William E. Flanary is an American comedian and ophthalmologist who performs under the stage name Dr. Glaucomflecken. He practices in Oregon City, Oregon and lives in Portland, Oregon. Since 2016 he has become well known for making and uploading medical satire skits on Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.[2]

Dr. Glaucomflecken
Birth nameWilliam E. Flanary
Born1985 or 1986 (age 37–38)[1]
  • Social media
EducationTexas Tech University
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Medical career
InstitutionsEyeHealth Northwest

Biography edit

Flanary grew up in Houston, Texas. He was educated at Texas Tech University,[3] where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in cell and molecular biology. While attending Texas Tech, he met his wife, Kristin. He then enrolled at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, where he discovered his interest in ophthalmology.[4] While attending Dartmouth, he was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha.

It was also while he was a medical student at Dartmouth that he was first diagnosed with testicular cancer (specifically, a highly curable stage 1a seminoma) at the age of 25. He then had surgery to remove the testicle that had the tumor on it.[2][5] After graduating from Dartmouth, he completed his residency at the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in 2017.[6]

During his third year of residency, Flanary was diagnosed with testicular cancer again. This time the diagnosis was a stage 1b seminoma, and he had surgery to remove his remaining testicle, followed by hormone replacement therapy consisting of a weekly self-administered injection of testosterone. (He has joked, "It's so easy even an ophthalmologist can do it.") By this point, he and his wife had two children.[2]

In May 2020, Flanary suddenly went into cardiac arrest in his sleep. His wife performed CPR on him for 10 minutes before paramedics arrived and resuscitated him. He told CTV News in January 2022 that he still did not know the reason that he went into cardiac arrest.[7]

Work with First Descents edit

Since 2017, Flanary has raised money for the non-profit organization First Descents, which provides outdoor experiences to young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. He had raised over US$100,000 for the organization as of January 2022. He has described his own experiences using the organization after being diagnosed with cancer as "a lifeline".[5][7]

Dr. Glaucomflecken edit

Flanary created the Dr. Glaucomflecken Twitter account in 2016 out of boredom at a research conference. The account is named after glaukomflecken, a sign of acute angle-closure glaucoma.[8] As of June 2022, his Twitter account had over 573,000 followers, and his TikTok account had over 1.5 million followers and over 58 million total likes. At the time, Flanary told CTV News, "If I’d known that it would turn into this I would have chosen an easier name to say. Honestly, it's surreal."[7] His videos frequently satirize tropes or stereotypes found among different medical specialties.[9][10] Flanary's videos have amassed popularity in the medical community.[11]

He has received many speaking opportunities since revealing himself as the creator of Dr. Glaucomflecken, including as the commencement speaker for the graduating class of Yale School of Medicine and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in May 2022.[5][7]

According to Robert D. Putnam and Céline Gounder, comedians like Flanary are "leveraging irony and exaggeration to expose the ills of the American healthcare system and the lunacy of global COVID vaccine inequity."[12]

References edit

  1. ^ "The internet's funniest doctor is in on the joke". STAT. 2022-03-25. Archived from the original on 2022-06-10. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  2. ^ a b c Pawlowski, A. (2021-11-23). "Doctor who had testicular cancer twice in his 20s urges men to 'check yourself'". TODAY.com. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  3. ^ "The internet's funniest doctor is in on the joke". STAT. 2022-03-25. Archived from the original on 2022-03-25. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  4. ^ "Dr.William E. Flanary". Eye Health Northwest. Archived from the original on 2022-05-17. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  5. ^ a b c Roth, Abigail (2022-02-03). "MD Class of 2022 Selects William Flanary, MD, (aka Dr. Glaucomflecken) as Its Commencement Speaker". Yale School of Medicine. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  6. ^ "William E. Flanary, II, MD". University of Iowa. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  7. ^ a b c d Favaro, Avis; Ho, Solarina (2022-01-09). "TikTok star Dr. Glaucomflecken uses humour as prescription in hard times". CTVNews. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  8. ^ Cummins, Eleanor (2021-03-10). "How Dr Glaucomflecken Overcame Death to Get Internet Laughs". Medscape. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  9. ^ Dickinson, Karen J; Racher, Mary Luann; Jackman, Kimberly; McCallie, Theresa; Marino, Katy; Langford, Timothy; Mustain, W Conan (2022). "Surgical Residents' Perception of Multi-Specialty Learning". Journal of Surgical Education. Elsevier. 79 (6): 1363–1378. doi:10.1016/j.jsurg.2022.07.003. PMID 35902349. S2CID 251123876.
  10. ^ Tracy, Lincoln M (2022). "The Models of Care They Are A-Changin'". British Journal of Pain. SAGE. 16 (1): 4–5. doi:10.1177/20494637221075187. ISSN 2049-4637. PMC 8801681. PMID 35111308.
  11. ^ Sanky, Charles; Gentile, Caroline; Ren, Jennifer; Bortnick, Eric; Krieger, Stephen (January 10, 2023). "Education Research: The Inappropriate Consult: Discordant Expectations of Specialty Expertise and Areas for Improvement in Interdisciplinary Resident Education". Neurology: Education. American Academy of Neurology. 2 (1): 2. doi:10.1212/NE9.0000000000200044. ISSN 2771-9979. S2CID 255635541.
  12. ^ "How America Can Rebuild the Community Bonds It Needs to Face the Next Pandemic". Time. January 11, 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-08-12. Retrieved 2022-08-12.

External links edit