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Doctor Uses Rap to Educate Kids About H1N1

Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, November 5, 2009

Los Angeles-based rapper Dr. Dre may have some competition in the rap game—at least when it comes to educating kids on the H1N1 flu. And this competition comes from an actual doctor.

Mache Seibel, MD, a.k.a. "DocRock," uses music to educate on health issues, and has released more than 100 songs and 12 CDs. His goal, Seibel says, is to increase health literacy through entertainment.

Seibel's latest effort is the H1N1 Rap, which offers five Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-endorsed steps to avoid contracting H1N1 flu. Working alongside health insurer Cigna, a video was produced to accompany the song that is available for viewing on YouTube.

"My goal is to really improve health literacy by making information fun and easy to remember, and I do that with original songs," says Seibel, who is a board-certified physician who teaches at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "My goal with the H1N1 pandemic was to make as many people as I could aware in an as easy and fun way as possible.

In H1N1 Rap, Seibel kicks the rhymes:


I'm DocRock teaching 5 steps to you
To avoid H1N1 flu
One: Get a flu shot, at clinics or school
It only takes a minute; it's my number 1 rule
Two: Use your elbow when you cough or sneeze
Or sneeze into a tissue and throw it out please
Three: Wash your hands 20 seconds or more
Or use a sanitizer that you buy at the store
Four: Keep a distance from people who are sick
Two steps away usually does the trick
Five: Keep your fingers out your eyes, mouth and nose
'Cause that's the places H1N1 goes
To learn more about the 5 steps above
Go to www.flu.gov

Seibel says he chose rap to educate children on H1N1 because it is one of the most widely accepted music genres.

"It also allows you to put a lot of words together in a short time—you can express a lot of key points," Seibel says. "We had five points to make in about 30 seconds, and the best way to do that is to speak it in a more direct way."

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