Whose health advice do you take? Celebrities’ or your doctor’s?
Ask yourself this–would you be more likely to listen to health advice from Dr. Dre or Dr. Lena Jafilan? Here is a little background: Dr. Dre is a rapper, record producer and entrepreneur. Dr. Lena Jafilan is a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group. She attended the American University of Antigua and completed her residency at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Who do you choose?
Celebrities such as Dr. Dre, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian reach consumers daily with messages including product endorsements, personal stories, opinions and much, much more. Health advice is one of the latest to take center stage.
Fans go crazy over the latest story about Selena Gomez taking a break from the spotlight to focus on her treatment for Lupus. Recent buzz around Ben Stiller being diagnosed with prostate cancer nearly two years ago has been flooding the airwaves. A new commercial featuring television physicians promoting yearly check-ups is the latest glimpse at the influence of celebrity.
“Celebrities can have a tremendous positive impact on our behavior,” says Dr. Jafilan. In 2000, Katie Couric televised her own colonoscopy screening. According to USA Today reports, colonoscopy rates nationwide jumped more than 20 percent in the days and months that followed.
Katie Couric has a commitment to colon cancer advocacy, and with that, she has partnered with a variety of health care specialists and has shown to be a positive influence. “The importance of Katie Couric’s advocacy is that she is backed by reputable health care sources,” says Dr. Jafilan.
Word of mouth, whether from a friend or celebrity, is still a powerful tool. But, Dr. Jafilan advises that what works for one patient does not always work for all. “When it comes to health advice, I encourage patients to consult with a physician before jumping on a celebrity bandwagon.”
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