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If you haven’t heard of Dr. Muneeb Shah yet, your kids probably have. This dermatology resident is a TikTok celebrity, boasting more than 10.5 million followers in less than 18 months.

Dr. Shah, a dermatology resident at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC, was recently honored by the Melanoma Research Foundation for his work in creating awareness about melanoma on social media. He spoke to Practical Dermatology® magazine about his social media success and stardom.

Why TikTok?

Muneeb Shah, DO: We were in the middle of the pandemic, and I had more free time. TikTok was exploding, and I was looking for a more creative outlet to educate. At first I answered simple questions, such as, “How do you treat acne, acne scars, or hyperpigmentation?” People really gravitated toward my solution-based videos.

How did you become so famous so fast?

Dr. Shah: Unlike other social media channels, TikTok allows users to sample content from people who they don’t follow. FYP or “For Your Page” is a page shown to users that is filled with videos that the platform thinks you’ll enjoy based on what you’ve watched and interacted with in the past. You can go from relative anonymity to a household name if you make content that strikes a chord or is relatable.

What videos get the most views?

Dr. Shah: A video I did on the worst skin care trends such as using jade rollers on your face took off. From there, I launched a series of 20 videos called “What’s on your skin?” that did really well. I’ve had mega-viral videos that had 80 million views.

To find Dr. Shah:
Tik Tok: @dermdoctor
Instagram: @doctorly
YouTube: @Doctorly

Do you get recognized on the street?

Dr. Shah: Yes. It’s weird because the first year that I was on TikTok was a pandemic, so I never went anywhere. Now that things are open, people stop me on the street and ask for autographs and photos. Some tell me their skin really improved because of my videos or that they are now using sunscreen because of them.

When I received the award from the Melanoma Research Foundation, people told me that they got their skin checked because of me and found melanoma early as a result.

How do you carve out time to post and educate during residency?

Dr. Shah: You become more effective and learn how to prioritize and not dwell on things. You can create hours in the day. I also don’t sleep, which is not healthy.

Any future plans for your growing brand?

Dr. Shah: I am hoping to add more dermatologists to my platforms as guest contributors to elevate them, their voices, and the specialty.

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