From the doctor’s office to the small screen: Who are these medical experts we see on TV every day?

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has suspended the licence of Dr. Martin Jugenburg -- who goes by Dr. 6ix on social media -- for six months. (Pexels)

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like every week brought a new rule, restriction or piece of legislation meant to help curb the spread of the virus. For many, this led to confusion about what was allowed, what wasn’t—and why.

To help make sense of what was happening—media organizations brought in doctors and experts in the field of epidemiology and infectious diseases to explain everything in terms everyone could understand.

These medical experts became celebrity-like, serving as trusted sources of information for people having a hard time navigating the political rhetoric and the constantly changing information.

 

In episode 3 of Life Unmasked, host Ashley Legassic speaks with three such “TV doctors” about what the last year and a half has been like.

Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases physician at Trillium Health Partners, talks about his first time experiencing a pandemic in 2009 with H1N1 and what it was like to be a consistent voice on CTV News when it came to COVID-19.

Life Unmasked also speaks with family physician Dr. Jennifer Kwan, who has racked up more than 70,000 Twitter followers since she started posting crucial COVID-19 data on the platform.

JULY 21: #COVID19 in #Ontario
135 cases, 4 deaths, 151 resolved*
20750 tests/day, 7379 pending, 0.8% pos
145 in ICU (70 on ventilator)��

+140,491 vaccinations��
79.8% of age 12+ ≥1 dose��
(63.1% = 2 doses)
See thread for more graphs��⤵️#onhealth #COVID19ontario pic.twitter.com/nTDhbzm1Xg

— Dr. Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) July 21, 2021

Finally, the team speaks with Dr. Susy Hota, the medical director for infection prevention and control at the University Health Network, who says that being a trusted source of information throughout a pandemic is an immense responsibility.

Life Unmasked airs first on the iHeart app every Thursday morning before becoming available on other streaming platforms. If you have questions for the podcast team, or an idea for an episode, please email lifeunmasked@bellmedia.ca.