Singing Mayo Clinic doctor uses power of music to help heal

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A singing doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. is catching the eyes and ears of people across the internet.

Dr. Elvis Francois incorporates the power of song to help his patients heal. He shares videos of him singing on social media. His latest video where he performs “Alright” with another doctor, went viral and has been viewed more than a million times.

“Music to me is like breathing,” said Dr. Francois. “It’s always something that's fun to do and I’m passionate about, but never something I’ve thought about doing by itself, but I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever stop doing.”

Born into a music loving family in Connecticut and named after Elvis Presley, for as long as Dr. Francois can remember, he has wanted to be surgeon. Frequent trips to see family in Haiti, especially after the 2010 earthquake, put him on the path to orthopedics. 

“After the earthquake, I had a chance to go back and see people who were just like you and me, healthy, but unfortunately had suffered some orthopedic trauma and seeing people put back together I thought was fascinating,” said Dr. Francois.

Now in his third year of residency at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Francois shares his philosophy that music is medicine often by singing before and after long surgeries as a way to lighten the mood among coworkers.

More recently, patients have started making requests. His favorite is when they sing along. But even more patients are singing his praises, thanking Dr. Francois for taking away some of their stress with song. 

“Whenever you are coming to the hospital, it is because something is broken in some way, so it needs to be fixed,” said Dr. Francois. “Recognizing that and I think that’s why that song had such an impact. Those words, ‘Everything will be alright’ is whenever you are in a stressful situation that’s sometimes all you need to get through.” 

In the future, Dr. Francois hopes to open an orthopedic clinic in Haiti and music, will of course, be a part of it.