Doctor brings joy with viral dance videos: 'I can show you that we're in this together'

An Oregon doctor is a viral superstar with his dance videos. (Screenshot: TikTok/drjcofthedc)
An Oregon doctor is a viral superstar with his dance videos. (Screenshot: TikTok/drjcofthedc)

A doctor’s skilled dance videos shot in the hallways of his hospital are all over TikTok, even impressing Janet Jackson.

Dr. Jason L. Campbell is a second-year anesthesiology resident at Oregon Health & Science University where he works lengthy shifts. To blow off steam, Campbell, who loves hip-hop, R&B and Broadway music, likes to sing and dance. “I started dancing at work while talking to a patient before surgery and her phone went off with a ‘Baby Shark’ ringtone,” Campbell, 31, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Later, she said that my dancing calmed her down.”

About a month ago, Campbell joined TikTok hoping to gain a wider audience for his newspaper medical op-eds. “If you can connect with kids, you can introduce more pressing issues,” he says. As he elaborated on Instagram, “Someone asked me, why TikTok? Why the dancing videos? In 20 years, I want to see more women in surgery, black men in medicine and female leaders. So I had to meet the youngest generation where they’re at...now we can have those discussions.”

Campbell often recruits his colleagues for the energetic and lip-synced choreographed skits. “Find yourself an anesthesiologist that can save your life and tear up a dance floor,” the doctor captioned one Instagram video of a group dance.

In one featuring the “coronavirus foot shake,” Campbell and his coworkers demonstrate a proper hospital greeting: “No hand shakes. No fist bumps. No stealing N-95 masks. Only coronavirus foot shake allowed.”

Another stars Campbell and Emergency Medicine Program Director Dr. Lainie Yarris, “reminding her high school-aged children she still got it... and I’m just her backup dancer!”

This week, Campbell received the highest compliment: A retweet from Janet Jackson, who called one of his videos “cute.”

Campbell insists that medical staff are keen to participate in his videos, but he’s holding out hope for one. “I’m still trying to get the chairman of our department to join,” he says. “I’ve gotta get him dancing. He’s a tough sell, to say the least.”

The doctor says that dancing is an escape from a frantic environment where “you often hear more prayers than at church.” He keeps his clips short to avoid overshadowing the care that doctors provide daily.

“Because of the coronavirus, you’re seeing a lack of hospital visitors across the nation so patients are coming in alone,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I can't post photos of a cardiac bypass, but I can show you that we're in this together.”

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