Health IT

Will the Neil deGrasse Tyson of medicine please stand up?

Neil degrasse Tyson

There are many inspirational names in modern-day healthcare and, partially due to reform, room for even more. But a commenter on Reddit posed the question of whether there is anyone who is as well-known and charismatic a spokesperson for medicine as Neil deGrasse Tyson is for astrophysics. (Perhaps medicine is too specialized to have one emergent voice, but physicists would probably claim the same.) Now, with the recently announced news of Tyson’s Cosmos remake, I can’t shake the commenter’s question:

Who is the Neil deGrasse Tyson of medicine?

While it’s hard to say medicine has one representative face or household name as recognizable as Tyson’s, here are some heavyweight contenders:

Atul Gawande

More than 70,000 Twitter followers, writes for the New Yorker, appears from time to time on Colbert Report


Regina Benjamin

TEDTalks, just left a super-visible position as US Surgeon General, an advocate for health medicine who built a rural health clinic then rebuilt it after Katrina, rumored to have  a Congressional race on the brain . . . .


Robert Winston

Less than 30,000 Twitter followers, but is regularly featured on comedy shows and documentaries for the BBC and leads a STEM outreach program for young students


Eric Topol

Under 30,000 Twitter followers, but advocate of patient empowerment and mHealth, author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine and the Endowed Chair of Innovation at the Scripps Research Institute


Ben Goldacre

Almost 290,000 Twitter followers, TEDTalk with more than 1,000,000 views, author of Bad Science


Sanjay Gupta

Almost 1.7 million Twitter followers, regular contributor to CNN, talks about pop med topics like medical marijuana and was even considered as a Surgeon General candidate. (But does he cater too much to public interest and not enough toward science?)



Who do you think is the best ambassador of medicine to the public?

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