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Tagalog-speaking doctor-vlogger Doc Adam quits YouTube: 'It's been a great journey with you all'

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Nov 03, 2021 4:01 pm

After four years of vlogging and amassing almost two million followers on YouTube, Dr. Adam Smith, popularly known as Doc Adam, quits the video hosting platform to focus on his medical profession and personal life.

Smith is a doctor is from England, who is currently residing in Australia (where he has a clinic) with his Filipino partner, KC. He is known not just for providing health-related information, advice and tips but also for fighting against health misinformation in the Philippines.

On Oct. 30, Smith uploaded a YouTube video, the transcript of which was posted on Facebook Oct. 31, announcing his departure on the video hosting platform following a joint decision between him and his partner to “take a different direction in life.”

Doc Adam has almost 2 million followers on YouTube and over 1 million more across his social media platforms.

Smith, who used to visit the Philippines as part of medical missions, started vlogging in 2017. His Filipino viewers (both local and overseas) endeared to him as Smith mostly speaks Tagalog in his vlogs. He has gained over three million followers and subscribers across his social media platforms.

In his recent announcement, Smith said, “Dahil sa lahat nang naranasan ko… KC and I had some chat and we decided we are going to stop YouTube.” He added, “After some long discussions, we’ve decided we want to take a different direction in life. We’re gonna get married next year and we plant to head to the north of Australia and do some work with the deprived communities there.”

Smith’s announcement was foreshadowed by a YouTube hiatus the doctor-vlogger took in 2020, where he was embattled with legal issues stemming from a Filipino doctor Farrah Agustin-Bunch, who, according to Smith still gives “dangerous” advice online. Through his vlog, Smith tried to debunk and correct the alleged misinformation that Bunch is allegedly propagating to her viewers.

Bunch is a believer in the healing power of natural medicine with claims that she has treated over 150,000 patients using natural therapies, including the formulas that she sells in her website. (In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked the license of Bunch’s pharmacy in Victoria, Tarlac for reportedly selling unregistered health products.)

“Dr. Farrah is currently suing me dito sa Australia,” Smith said. “Kahit may pinagdadaanan akong lawsuit and marami akong ginagastos and I have decided to quit YouTube, I still think it’s important for public safety that I continue to talk about Dr. Farrah.

According to Smith, Bunch’s products are still being distributed in the Philippines despite a warning from the FDA that its distribution is illegal. “I have no intention of having a ‘cancer duel,’ however I think it’s important that I continue to discuss Dr. Farrah’s advice,” he said.

Smith also called out the FDA and the Department of Health for not putting a stop and holding accountable those companies that are making “dangerous health claims” with their products. 

Dr. Adam 'Doc Adam' Smith and his partner, KC.

He also took a swipe at Filipino celebrities and politicians who promote the companies and services that spread misleading information about certain products. “Some of you promote companies and services with outrageous and dangerous health claims just to earn. You are also part of the problem,” Smith said, adding that what’s worse is “millions of people actually listen to this stuff.”

Smith’s fight against health misinformation has brought him bashers and haters, who he says hurl personal attacks on him.

“Ad hominem attacks were not the only thing we experienced. We also received legal threats/letters accusing me of cyber libel,” noted Smith. “Luckily, none of these threats ever en pushed to court but it was stressful at the time.”

Smith said that with the lawsuit from Dr. Farrah that he faces, he has missed work to deal with it. He has also spent $200,000 dollars in legal fees. With this, his friends set up a GoFund Me page and GCash account for donations. As of this writing his GoFund Me page has raised almost $38,000 (P1.9 million) out of the $50,000 (P2.5 million) goal.

Smith received an outpouring of support from his followers and viewers, some of them were saddened by his decision. 

In a tweet, Smith shared screenshots of a conversation between his partner KC and a certain bidder for his scrub suit that he uses for his videos, which he is auctioning to raise funds to cover his legal fees. The individual bid $550, which is the highest bid at the time, and KC even offered to personally deliver the item to the bidder. But that person said the amount was meant to be a donation so they could keep the scrub suit and sell it to another buyer.

Entrepreneur and Survivor Philippines contestant Kiko Rustia tweeted, “Kaya tayo naghihirap kasi yung mga tao na may malasakit gaya ni Doc Adam, ‘yun pa ang nalalagay sa alanganin. Samantalang ‘yung mga sablay, ‘yun pa ang nakaupo sa kapangyarihan, o ‘di naman eh ‘yun pa ang pinapakinggan at binibilihan.”

Dr. Geraldine Zamora also tweeted, “I hope someday I can be as courageous as you. Thank you for your spirit and tenacity.”

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A post shared by Doc Adam (@docadamsmith)

Smith thanked his supporters and those who donated in the fundraiser telling them, “Hindi mabubuo ang Doc Adam channel if not for your support.”

“Even if I am going through this lawsuit and marami akong ginagastos, I think it’s very important that I continue to give my opinion on the advice that Dr. Farrah is giving as a matter of public safety and interest,” he wrote in the comments section of his Facebook post.

Smith bids adieu to his viewers and said, “So, I guess… that’s it. It’s been a great, wonderful, and fun journey with you all.”

“Four years. Hanggang dito nalang,” he signed off his video.

As of this writing, Smith's YouTube channel and social media pages are still up and Smith is interacting with his followers in the comments section from time to time.