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Online chat with YouTube star and medical expert Dr. Mike Evans

(photo by Yuri Markarov of St. Michael’s Hospital, Medical Media)

Family physician and University of Toronto associate professor by day. YouTube celebrity by night. And now you have the chance to chat with him live.

U of T Medicine is partnering with the Toronto Star for a live web chat with Dr. Michael Evans, scheduled for noon on Thursday, Nov. 19. The focus of the chat is weight control, and organizers say they’re hoping for an open discussion where people will share the strategies that work for them.

"Please join me to share your ideas about what does and doesn’t work for you in the effort to eat well and manage your weight. Health providers and patients need to work together to turn around this crisis, and improve health," Evans said in the latest Doctors’ Notes column for the Star from Nov. 16. "You can also join the conversation on Twitter Thursday with #AskMikeEvans."

The web chat also marks the publication of the food-themed Autumn/Winter issue of U of T Medicine in which Evans discusses the war on obesity—and why we are losing.

Read more about what U of T experts are doing to fight obesity

Evans, an associate professor in the departments of family medicine and public health, is no stranger to the online video platform. In fact, he is likely better known for his YouTube “whiteboard visual lecture series” which he describes as a sort of “med school for the public”. 

The most popular video of the series is “23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?” in which Evans proposes the life-changing benefits of incorporating a half hour of exercise into our daily lives. The video has received nearly 5 million views and is so famous that it was alluded to by the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black.

Evans recently accepted an award for Distinguished Service to Cancer Research during the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA)'s Canadian Cancer Research Conference held in Montreal from November 8-10, 2015. 

Patrick Sullivan, patient/public representative for the CCRA, explained that Evans’ work in making health care knowledge more accessible has contributed to reducing “the cancer burden” and improving health outcomes overall. 

"Dr. Evans has played a significant role in the health promotion and patient education landscape in Canada and internationally," he said. "This award recognizes his innovative contribution to promoting healthy lifestyles and communicating best evidence on topics of relevance to cancer control and other health issues.”

Krisha Ravikantharaja is a student at the University of Toronto

November 17, 2015