Let’s Talk About Social Media Doctors and Douchery


The age of Social Media has given doctors/nutritionists/therapists etc., a much broader reach than any of them could’ve imagined years ago when they were studying their specialties.  The result has been both good and bad.

On one hand, we lay people have greater access to helpful information… but the social media doctors have also become “personalities”.  The desire to reach more and more people can take hold…

the savior complex can come knocking at the door…

and sometimes there is the belief that more and more people will run to you for “saving” if they feel particularly scared and helpless.

It appears that even doctors (who are sworn to help people) can subscribe to flat out fear mongering and douchery.

Let’s freak everyone out. Let’s be an alarmist… and when they come running, I’ll be over here waiting with my stethoscope and my jazz hands.

I was scrolling through my facebook stream this morning when I saw this:


*trigger warning





Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.14.07 AM



You’ll see in the comment section above that I couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one. I don’t know who this doctor is, and I can’t remember who shared it on my facebook stream…

But if your job is to care for people, then I expect you to be halfway decent about it.

Not only is it a ridiculous and offensive comparison, but it is a triggering image purposely put out there to ignite fear and helplessness. As far as I know, no where in the Western world is anyone held down against their will and forced to have a vaccination.

I’m not usually one to point out the wrongs of someone on social media. I am a firm believer in curating my own social media experience – I will block, unfollow, etc., to my heart’s content…

but Dr. Tenpenny was horribly irresponsible with this post.

There is a danger in striving to be the doctor, preacher, and savior all in one… especially when social media has given people a giant bull horn.

How many people will you hurt in the name of “help”? When does the agenda become more important than the people?

Eventually it can become akin to slicing just to stitch.

I’m all for doctory.

I’m anti-douchery.

It’s also important for me to acknowledge here that I know a great many doctors online who are outstanding at what they do. My friend Deborah Gilboa has built a wonderful platform with Ask Dr. G, where she continues to offer helpful and compassionate advice as a pediatrician…

But to the alarmist who calls herself Dr. Tenpenny, there is a line of decency that can become blurred when the ego gets too big.

I’m here to tell you that you crossed it.


jenni chiu sig


Please note: Dr. Tenpenny did not create this image. It was created and originally posted to a facebook page linked to the Australian Vaccinations-skeptics Network and has since been deleted. Regardless of who created the image, it shows a severe lack of common sense and compassion to find this image sound enough to promote yourself as a doctor.

3 responses to “Let’s Talk About Social Media Doctors and Douchery”

  1. Lori says:

    Ugh. You may have seen it because I commented on it. I’m sorry – I worried about that when I did, with the way the FB algorithm wants you to know what your friends are up to.

    What it should have said was, “Lori commented angrily on a vile piece of tripe!”

    But it’s not quite that smart.

  2. Meg Collins says:

    Disgusting on so many levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *