How This Surgeon Is Using Social Media To Battle Misinformation
In the What Matters To Me series, a Generation T honouree describes what they do, why they do it, and why it matters.
For as long she could remember, Nur Amalina Che Bakri wanted to be a doctor. As a teenager, she would read books about anatomy and medicine. As a secondary school student in 2004, she broke the record for the most A grades scored in the Malaysian Certificate of Education—the equivalent of the British General Certificate of Secondary Education—with 17 As. She undertook a double degree, studying medicine and pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh on a scholarship, before attaining her Master’s at Cambridge.
After graduation, she went on to work at several hospitals across the UK, specialising in general surgery, before she decided to pursue her PhD in surgical innovation and breast cancer surgery at Imperial College London, where she's also a general surgery registrar and clinical research fellow. Here, in her own words, Amalina describes how she is using social media to debunk medical misinformation.
I created my very first online profile a few years ago. A colleague suggested that it would be a good way for me to build medical awareness and teach public health education online. I wasn't trying to gain a following; I just posted about topics important to me, such as social issues and medical myths I wanted to debunk.
Over the years, I've become an outspoken advocate for accurate and reliable healthcare information. As a doctor, I want to use my knowledge to help others. I'm a very opinionated person, so if [a piece of information] has been wrongly put across, I will call it out regardless of who said it.
Representation is important, which is why I chose social media as my platform. I want to help create greater awareness about female empowerment and show what life as a surgeon is like. I hope that by sharing my experiences, other girls and women would feel encouraged to pursue their dreams too.
To aspiring medical professionals, my advice is to work hard, open your mind and get out of your comfort zone. Set your own goals in life and stay true to yourself. Anyone can be successful, so long as you put your heart and mind to it.