When a story goes viral, there may be few alternatives for the subject of the story to defend him or herself against the impression the video may present. Sometimes, a viral video is intentional, used for promotional purposes, and the more shocking, the better for one’s business. While it is not unheard of for medical professionals in New York and elsewhere to use YouTube videos to promote their practices, one doctor in another state recently had her license suspended when a viral video coincided with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The dermatologist was known as the ‘dancing doctor’ because she frequently posted videos on her practice’s YouTube channel of her dancing and rapping while her patients were still unconscious. Her fame turned to infamy when a 54-year-old woman suffered complications during an extensive surgery. The complications apparently deprived her brain of oxygen, and she now requires constant care for a debilitating brain injury.
In a video interview with a local news station, the doctor described the surgical event as something she could not have foreseen or prevented. Though not a surgeon, anyone with a medical license can perform surgery by state law. She stands by her experience performing thousands of similar procedures. The doctor defends her videos by saying that she only filmed herself dancing at the end of the surgeries and only when the patient had given consent.
Recently, the medical board in her state determined that the doctor poses a threat to public safety, and they suspended her license in light of several pending medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical professionals in New York who face this kind of firestorm of events may feel confounded and uncertain of what to do. Fortunately, there are attorneys who have successfully defended physicians facing similar threats to their livelihood and their reputations.