ZDoggMD’s music videos won’t be winning any Grammys: The instrumentals are kind of homemade (note the occasional kazoo) and the backup crew looks like those guys in scrubs hanging out around the hospital nurses’ station. Oh, wait, they are the guys in scrubs.
The ZDogg is Zubin Damania, a Stanford-trained doctor with a clinical practice called Turntable Health in Las Vegas and a stated goal of developing better models of patient care. Meanwhile, for the past few years he’s also been doing parodies of pop music videos on medical themes: Obamacare, pain, prostate disease, bad nurses, getting into medical school, colon disease, addiction, dozens and dozens more. “You’re gonna hear me snore!” he sings about sleep apnea to the tune of Katy Perry’s “Roar.” “Friends With Low Platelets,” is a Garth Brooks takeoff on a blood condition. “Big Pharma” parodies Biggie’s “Big Poppa.”
When the Atlantic magazine wrote about him in 2013, it said he’d garnered a total of 1.2 million YouTube views, but this summer he got that many hits on one video alone — “Readmission” (from R. Kelly’s “Ignition”), about hospitals that mess up patient discharge: “Let’s just prevent readmissions/Manage those chronic conditions /Need time preparing the handoff/Move on to other clinicians./Verbal instructions are clear/Only if the patient can hear . . . ”
The heartbreaker is “Ain’t the Way to Die” (based on the Eminem/Rihanna remix “Love the Way You Lie”) with ZDogg acting out the thoughts of a mute, dying patient who wishes somebody would pull the plug. It ends with the long beep of a flat line and the somber written warning: “Talk about your end of life issues now with those you love.”
But mostly it’s just a hoot. As he describes it: “Medical humor clinically proven to be slightly funnier than placebo!”