“Dancing Doc” Tony Adkins busts a move at work to uplift the spirits of patients fighting grave medical conditions.
Adkins is a physician’s assistant at Children's Hospital of Orange County in the pediatric neurosurgery department. The 42-year-old attracted attention after videos of his moves were posted on the hospital’s social media accounts.
The married father of two daughters believes busting a move is helpful for kids who may be facing a bleak prognosis.
“Practicing in neurosurgery means I see some of the worst things that can possibly take place for a child,” he wrote in an op-ed for MedPage Today. “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.”
Adkins grew up in a tough neighborhood and said music helped him cope with a difficult childhood.
“My desire to connect with patients through these routines is rooted in my own personal history of relying on music to cope with early harsh realities,” he continued.
“I grew up under a single mother in South Central L.A. surrounded by violence and poverty. With two older brothers who fell into the trappings of gang violence, the odds were against me," Adkins said.
Adkins’ work allows him to tap into all of his passions.
“I do everything a physician does,” he told The Orange County Register. “I manage, diagnose, treat, assist in surgery. I give the doctor my thoughts on cases. This is a job where I’ve been able to put together my passion for medicine, kids, dance and music. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Adkins admits the attention can be “overwhelming,” but he isn’t hanging up his dancing shoes anytime soon. His influence on the hospital is palatable.
“They ask us for the Dancing Doc,” said neuroscience nurse Trisha Stockton. “Tony lightens up every room he walks into. A kid that hasn’t smiled in days, smiles.”
Adkins believes dancing with his patients benefits his health, as well.
“There's nothing better than seeing a smile on my patient's faces or to hear them laugh - it's self-care for me, too,” he told The Daily Mail.
“I will definitely continue to dance with my patients - it's become an integral part of my treatment and care for children. Nothing is more important than the health of a child, and I am so lucky to play an integral role in that.”
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