Video of ‘Dancing Doc’ who cheers up pediatric patients goes viral

Aby Rivas
Nov 10, 2018
05:44 A.M.

Tony Adkins, a 43-year-old physician assistant that works at the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), has become an internet star after videos of him dancing with his patients went viral. The man believes that dancing can help the kids to “renew their souls.”


The man has earned the title of “Dancing Doc,” and people are loving the way Adkins can turn the hospital into a dance floor where he gives his patients the opportunity to be kids again and forget, even for a moment, about the illnesses affecting them.


Stepping out of the traditional ways, Adkins decided to incorporate dancing into his medical examinations, and as he explained on a recent interview, dancing has more value than just giving the kids a bit of fun.


“It has a clinical value as it allows me to assess a patient’s physical abilities, mobility, and recovery process. I recently had a patient who reluctant to get out of bed after surgery, but when I came in one morning to see him, an invitation to dance got him out of bed and moving. After we finished dancing, he kept going and starting doing laps around the hospital floor – it was awesome to see.”

Adkins, a father of two, has stated in several interviews that he grew up in a poor neighborhood with a single mom and two older brothers that succumbed to the gang life. But he always wanted more for his life, and music and dancing helped him overcome difficulties.


“It gave me a way to cope,” Adkins said. “And now, I use the same thing that helped me to calm my patients.”

He joined the army after graduation from high school, and when he returned home, he realized what he wanted to do with his life. “I wanted to be a pediatrician because I always loved being around kids,” he told The Orange County Register.


Adkins graduated with a bachelor’s degree in neurosciences from UC Riverside and a masters from Loma Linda University in global health and epidemiology. Later, he obtained a master’s in health sciences from the University of Washington, which allowed him to work as a physician assistant.

Tony’s dancing sessions have become so popular that often parents would call the hospital in advance saying their kids want to schedule a meeting with the “Dancing Doc.”


Michael Muhonen, director of neurosurgery at CHOC Children’s and medical director of the CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Institute, revealed that Tony gives patients a “priceless” experience and that dancing with him “It’s like giving that patient a shot of morphine to relieve pain.”

Adkins wrote in a blog for MedPage Today:

“Practicing in neurosurgery means I see some of the worst things that can possibly take place for a child. In an area of medicine where the stakes are high and the spirits often low, I believe it's important to create an outlet for kids to have fun because laughter and silliness is one of the best doses of medicine I can provide to patients.”

The doctor is aware of his newly found fame on social media, and while he feels like a celebrity at times, he maintains that the private moments with his patients are what matters the most for him.


“Giving kids an opportunity to laugh, move, and shed some of their inhibitions has so much power to renew and heal the soul,” he concluded.


Read some of the people's reactions to his videos below:

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