Alok Patel

Name: Alok Patel, MD

Location: Columbia University Medical Center, New York City

Specialty: Pediatrician, Associate Professor, Journalist and Startup Advisor.

How many of you feel like your patients consider you the 2nd opinion after first consulting Dr. Google? How much of your time is spent fighting through a jungle of pseudo science and misinformation just to reach your patients? Why is it so hard to earn their trust?

With all the talk today of fake news, the erosion of journalism and the shallow miasma of modern media things look pretty grim. But this is Peerspectrum. Lamenting over the state of affairs is not what we do here. Despite the circumstances, there are some out there (particularly physicians) engaging these problems head on. Today’s guest is one of them.

Dr. Alok Patel is a Pediatrician and associate professor at Columbia University, in New York City. He’s also rising voice among physicians using modern media to defend and advance medicine.

Alok is a regular contributor to Medscape, and he has recurring segment on ABC News. While he rubs shoulders with people like Katie Couric and Whoopi Goldberg, he’s not afraid to get his hand dirty, even dodging attacks and personally fighting it out on social media.

This is great episode here folks and one of real importance today. Let’s get started…

Show notes:

-Patients with “alternative views towards modern medical care”

-“Where is the information coming from that’s resonating with them?”

-Getting a call from Dan Childs, Managing Editor of the ABC News Medical Unit. How did Alok get started in media?

-5 week internship with ABC news in residency.

-Finding the intersection between entertainment and public health.

-Writing as tool to get your name out there and clarify your thinking.

-How do physicians break through all the noise, and unqualified medical advice, to reach an audience?

-“Not every public health fight is going to won solely by evidence based logic.”

-Patients don’t care about physician burnout.

-Don’t fall in the trap of the echo chamber.

-What it’s like to be attacked on social media.

-Why should you consider social media as a tool in your practice?

-Using Twitter as lens into people’s minds

-Moving your patients’ where you want them starts with knowing where they are.

-Is the media today driving important issues or being driven by trends?

-Playing poker with Whoopi Goldberg.

-Using social media to grow your practice

-What is a tweet chat? Using social media as a professional collaboration tool.

-Twitter is not for medical advice!

-Talking about politics.

-Alok’s work with medical start-up, Medumo


One thought on “Evidence Based Medicine Strikes Back! CNN Producer, Dr. Alok Patel on Medicine in Modern Media

  1. Found this podcast w/ Dr Alok Patel to be very enlightening and informative. Having worked in Palliative Care Services for the last 8 years, communication with patients and families through family meetings was conducted w/ nearly every Palliative Care consult. His advice and tips on how to meet patients and families where they’re at was very inspiring. Particularly, when it’s popular for this population to obtain their medical info from Google, Dr Patel uses an approach that does not attack them for this, but simply asks ‘why do you feel that way’ to a particular topic, ie: some feeling negative about vaccine use. He stressed the importance of education with this population in why science supports vaccine use and why. Also liked his method of bonding with individuals to decrease their stress level such as: ‘I like your Cavs T-shirt, I’m a fan too” Not ever using such social media as Twitter to give medical advice, is something ALL healthcare providers need to be reminded of in order to be HIPPA compliant and avoid malpractice lawsuits. As an NP I have provided medical info via brochures and articles etc. But I totally understand that this is no longer the best way to reach patients & families. So many more now, resort to email or texts and I agree w/ Dr Patel that this can be a time and cost savings for many.
    Excellent podcast and I hope Dr Patel will return for another, as we have much to learn from him and the great questions from Keith Menkin and Colin Miller!


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