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How This Dermatologist Empowers Young People Through Social Media

8 min read

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When Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil was 42, something clicked. He had a beautiful family and a booming medical practice, but he felt something was missing. He decided he wanted to lean on his humble roots to inspire today’s youth. The New York dermatologist and dermatopathologist decided to start creating content online and hasn’t missed a day in three years. Today, he’s reaching people all over the world through his social media channels, podcast, and book, Let’s Get it! Hustle and Grind Your Way to Personal Empowerment. He sat down with Jessica Abo to discuss his career path and shared his tips for anyone who wants to crush their goals.

Jessica Abo: Can you start by telling us a little bit about your medical career path?

Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil: I come from a family of doctors. My mom, who is the most inspiring person I know, was a single parent. She raised my brother, who’s seven years older than me, and I, and she basically said, “You guys can only become doctors, that’s it.” Because she was a doctor and that’s what enabled her to escape a really dreadful marriage and raise her two boys on her own. And so we became doctors. Fortunately, we both love what we do. In medical school, I ended up becoming a dermatologist because I did a year of skin cancer research. I won a scholarship to take a year off and do some research. It happened to be in skin cancer, and the rest is history.

You have gained a lot of popularity on TikTok with your pimple-popping videos, but you’ve also gained traction because of your empowering messages. 

Those pimple-popper videos are a very small part of my practice, but those videos just go viral on social media. So, I kind of use that to cast a blind net and to pull people into my real motive, which is to empower folks and to just let folks know that goals are attainable. They’re not easy to attain, but they’re possible to attain lofty goals even. The way I kind of happened upon this is I just hit a point in my life where it was almost like Groundhog’s Day. I was 42 years old, I guess I had a mid-life crisis, and every day was kind of running into itself.

From the outside looking in, it looked great. You have a beautiful wife, a beautiful house, beautiful kids, fancy cars, live in a fancy neighborhood, and all that sort of stuff. But on the inside, it felt kind of empty. I needed to do something more powerful, more significant. I needed to touch more lives. In my practice, I can touch 150, 200 lives with positivity with the patients that I see. Well, why not make that thousands or even millions?

How are you doing that now?

Really just I make a lot of content. I’ve posted to Instagram every day for three years, over three years, haven’t missed a single day. Even if I’m on vacation, even if I’m sick, every single day I’ve posted for over 1200 days, something like that. I post a TikTok every single day, I post to YouTube three or four times a week. I have a podcast. If there’s a form of content, I’m making it.

Do you ever get tired? And what do you want to say to the people out there who are supposed to be posting today, but they’re just not feeling in the mood to do it?

Of course there’s days that I don’t want to do it. But I will never ever go to sleep without getting my daily win that gets me one step closer to my goal. And really that’s just something that’s drilled into my head. I’m not going to fail the day. And there’s certain pillars of my day that I need to get done, they’re going to get done no matter what. If I have to get up at the crack of dawn or if I have to go to sleep way past midnight, it’s going to happen. And you have to be hard on yourself. You have to reward yourself and pat yourself on the back sometimes, but you also have to be hard on yourself if you’re not pushing yourself to the max and trying to maximize hitting that potential that’s within each of us.

Your book is called Let’s Get It!: Hustle and Grind Your Way to Personal Empowerment. What are some ways that we can do that?

Really, it all comes down to goals. So step one, set a goal. That’s very important. Then the next step is get your daily win that’s going to get you one step closer to your goal. So not letting your head touch the pillow at night until you’ve crushed the day and got all your daily wins under your belt. And the third thing is, and I think this is a really important thing, is once you get to your goal, which will happen — if you get your daily win, it might take years to get to your goal — but once you get there, you don’t get to a goal to just throw your hands up and throw your feet up and just relax. Once you get to your goal and you start chipping away at the potential that’s inside you, you have to set a bigger goal, a better goal for yourself. There’s always going to be something you’re working towards. 

Given how important it is to you to empower young people, what do you want to say to young people who are listening to you and watching you?

Anyone is capable of doing anything, within reason. Listen, I’m never going to be Michael Jordan. There’s just certain things that I know I’m not going to be capable of doing, but there’s amazing things that we’re all capable of doing. Every single person on this planet is capable of accomplishing something amazing. And even growing up for myself, I’ve heard “no” nine times out of 10. “No, you can’t do that.” “No, it’s impossible to do that.” A lot of folks think the glass is half empty, but the key, especially for the youngsters out there, is to surround yourself with glass-is-half-full people, people who’ve done amazing things.

And mentorship is important. Seek others who are where you want to be. There’s so much value to that, because you can learn from their mistakes before making them on your own, which is so valuable. You can save years. For me, there are certain things that took me 10 years that could have taken one year if I had the right mentorship. And there’s help out there. And folks like myself, there’s nothing we love more than talking about our journey and helping others get there. That’s what it’s all about. The world’s abundant. There’s plenty of people out there who want to help folks get to their goals.

For people who are trying to grow their audience, what advice do you have for them?

Post, post, post. When I first started posting to social media, in the professional circle of New York City doctors, people thought it was weird. They were like, “This is odd. Why is this guy doing this? He’s super successful, has a great practice, why was he posting mindset, motivational stuff?”

But you do that for a while and haters are going to hate no matter what. But a lot of those haters will turn into people like, “Wow, you know what? I like what this guy is saying.” Or, “I’m showing my kids.” One of my buddies who is also a dermatologist said, “I show my kids your posts. And my kids are starting to say the things that you say.” And I mean, that’s something else. For me, that’s all the validation I need.

The more you do it, the more you stay true to your message and you’re authentic and you post stuff that’s authentic to you, a community is going to develop around that. It’s just kind of, you have to do it.

What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?

“Let’s get it.” I was incredibly out of shape and was like skinny fat, and over the course of like eight years, I completely transformed my body. And one of my trainers would always say, “Let’s get it, let’s get it.” So that just kind of stuck in my head. I use a lot of fitness analogies because they’re so applicable to every part of life. It’s just about getting that last rep in or getting that workout in or dialing in your nutrition for the day. And those wins, you don’t see them from week to week. You don’t even see them from month to month sometimes. But those daily wins stack up over time. We just have to believe in that.

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