A Chat with Internet's Hottest Doctor
Smart. Sexy. Social. Instagram sensation Dr. Mike puts his looks, mind and fame to good use
Mikhail Varshavski, mostly known by his catchy nickname Dr. Mike, seems to be a man taken right from the picture book: He is a young doctor working in New York City.
He runs his own charity organisation Limitless Tomorrow, giving scholarships to motivated young people in need. He was also named Sexiest Doctor Alive by People Magazine.
Yes ladies, he is real, and he has lot of good to offer.
Would you share with us your career path since you graduated from school?
During High School I did a 7 year combined programme, 3 years of undergraduate studies at University and 4 years of medical school. Most of the time in America you do 4 years of undergraduate study and then you apply for medical school. But I did it in a continuous 7 years, so I am the youngest doctor in my hospital because of that. I spend a lot of time on social media to combine the platform with my medical work. No one has done that before, it is something completely new that people haven’t really spoken about. Social media is a place for people to take selfies, yes. But I want to do something different and use it to help patients and educate people on certain diseases and explain to them how to live a healthy lifestyle. It is also a way to help people that are still going to school to get them excited about medicine. Because what I saw were a lot of young students who would lose their motivation to go into medical school because they thought it was too hard and they had to give up their social lives in order to become a doctor. Now I want to prove that this is not true. So I document my days all the time, from doing events to visiting fashion shows and going to the hospital on the next day and work a really long shift. It is a really unique experience and I am really excited about it.
Some magazines call you The Hottest Doctor on Instagram and last year People Magazine even named you Sexiest Doctor Alive. What do these titles mean to you?
I think It is crazy because when I grew up, I had no female intention. Literally none. It was kind of funny actually, being a nerd when you grow up and now having a little more attention than that. People Magazine is such a huge publication. When I got their email announcing me Sexiest Doctor Alive, I didn't know if it was a joke because I couldn't believe it at first. But I have been able to make positive use of that title and turn it into something helpful and fun for my patients and myself. We can laugh about it, take a picture together and discuss their health without me shouting “LOOK, I AM A HOT GUY!”
How do you explain your success on social media, especially on Instagram? How does it feel to have 2 million people following your life?
I think that having 2 million followers is not something I have expected. When I created my social media accounts 4 years ago, I just wanted to show the small world what it was like to be in social media. After time went by, there were 100s of thousands and eventually even a million of people following me. I started to take it more seriously, taking my captions more carefully, and educate people on things. What I found was that it doesn't bother or interfere with my privacy. I live my life very openly with my friends and the people in the hospital and I show that I have nothing to hide. I think that's how we should be. There are people who think that I am a doctor, I don't drink alcohol, I don't go out, I don't celebrate events with my friends. I think that is not realistic, and the patients really sense that. If I am not open to them about my life, they are not open to me and don't give me all the information I need about their health. Because if I don’t' know there are certain risks, I won't do certain checks. The more I know about my patients, the more I can help them, and the more they trust me, the more likely they are to follow my instructions. If I tell them to do a certain thing but they are not following my advice, what’s the use then?
Having 2 millions of fans, do you carefully pick the correct content to post?
I don't really think about the correct post. I am completely myself, what you see is 100% raw, maybe I will check the grammar a little more carefully than I used to before, but in general I am just sharing my personality and honestly, I think that is where I got my popularity from. I am openly showing my life happening the way it is. I would show my dog, I would show my dad and people will respond to that and I think that's where a lot of success comes from.
Do any patients fake injuries just to see you?
A lot of people come to see me because because of social media but not because of fake injuries. I am a prevention doctor, so you don't really have to see me when you are injured or something is wrong with you. You can come to me while you are healthy and together we can prevent you from getting sick. We can do designation or cancer screenings to keep you healthy. So I have a lot of patients who are coming in now because of my social media thing, and more often than not we actually are in a situation where we can catch and treat diseases like cancer early. They probably would have never went to see a doctor and the sickness might have been discovered too late if they wouldn't have come to the hospital because of me. So it is crazy to say but a selfie can really bring something positive to the world.
Not only are you a successful doctor, you are also regular public speaker and guest in TV shows, fashion parties and lifestyle events, all just at the age of 26. Do you never sleep?
I do sleep. It is tough. My secret is that I organize my day in a sense that if I know I have an hour in somewhere I always fill it with something that will benefit my brain. I might be exhausted after my work and I have only 2 hours free for myself. But I will make sure I do something that engages my brain because on the next day at work I am happy not because I am well rested, I am happy because I have experienced a lot. It is a common concept that people need to follow the call of the couch and just turn off the brain after a long day of work. But the things that are great for your muscles and your body are not always great for you mental health as well. You have to keep your brain always active because your brain wants to be always active and that is why I am going to events and meet people. Fashion wasn't something that I have always been involved in, nor was sport. I always like to put myself out of my comfort zone and when I do that I conquer whatever it is that I may have done that day. It gives that war of feedback to my brain and that's where I get my happiness from.