These days there are a number of social media influencers who position themselves as experts on health and wellbeing without having any medical training. If you’re going to follow a health and wellbeing influencer then make it a doctor, or even better make it two.
Dr Raja Chaganti is medical oncology registrar and Dr Kavya Kudithipudi is a GP registrar who has spent the last few years working as a hospital doctor and completed an Advanced Diploma in Obstetrics and a Diploma in Child Health. They are a doctor power couple who are using social media to educate people about general health the right way.
Medworld spoke to them about life as a doctor couple, and their social media passion venture: Two Aussie Doctors.
Although they are both medical professionals, Dr Raja and Dr Kavya met through their families when their parents introduced them. At the time they were living in different states so they were dating long distance for about a year and a half before Kavya moved to Sydney and they got married.
NCIB contends that because of the lifestyle doctors lead, 44% of doctors marry other doctors because it’s easier to date someone in the profession. Would you agree?
I don't think it is easier or more difficult being married to another doctor. It is helpful to debrief with someone who understands first hand some of the things we may experience or the demands at work, but your partner doesn't have to be a doctor to understand this. The most important thing is to have someone who is supportive regardless of their profession. On the flip side, it can also be challenging when you're both doctors and you are working long hours and the rosters don't align to give you time off together!
Do you come home and share stories about your day?
Sometimes; usually only if there is something significant that has affected us that day. We try to find other things to talk about as well so we're not stuck in a medical bubble! A lot of our friends are non-medical which helps too.
Tell me about your Instagram project?
Our Instagram page @twoaussiedoctors is a place for people to learn about common and important health conditions in easy to understand language. The goal is to improve health literacy to as wide an audience as possible. Using a social media platform makes this information more accessible and fun!
Why is this important to you?
A large portion of the time spent consulting with patients is used to educate patients about not only their current health problem but also about prevention and screening to optimise their general health. I also noticed that there is a lot of misinformation out there about so many health topics. There's also a lot of non-medical 'influencers' on social media discussing various aspects of health. It's difficult for a non-medical person to know where to start or what information to believe when it comes to managing their health. We believe it is important that doctors also have a voice in social media to provide evidence-based information in an easy to understand format. Knowledge is power, and we want to improve health literacy so everyone can have better health and wellbeing!
Since launching Two Aussie Doctors, Dr Kavya says she has noticed an increased engagement around common health topics for example, the recent post on miscarriage and other posts on hayfever and eczema prompted a lot more comments and private messages than others. “It’s only early days” says Dr Kavya, but the ideal outcome would be that when people find a post useful, they share it with their family and friends.
Dr Kavya and Dr Raja hope that the Two Aussie Doctors project can influence people on health and wellbeing the right way, with advice from trained medical professionals. If people are more educated about health, they are better equipped to make informed decisions together with their doctor and can avoid preventable health problems, as well as better manage their existing health problems.