Lincoln Doc Adds Celebrity to Health Education
In the tents at New York’s Spring and Fall Fashion Weeks, it’s not unusual to see models, actors, designers, paparazzi, and of course, cameras. But only one of the people behind those cameras doubles as an emergency medicine doctor at a South Bronx hospital.
Dr. Matt Vasey, Chief Resident in Emergency Medicine at Lincoln Hospital, produces and edits an online publication, the New York Journal of Style and Medicine, featuring celebrity interviews, photos and research studies designed to capture the attention of young adults and educate them on preventive medicine.
Dr. Vasey’s drive to reach out to young people about health issues started in medical school. “I was on the inpatient service and I realized how sick the patients were, and you really do a lot of symptom management and getting them back to baseline so they’re able to resume their lives,” he explained. “But if you want to make a change, you have to start in the 20s and 30s.”
With that goal in mind, the “celebrity consults” on the site feature stars like Denise Richards, Kelly Rowland, Nigel Barker, Vanessa Williams and Brook Shields, calling attention to a health issue or a cause they’re involved with. Dr. Vasey hopes that the entertainment value will attract people who in turn become intrigued with a medical topic on the site and leave a little more educated.
Dr. Vasey’s reputation is growing. He has appeared twice on The Tyra Banks Show as a medical expert. In an effort to build his brand, he’s developing a line of clothing, named Bardini after his mother’s maiden name. For each $30 t-shirt he sells, he’s donating $1 to the Emergency Medicine program at Lincoln Hospital.
It sounds like a lot to balance. But for Dr. Vasey, it provides an outlet for the pressures of residency.
“It helps me cope with some of what you deal with in the Emergency Department,” he said. “If someone dies, you can’t change anything about it…but to come home and write an article about why someone died, the science of how you can die from an asthma attack or a drug overdose, it’s very rewarding.”