Dr. Morris, the Tik Tok Skin Doc
At the beginning of October, known as our prestigious Eczema Awareness Month, a young dermatologist wowed us all by bringing up topical steroid withdrawal on his Tik Tok channel. He goes by @tiktokskindoc1, Dr. Morris.
Within days, his first TSW video blew up. And the community noticed.
Why does acknowledging of TSW matter?
Having a board-certified dermatologist come out and state plainly that TSW is real feels extremely good! As a part of the eczema community, I am always praying that dermatologists will have our best interests at heart, learning and growing along in their practice. Science is ever-evolving, something that Dr. Morris seems to grasp very well. He doesn't shy away from showing research, pointing out the definite differences between eczema and TSW, and voicing his concern for patient care.
Can steroid prescriptions become safer?
He is fresh out of dermatology school. He is curious and mindful of what he is doing as a new-time doctor. Once he heard about topical steroid withdrawal, he knew he had to speak up. He is floored that it is not more widely accepted. But if he, as a new doctor, is so swiftly open to this dialogue surrounding topical steroid usage, then it shows that other new doctors may be open to the same. If we continue to see this uptick of new dermatologists wishing to be part of the conversation, there is a better chance that safer ways of prescribing steroids will take place.
How can providers earn patient trust?
I know I got tired of being eye rolled and spoken down to in a doctor's office. I get it, I am not the one wearing the white coat, but that doesn't mean I am useless as a patient. Research is research. So, when Dr. Morris showcases how he loves to learn from research, there is a piece of me that feels compelled to still give doctors credit. That not ALL doctors will shun me. It's important that we continue trying to have these talks with our providers. Is it fair that we are the ones advocating? No. But, if Dr. Morris is willing to listen, I can trust that there will be others - and the others will start growing in number.
Where is Dr. Morris located?
After watching two of his TSW videos, I wanted to reach out and see if he'd be willing to meet up. I had no idea where he lived in the world, but with his American accent, I figured he was somewhere in the United States. So, I pulled out Google and looked him up.
You wouldn't believe it.
Of all the places he could have been, he was in Florida - where I am from. But it got even better! He was practicing not even twenty minutes from my mother's home. The odds!! I'd call it fate, honestly...
How was our meet up?
After a bit of back and forth, he and I finally got to meet at the beginning of November. We met up at a local Starbucks, ordered our wraps and beverages, and sat for an hour. It was so lovely hearing his thoughts, his curiosity, and his openness to this vulnerable community. He loves what he does, is passionate about educating others, is humble to a fault, and will definitely be a voice for the eczema/TSW community.
Will we see Dr. Morris again?
I have a teeny tiny something in the works coming up. Voices, like those of
Dr. Morris, will be at the forefront of the project. I am excited to see changes that are needed for this group of patients. I advocate daily for our skin needs and love seeing how close this community has grown to be over the years. We deserve transparent care, collaboration, and consideration when it comes to medications and research.
Cheers to the future, and cheers to dermatologists like Dr. Morris. May they continue to emerge!
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