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TEDMED: The 'Zombie Doctor Apocalypse' Is Here

Innovative, satirical physician discusses the syndrome and antidote

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians, wake up! You no longer need to be one of the walking dead. You have the power to create positive change and return to the reason you chose this career in the first place, according to an internist presenting at TEDMED 2013, held from April 16 to 19 in Washington, D.C.

Zubin Damania, M.D., director of health care development for Downtown Project Las Vegas, spoke of the zombie apocalypse overtaking our nation in his stage presentation "Are Zombie Doctors Taking Over America?" An internist who, despite warnings from his primary care physician father, went into primary care anyway and found himself staring into the mirror and seeing someone he no longer recognized. He decided there were two ways to go -- continue the life of the walking dead or figure out how to reclaim his passion and recreate a life he always dreamt of, one that would make a difference in others' lives.

He chose the latter. He uses humor, satire, and entertainment to reach people where they are, creating novel YouTube videos for public service announcements under the pseudonym ZDoggMD. In Las Vegas, he is moving further towards actionable change by developing an innovative model of health care delivery that promotes wellness at the individual and community level.

"Internal medicine residency at Stanford taught me that a sense of humor comes in handy as a survival and coping mechanism, especially since sobbing in the hospital stairwell only led to dehydration," per Damania's autobiography on "My hope is to make people laugh, and in the process make them aware of important issues impacting their health."

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