TikTok Is the Best QI Project for Doctors

TikTok Is the Best QI Project for Doctors

So, you want to be a TikTok doc?

Welcome to the medical side of TikTok – Read about becoming a TikTok doc! 

Check out one of my favorite #TikTokdocs content creators:

@rubin_allergy is a double hula hooper who can tie a bow tie while hooping (is this a verb) and opens every video with, “Holy Cow Folks.”

He’s a pediatric allergist and immunologist sharing the latest studies and recommendations regarding COVID in children. 

What It Means to Be a TikTok Doc

What does it even mean to be a TikTok doc?

I was wondering the same thing when I launched IME Community (@imecommunity on TikTok), a digital life and weight coaching platform for teens on January 25, 2021. 

I had no intention of becoming a TikTok doc.  Since I coach teens, everyone said that TikTok would be the panacea to my successful digital entrepreneurship goals. Everything I do aligns with my vision, “creating community with compassionate connection” and so, luckily for my financial goals and ego, I viewed TikTok as a curious fun learning opportunity to show up as my true self. 

TikTok has allowed me to fully own Dr. Karla, ActivistMD.


Okay. Fine. I’ll do it. With some advice and technical support from my teens, I launched my TikTok adventure the day my website launched.  

Now, here I am, 15 months later, all in, most famously known as the Doctor disrupting weight stigma and bias in healthcare, reversing insulin resistance, and helping everyone find self-love superpower.

I’m using #tiktokdocs with every post, currently have 63.5k followers (not that many according to most of the creators I follow) and growing (I hope to get to a Dr. Evil 1 million). I have over 800 videos that I recently put into a playlist of 10 different content topics.

I’ve spent nearly two decades of my career addressing the childhood obesity epidemic, but have learned so much more from TikTok about what patients experience than I ever did in medical school, residency, as a community pediatrician in a clinic, as a physician leader at a Children’s hospital or as the founder of a community non-profit. 

Learning More About Patient Experiences Through TikTok

TikTok is a collective of shared individual patient experiences, so much so that my daughter and I did a qualitative study, published in KevinMD.com, on the harms of medical gaslighting due to weight stigma and bias after mining over 800 comments on my first viral TikTok post.

In medicine, we are often stuck in systems that are non-agile.  Physicians are required to jump through the hoops of constructed QI maintenance of certification projects which, we all know, are not that useful in practice. 

Physicians don’t often get the chance to show the different sides of ourselves within static healthcare systems. 

Why TikTok Is the Best QI Project for Doctors

TikTok is the best QI because of the platform’s built-in PDSA cycles.  First, start with your AIM statement which I suggest could be something like:

Disseminate the most up-to-date information on (insert content topic) on social media platform and measure analytics. 

Plan: Do you want to share content based on a recent study, common trend or misinformation that’s out there?

Do: Make the video using a TikTok trend, duet a popular creator’s video, or create your own informative video. 

Study: Measure your built-in TikTok analytics.  

Act: Refine the change and act on what you’ve learned. Try making a response video. 

I’m going to suggest to the American Board of Pediatrics that all my time on TikTok should count as MOC credit this cycle.  

If you want to get on TikTok, decide ahead of time by asking yourself these powerful questions:

  • How do I want to show up? 
  • What is the cause I am called to tend to?
  • Where do I want to put my attentional focus?
  • How will I measure my success?

Don’t try to predict the clock app’s algorithm, get obsessed with which hashtags to post, or constantly check your vanity metrics (total time suck and energy drain).

Ignore haters and trolls with my simple strategy:

  • Report/Delete/Block 
  • Lather/Rinse/Repeat

Most of us went into medicine to connect with humanity and to make a difference. TikTok is a great platform if you’re a doctor who takes your work seriously, but not yourself.  

If you’re feeling called to be a #tiktokdocs, click on that app and dive in. The water’s fine. Follow me @imecommunity and I’ll follow you right back.

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD

Parents – Stop Weight Bullying Your Kids and Your Kids’ Friends

Parents – Stop Weight Bullying Your Kids and Your Kids’ Friends

You’re crossing an inappropriate boundary when you judge and comment on a child’s body.  

Do better! Now! It’s time to stop weight bullying your kids and your kid’s friends.

Stop Weight Bullying – It’s Abusive and Toxic

Here’s the logic thread: If you bully, your kid will bully.  If you are bullying, do a U-turn.  You are bullying yourself.  If you bully, you are stuck in diet culture and its toxic harms.  All of it trickles to your kid.  You are living a limited life and you’re putting cinder blocks on your kid’s potential growth as a human being and chance at happiness.   

When I started TikTok over a year ago, I was shocked at the number of videos of body positive creators getting cyber-bullied based on their body size.  Absolutely horrible! So, I started making videos talking about how you know nothing about anyone else’s health.  Health and weight are not directly correlated and health information is private and protected.  So, that was that.  And, the cyber-bullying continues in full force.

Then, shockingly, I started noticing videos made by young adults whose parents have weight bullied them.  Totally disgusting and abusive! So, I made duets and called it out on my go-to platform, TikTok. 

Okay then, what will I discover next after putting on my scuba gear and diving into the clock app? 

I won’t change the world.  I’m here to learn.  Listen. Listen. Listen. 

Just the other day, I ran across a video while scrolling, where @powerlove2855, who I follow and you should too, talked about when she was little, her friend’s mom weight bullied her.  Unbelievably toxic! 

Weight Bullying Video with a Teen TikTok Creator

Of course, I did a duet video with @powerlove2285 on TikTok:

My text at the top:

Studies show young children experience weight-based victimization from parents, friends, peers, doctors, and teachers.  

 “On more than one occasion in elementary school I would have a friend tell me that her Mom said I was fat and I needed to lose weight. That Mom was secretly hoping that that little girl would stop being my friend.  Because she wanted her little girl to have the social capital of being friends with all the pretty, tiny, little Limited 2 girls back in my time.” 

“It is so absolutely petty.  The part of this conversation of growing up fat that we don’t talk about enough is that adults that are not your family, not your parents consistently comment on your body.  Friends of parents, teachers, lunch ladies, school librarians, neighbors, unhinged women at the grocery store who tell your Mom to stop feeding you.”

“The absolutely disgusting commentary around a child’s body must end.  Must end.”

The comments on my video are rolling in and it’s not looking good, folks! Grandparents weight bully, Parents, friends’ parents, teachers, doctors, neighbors.  It’s a toxic entitlement to comment on children’s bodies.  As a pediatrician and mandatory reporter, these comments strike me as inappropriate on the level of verbal and emotional abuse.  Let’s disrupt the toxicity by calling it out! 

Weight Shouldn’t Be Weaponized

Research and studies have been out for quite a while of parental perceptions of weight-based victimization, its harms for their children and listing weight bullying as the number one health concern for parents of teens with overweight.  

It’s unfortunately, not a surprise that children in larger bodies are ostracized and their weight is weaponized as a weakness, just as they are growing and developing.  

Parents, we can help our children and teens create bully bans or boundary setting statements, but, if you are a weight bully stuck in diet culture and your internalized biases, you’ve got some work to do.  

Make a Commitment to Stop Weight Bullying Your Kids or Teens

Commit today to stop weight bullying your child or teen.  What are your future parent guide words?  Envision you showing up as the kind of parent you want to be.  Nobody’s watching but you, and your kid.  If you are a parent who is a weight bully, you’re most likely weight bullying yourself and it’s not a simple flip of a switch to cancel diet culture. Your children and teens are worth the work you have to do to do better. 

May 2022 Is Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month.  Teens are in a Mental Health Crisis as another wave of COVID hits. We simply don’t have time or tolerance for adults who bully children. 

Go to imecommunity.com and get on my email list, read and share my blogs! Follow @imecommunity on TikTok!

Self-love superpower, 

Dr. Karla, ActivistMD