Dr. Mathieu Nadeau-Vallée: fighting misinformation

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Dr. Mathieu Nadeau-Vallée

Why he won
Dr. Mathieu Nadeau-Vallée is a senior anesthesiology resident who has amassed over 80,000 followers and 1.5 million “likes” on the social media platform TikTok, where he shares short videos responding to medical misinformation that has spread online. He joined TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic, and took it upon himself to correct false information and promote peer-reviewed, credible sources. He has been featured on CBC News and Radio-Canada, and has been credited with giving some Canadians their first true exposure to scientific critical thinking. Dr. Nadeau-Vallée believes that it is crucial for credible scientists to join and share the facts on social media in order to win the battle against misinformation.

Dr. Nadeau-Vallée completed a Ph.D. in pharmacology while obtaining his medical degree. So far in his short career, he has been published in more than 13 peer-reviewed medical journals. With the goal of preventing premature human birth, he has discovered and patented an innovative method to prevent preterm birth in mice. Dr. Nadeau-Vallée is committed to learning all he can about medicine (he is even pursuing an additional Masters degree in epidemiology) and sharing it with Canadians all over the country and from all walks of life. 

Read: Awesome docs: The Medical Post Awards celebrate Canada’s physicians

What one judge said…
I was so impressed by his enthusiasm and vision, demonstrating that social media is the new frontier in healthcare.”


What has been most gratifying about this work? Most challenging?
The most satisfying thing was reading the comments of gratitude from several people who listened to my videos to better understand vaccination, and seeing that my work bore fruit. Some even told me that they had been vaccinated after watching my TikTok videos. One of my viewers even gave an interview in a newspaper about her decision to get vaccinated!

What are you most proud of in terms of your career?
I am most proud of the team discovery of an anti-inflammatory molecule with a novel mechanism of action to prevent premature birth, which was discovered during my Doctorate in Pharmacology. Women’s health is an area of ​​great interest to me since little progress has been made in the last 30 years, particularly with regard to premature birth. Even today, the percentage of premature births is around 10%, and no treatment has been found to significantly prolong pregnancy in these circumstances.

No pressure, but… what’s next?
I intend to continue to inform people about vaccines and COVID-19 because the pandemic is not over and the safety of a large part of the population still depends on staying up to date with their vaccinations. I am currently doing a Master's degree in epidemiology in the field of public health to better my knowledge in this field.

What’s something about yourself you’re working to improve?
I am trying to learn not to put too much on my shoulders, to say no to certain opportunities, and that I don’t have to please absolutely everyone. I’m in my 30s now and I now realize that time for myself is precious.

How do you turn around a bad day?
I like to sing and play the guitar. When I hear a song I like on the radio, I write down the title and I learn it and play it. It changes my attitude.

When it comes to stress, what’s the best medicine?
Do something that changes your focus completely. And there’s no need to always be productive. On the contrary, playing a captivating video game or a sport can help ease stress.


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