COMMENTARY

The Doctor Will Rap for You Now

Siobhan Harris

March 29, 2019

Video credit: Nomzzay/Instagram/YouTube

Making people aware of public health messages can be a complex process. It’s certainly one that the Government and charities spend a lot of time and money trying to get right.

One doctor from Croydon in South London has his own novel way of educating people about their health and wider issues affecting society. He uses rap.

Dr Noman Mohamed aka 'Nomzzay' has released raps about knife crime, obesity, pregnancy, and violence on NHS staff.

He's also produced tracks about looking after the elderly during the winter, the benefits of childhood vaccinations and the importance of men checking their testicles for signs of cancer.

Thousands of people have watched his rap videos on Instagram. Many of them are young people who are harder to reach when it comes to putting across public health messages. They don't tend to access medical information in a traditional way and are less likely to go to their GP.

Dr Mohamed, made the shortlist for the 'GP trainee of the year – rising star award' at the General Practice Awards.

Medscape UK asked Dr Mohamed about how he combines medicine with rap:

Q&A

What gave you the idea for making the raps?

I was scrolling through my Instagram explorer page a few years ago and came across various rap challenge videos. On viewing these videos I became intrigued by the significant level of interaction they received. A rap challenge is essentially when an artist releases his musical beat and challenges members of the public to perform their own rap over the beat. I did a quick freestyle in the kitchen one day, just for a laugh, but my wife felt it was really good and convinced me long and hard to put it online. I eventually gave in and was overwhelmed with the positive response I received not just from the public but from the artist himself who shared my video on his social media. I decided to use this as a novel means to educate the public on important public health issues.

What do people think of them? How many hits do they get?

I get anywhere between 2000-12,000 views per video on my Instagram account and so far I have received nothing but praise and positive feedback from the public. I did receive one comment which said 'Stick to the day job' and I agree there may be some truth in that so rest assured I will not be auditioning for X-Factor anytime soon!

The raps are aimed at different sectors of society, men, women, the young and the old. Are they all messages which you feel need to be put across more?

Yes totally, health promotion and prevention of disease is the ultimate goal I have as a practising doctor. I feel it is important to share my knowledge and get members of society talking about health who may not have otherwise. I feel the unique style of delivery of the messages sparks a curiosity and desire amongst the public to learn more about health.

Your first rap was about knife crime and its effects. Why did you chose that issue?

At the time I was working at a very busy emergency department in London and was unfortunately seeing many victims of knife crime. It was almost a daily occurrence, so I felt I had to share my perspective on the situation and take some initiative to warn people of the real perils associated with using a knife.

Have you any more raps planned?

Yes! I will try and be more active on my social media so please keep a look out!

You can follow Nomzzay on, Instagram (@Drnomzzy), Twitter (@Drnomzzy), and YouTube (Drnomzzy).

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