Well, the doctors are finally getting revenge on Weird Al for his “Like a Surgeon” video. Dr Tapas Mukherjee, from the UK, put his hospital’s guidelines for treating severe asthma to the tune of Deep Blue Something’s 1995 hit “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I hope you’re prepared for an onslaught of clinicians in choirs, because the damn thing worked.
According to a presentation at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress in Barcelona, Mukherjee found that at Glenfield Hospital where he works, healthcare professionals weren’t adhering to hospital guidelines to treat asthma. An audit done in April 2012 revealed that only 62 percent were aware of them, and only 45 percent were using them.
So Mukherjee set the guidelines to song and made a music video. Far more adorable than even Rebecca Black, Mukherjee’s video made the rounds on social media, and when Glenfield was audited again, two months later, in June 2012, 100 percent of Glenfield healthcare professionals were aware of the guidelines.
“As doctors are often working in busy environments, we have to think of creative ways of reaching them with important clinical information,” Mukherjee explained. “Our study has shown that social media is a free and effective way of doing this. The method could be adapted to different scenarios and the possibilities are not limited by resources of money, but only by imagination."
Becoming a doctor is a justifiably all-consuming process, so I’m not holding it against Mukherjee for getting “Breakfast at Tiffani’s” stuck in my (and possibly now your) head all day. Still, I can’t help but wonder if choosing a song by a band called Deep Blue Something to teach asthma treatments is some sort of quirky doctor joke, or if he’s just been too busy to opt to parody something by, say, Air.
On the other hand, maybe choosing a song so earwormy, so unstoppably catchy is the key to driving home medical procedures. In which case we can look forward to hearing the phrase “acute myocardial infarction” grafted onto the melody of “Call Me Maybe.”