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We met the Insta famous medic Ethan ‘The Student Doctor’ Smallwood

We speak to student medic Insta star about his new Youtube venture.


Hi, tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey everyone, so I’m Ethan and I’m a medical student at Notts Uni. I’m into my fourth year now so most of my week is spent on the wards of the QMC and other hospitals learning the roles of a doctor. When I’m not in placement, I keep myself busy with going to the gym and I occasionally play some of the medics sports like tennis when I have the time. My favourite nights out would have to be CRISIS (obviously) and Ocean (every medic’s guilty pleasure!). So catch me in medics bar on a Friday night and come say hello!

Why have you set up this YouTube channel?

That’s a really good question. Over the last few years, I’ve mainly used Instagram (@doctorethan) for people to follow my journey as a medical student. That’s been great but I felt the next step was to make a YouTube channel.
The main reason for starting YouTube is to show an even deeper insight and bring out more detailed content about medicine. There’s a lot of misconceptions out there and I think some people are put off applying because of a lack of quality information. So I’m hoping to change that with informative but fun videos. There are a few people that do it in America but the medical school systems are so different that the information isn’t really that relevant for people like me or you.

Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect on your channel?

So there’ll be a real mixture. I want to make lots of videos on the application process and life at medical school in the hope that it will encourage people to apply. But I also want to cater to people who are just interested in their health. So there’ll be QnAs and videos on healthy eating and exercise. I’m also looking to film some more light hearted videos such as my opinion on shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Holby City. There’ll be something for everyone to enjoy!

What type of format will 'The Student Doctor' follow?

So initially I’ll have videos coming out once a week but if things go well, I’d love to do increase that. The first few videos are short, sit-down discussions about topics I think are useful for people interested in medicine. But as the weeks go by we’ll branch out into more and more ideas that I’ve got planned.

Do you see yourself entering the conventional medical career?

Yes definitely! I do get asked sometimes whether I would still train as a doctor if my social media or YouTube became really successful. But for me, the answer is simple. Medicine is my passion and something that I’ve wanted to do since the age of about 11. I do enjoy being able to use social media as a platform to educate others about medicine and show my journey through university. But ultimately, I chose medicine so that I could make a real difference to people’s lives and that won’t change.

What’s next for you and for the student doctor?

It’s honestly hard to say because this venture is all new to me so it’s impossible to predict how well it will go! Initially I’m just going to focus on making regular videos that people enjoy. I think the end goal of this would be to build a platform that changes people’s ideas about their health and makes medicine exciting rather than scary. But for now I’m going to focus on the next few weeks and see where it goes from there.

Ethan's first video is out next week, check out his Instagram for more details.