A team of young Malaysian doctors have made it their mission to fight the great health information disparity between medical professionals and the public in the country
Expedited by the pandemic and the volume of misinformation surrounding COVID-19, two brothers from Johor and their friends decided to start Docere — a platform for people to find credible health information provided by professionals.
The brothers, Jared Siow, 26, and Siow Yu, 25, are both junior doctors who pursued their medical education in the UK
After years of seeing the difference in patient education between overseas and Malaysia, they are hoping to create a fun and friendlier way for Malaysians to access information for general health concerns.
"Docere means 'to teach' in Latin. And that is what we are trying to do - empower the public with health information and be that group of friendly neighbourhood doctors," Jared told SAYS.
He said the public is rarely educated on health issues, and if it wasn't for the pandemic, nobody would talk about health at all.
"So we hope to be an objective voice out here teaching people about the human body, in a manner that is easily understood and without medical jargon."
By recruiting other young health professionals, they hope to make healthcare a more approachable topic on social media
Based on Instagram, the group is currently producing graphics and videos talking about health topics from anything about mental and sexual health, to even millennial concerns such as vaping and bubble tea.
They are dedicated to debunking common myths and misconceptions as well as presenting tedious and complicated issues in an easy to digest, bite-sized way.
Jared said they are also always open for ideas and feedback, and often engage with their followers on virtual community talks and live sessions.
"Health should be a mainstay in everyone's life and not something of an afterthought," he stressed.
"Too often today, we neglect the long term importance of what poor diet, sleep, and physical health can do to anyone in the long run."
Most recently, the group launched a campaign to fight COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
Jared said they know a large proportion of the the public is weary of the vaccines and their side effects, so Docere plans to address all these concerns and doubts through videos and live sessions.
"The aim is to address the elephants in the room and to quell any fears that people may have, with valid knowledge from healthcare professionals," he said.
For example, the group has explained about whether the vaccines are halal and how the vaccines were made in such a short time.
Read more #health stories on SAYS: