In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

March 31, 2020

Singing Surgeon: ‘The Only Way to Overcome This Pandemic Is For Us to All Come Together As One’

By In the Loop

Mayo Clinic's Elvis Francois, M.D. — a.k.a. "The Singing Surgeon" — and his piano playing colleague William Robinson, M.D., shared a new message of hope that has reached millions of people.


Social distancing. Sheltering in place. COVID-19 has introduced us to new terms and separated us in ways that would have seemed unimaginable not long ago.

It's also bringing us together.

That's the message two Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgery residents are sharing with the world. You may remember Elvis Francois, M.D. — a.k.a. "The Singing Surgeon" — and William Robinson, M.D., on the keys from a previous story we shared. Or maybe you remember their appearance on Ellen. The good doctors are still making music together, and recently posted a take on John Lennon's "Imagine" that's once again going viral. (In a good way.)

"In life, there are so many things that divide us. Religion, race, politics, social status and so much more," Dr. Francois writes in a post accompanying the video. "But today a global pandemic brings us all together."

It's a message that has resonated. The post has already garnered nearly 6 million views and been shared hundreds of thousands of times. Dr. Francois appeared on the Today Show, singing live for Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, who promised, "You're going to be on repeat all day today." CBS News and ABC News shared the video and interviewed the doctors about what prompted them to create it. "The song is about hope and having the world coming together as one," Dr. Robinson tells ABC. "In order to beat this thing … it's going to take everybody. And so, the message of the song kind of hit home."

The medium is also part of the message. Both doctors believe that music is good medicine. "There's a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear. For me, whenever I've had those moments in my personal life, music has always been something I've been able to gravitate toward," Dr. Francois tells CBS. "It sort of brings things to ease. Music goes places that medicine can't go." Dr. Robinson agrees, telling ABC that music "brings about a certain level of healing that's hard to do with any sort of pill or surgery."

It's a healing both doctors know we'll need more than ever in the days ahead. "Over the next few months our health care system will be tested," Dr. Francois writes. "But when times are as dark as they are today, nothing shines brighter than the human spirit. There is something beautiful about a collective struggle. And the beauty in what we are facing today is that the only way to overcome this pandemic is for us all to come together as one."

You might say he's a dreamer. But he's not the only one.

It would be a dream come true if you'd leave a comment below. Then use the social media tools atop this page to share this story with others.


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Tags: Dr. Elvis Francois, Dr. William A. Robinson, Employee Stories, Orthopedic Surgery, Resident

What can you say about this singing surgeon except W0W what a voice!!! I could listen to you sing all day!!!

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AWESOME 👏 I caught these two amazing docs on THE VIEW this morning! What a wonderful video! Amazing physicians! Thank you 😊

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