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For Singing Surgeon At Mayo Clinic, Music Is Medicine

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) -- A Minnesota surgeon is going viral. It's not for his medicine, but his music.

Elvis Francois is an orthopedic surgeon doing his residence at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

For Francois, surgery and song go hand in hand.

"It's almost like breathing, I just do it so much that I don't really even think think about it as something that's separate from everyday," he said.

But long before he discovered he had a gift of a voice, he knew he wanted to help people.

"Since I was maybe five or six, the first thing I've ever wanted to do was go into medicine," Francois said.

Today music finds its way into every aspect of his residency at the Mayo Clinic, singing to patients or long overnight shifts.

Elvis Francois, Mayo Clinic's singing surgeon
Elvis Francois, Mayo Clinic's singing surgeon (credit: CBS)

"Music has such a medicinal quality to it. If you're feeling great, a good song can give you an extra added boost. If you're not feeling too good, music could be something that soothes you," he said.

Francois started posted videos of him singing that have blown up online.

WCCO's Kate Raddatz met the singing surgeon on his break. Dressed in a lab coat, he sang "Stand By Me."

With a fellow doctor on the piano, a crowd of patients and their families quickly gathered around. Francois says parents of sick children have messaged him telling him his songs gave them courage.

"Hearing those stories I think has been the most, sort of, the most pressing part and what I've really enjoyed the most about things," he said.

But don't expect him to trade scrubs for a microphone. He says singing makes him a better doctor -- and music can be medicine.

"Now that I can share that with people I'm happy to do so as long as it makes people's days just a little brighter," Francois said.

In case you're wondering about the name -- yes, Francois' mom named him after Elvis Presley.

And a lot of his family is still in Haiti. He says they love watching his videos and seeing his success.

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