (that’s often the first thing to go when we get busy and stressed). Medicine is SO HUGE that there is a niche for pretty much everyone. You just have to find it.”

4. Why he started making music videos:

“It relieved stress and provided a creative outlet for me in the depths of my career burnout. And it revived my career in the process because I was living my story and true nature, rather than suppressing it (I’ve always been a frustrated creative type LOL).”

5. And where to eat in Las Vegas:

“Now THIS is my type of question. Sushi: Sushi Fever on Sahara (I NEVER eat on the Strip, gross, overpriced garbage). Japanese: Raku in Chinatown. Vietnamese Pho: Sidestreet Pho. Steak and American cuisine: Echo and Rig in Summerlin. Strip Buffet: My favorite is Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan hotel.”

Figure 1 on 1s are live Q&As that regularly feature top names in healthcare. You can find more on the free Figure 1 app.