Published on November 5, 2023, 12:57 am
Patients seeking medical advice have come a long way. Nowadays, it’s quite common for patients to find solutions for their complaints before even consulting a doctor. Dr. Palaniappan Manickam, a gastroenterologist based in Sacramento, California, humorously acknowledges this shift in dynamics between doctors and patients. With his engaging personality and expertise in the medical field, Dr. Pal has become an internet sensation, attracting a massive following on Instagram and YouTube.
Dr. Pal’s journey to social media fame was unintentional. Initially, he created a video that turned out to be more like stand-up comedy than the serious content he had intended. Unsure of what to do with it, he followed a friend’s suggestion and uploaded it to YouTube. To his surprise, the video went viral overnight, garnering numerous comments and views.
This unexpected success led Dr. Pal into the world of “medcom” – medical comedy. He effortlessly combines his knowledge of medicine with humor to raise awareness about health issues and guide people on modifying their lifestyles for better health. Live performances like “Laws of Weight Loss” and “Fun with Fasting” have captivated audiences both in India and the United States.
From early on, Dr. Pal realized he had a knack for comedy. During PowerPoint presentations, medical students often responded positively to his self-deprecating jokes. As he pursued his master’s degree in Boston and Detroit, teaching medicine became an opportunity for him to use humor as a way to connect with students.
When it comes to patient care, Dr. Pal believes in using humor to put his patients at ease while imparting essential information effectively. For instance, when patients visit him for an endoscopy procedure, he good-naturedly greets them by saying, “Soon I will know you inside and out.”
In addition to promoting laughter during consultations, Dr Pal advocates for lifestyle changes that support good health. He encourages people to follow their circadian rhythm by maintaining regular sleep and waking patterns, as well as eating meals at the appropriate times. He emphasizes the significance of maintaining a healthy weight and offers practical guidelines such as having dinner before sunset or scheduling social get-togethers during lunch instead of late dinners.
In one of his YouTube videos, Dr. Pal shares five steps to get started with intermittent fasting for weight loss. According to him, patients who had not previously sought his medical advice but watched his videos experienced remarkable weight loss ranging from 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 13 kg).
Dr. Pal explains that aligning meal times with the body’s insulin cycle can have a significant impact on weight loss. With insulin being like a bank open from 8 am to 6 pm, he suggests that food should be consumed within this timeframe. Any food consumed outside this window gets stored in the “fat account,” potentially leading to health complications like diabetes. When insulin levels decrease after sunset, the growth hormone takes over during sleep hours, repairing the body and preparing for another day.
With his captivating YouTube videos and popularity on Instagram, Dr. Pal has become an influential figure among Tamil and English speakers in India and among the Indian diaspora worldwide. Many seek his advice through social media channels; however, due to overwhelming demand, Dr. Pal’s schedule remains booked until the end of 2024.
For those unable to secure appointments, social media serves as a platform to tap into Dr. Pal’s wisdom. His informative yet entertaining videos reference various aspects of Indian culture such as films, actors, cricket, food, and songs. Through these mediums, Dr. Pal aims to bring about positive change in Indian lifestyles by promoting healthier habits and diets.
The funds generated from Dr. Pal’s shows contribute towards palliative care efforts in India and supporting children with cerebral palsy.
Dr. Pal believes that prevention is better than cure. Although the medical system primarily focuses on treatment, he aims to shift the paradigm by emphasizing preventive measures through his social media content. He stresses the importance of physical activity, such as walking at least 10,000 steps a day, as a healthy habit that can prevent future health problems.
Dr. Palaniappan Manickam’s unique blend of medical expertise and comedy has made him a respected authority in the field of health and wellness. With his online presence reaching millions, he continues to make strides towards improving lives and building healthier communities on a global scale.