We all have heard that laughter is the best medicine! This California doctor is set to prove this belief as he dances into the hearts of seriously ill children.

Tony Adkins is a 42-year-old pediatric neurosurgery physician assistant. Once he decided to dance in order to cheer up his patients after their operation. Seeing the amazing results, he has adopted dancing as an integral part of his treatment.

Tony believes that smiling and having interactions with the patients show better results than some pain medication.


Due to his dancing with all his patients, he has earned the nickname Dancing Doc at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). When asked about his dance, he told that he does it hoping that it will protect the magic of childhood in all his patients. He is determined to continue to dance for his patients for the rest of his medical career.

Tony is an army veteran.


“Dancing with patients is important because it adds levity and joy to the hospital experiences,” shared Tony, “What I’m doing is right in with CHOC’s commitment to preserving the magic of childhood and ensuring patients don’t have to put their childhoods on pause.” According to various studies, the positive effect on the brain from laughing, smiling and having interactions is greater than some pain medications.

Tony said, “It has a clinical value as it allows me to assess a patient’s physical abilities, mobility and recovery process.”


Remembering a past incident, Tony shared that he had a patient who reluctant to get out of the bed. However, after he got on invitation to dance from Tony, he got “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,” said Tony about the incident.

Tony shared, “Nurses have told me that when patients get admitted to the unit, they will ask for me specifically.”


“I’m not formally trained in dance, but I’ve always loved music and movement,” he continued, “If I can help to instill a love of music and dance in my patients, in addition to improving their outcomes and outlooks, that’s a wonderful thing.” He added, “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.”

Check out this video of him dancing:

Talking about the future, he said, “I will definitely continue to dance with my patients – it’s become an integral part of my treatment and care for children.” According to him, “Nothing is more important than the health of a child, and I am so lucky to play an integral role in that.”