#154 How I Fulfilled My Calling as Both a Doctor and a Comedian Through Social Media, ft. Dr. Will Flanary, aka Dr. Glaucomflecken
In this episode, Dr. Kim interviews Dr. Will Flanary who is not only a practicing physician, but also a comedian who had his start on social media as Dr. Glaucomflecken. Tune in to hear about his story, entrepreneurial journey, and how he uses social media to fulfill his calling as a doctor with a passion for comedy. This episode may inspire you to explore your own creative outlets or interests outside of medicine.
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Now, let’s look at what we discussed in this episode:
- How comedy shaped his identity
- Keeping up with his medical practice and comedy career
- Concerns about how the side hustle could affect his career
- What started on Twitter, now trends on social media
- Advice for fellow physicians to pursue other interest
- Content, social media, and connecting with Dr. Glaucomflecken
Here’s a breakdown of how this episode unfolds.
How comedy shaped his identity
Dr. Will reminisces how comedy was an integral part of his early life, and throughout his journey while becoming a doctor. From stand-up comedy gigs to joining open mics, he looks back to how comedy became a creative outlet, forming a healthy identity in his career and personal life.
“Medicine can very easily take over your life… you need to just actively try to hold on to those things outside of medicine that kind of make you who you are.” — Dr. Will Flanary
Keeping up with his medical practice and comedy career
Going to med school, then eventually becoming a full-time physician, Dr. Will shares how he used social media in his downtime to feed his passion for comedy. This eventually laid out his foundation for building his audience and community.
Concerns about how the side hustle could affect his career
He started with an anonymous pseudonym “Dr. Glaucomflecken” because of hesitations about community pushback on his comedic endeavors. Dr. Will stresses the importance of seeing the human side of physicians despite fears about how a passion project could affect their careers. He also talks about transitioning to private practice, being his own boss, and laying out his true identity found in medicine and comedy.
“I knew what to stay away from. I felt more comfortable making fun of things and knowing what to make fun of, what not to make fun of.” — Dr. Will Flanary
What started on Twitter, now trends on social media
Dr. Will recalls how telling jokes on Twitter eventually became videos of various skits during the pandemic. This has now led him to become a media personality where he creates personalized videos, cameos, virtual talks, and speaking requests among others — all while still practicing ophthalmology.
He also talks about how comedy made sense for him on a personal level, how important being genuine is when forming a social media presence, and how financial compensation follows by getting better at his craft.
“It’s just nice that you do something, you do it well enough that people are willing to pay you money for it.” — Dr. Will Flanary
Advice for fellow physicians to pursue other interest
Comedy for him was more than a creative outlet, it was also a coping mechanism for him to push through difficult moments in his life. These life experiences led him to shape his humor and then use it as advocacy in an effort to do his part to better the community.
“I’m not just telling jokes, but also trying to do my part, whatever I can do to bring awareness to some of these issues.” — Dr. Will Flanary
He advises fellow physicians to reflect upon themselves when pursuing something personal.
“What do you leave behind? And what do you [do] to free up more time for something that you’re passionate about? And that’s a really personal thing.” — Dr. Will Flanary
Content, social media, and connecting with Dr. Glaucomflecken
Dr. Will shares his techniques for coming up with ideas while doing research for content. He reveals how various social media platforms helped him greatly in knowing more about his audience and what issues to tackle for his skits.
He also took his stance on how important physicians are on social media, saying that there’s room for their voices to be heard.
“We need more like trusted physician voices, and just health care professional voices on social media, because that’s where our patients are, that people are getting their information on social media, you don’t have to tell jokes.” — Dr. Will Flanary