Ready for Her Close-Up

Doctor uses TikTok to decompress, enjoy family at the end of the day

Dr. Tiffany Moon is on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic every day, teaching medical students and working in the operating room.

However, the associate professor of anesthesiology and pain management at UT Southwestern has found a creative way to channel her less serious side: TikTok. Shedding her PPE and decontaminating when she gets home serves as a symbolic way of letting go of they day’s stress. 

“The bad things that happened, the traumas that I saw today — let me wash that off of me because when I step into the house, I need to be happy and present and engaged for my kids,” Moon said. The social media platform also helps Moon decompress — and it has even brought her family closer together. Her husband, five-year-old twins, and 16-year-old twin stepchildren often make appearances in her videos.

“The forced pause, the canceled conferences, the PowerPoint slides that I didn’t have to do — It’s been almost like a reprieve in a way because i’ve gotten to spend so much time with my kids.”

Dr. Tiffany Moon
Tiffany Moon

“For 45 minutes, the six of us were sort of in a project together,” Moon said, describing how in one video, her family danced with glow sticks taped to their bodies. “We weren’t thinking about something else; we weren’t just sitting there watching a movie.” Moon’s stepdaughter, who films and edits Moon’s content, introduced her to the platform near the beginning of the pandemic, and also was the one to notice that Moon’s video titled “You know you’re at an Asian house when…” went viral. It has since garnered over 4 million views.

“I get that some people don’t want to see that side of a doctor; they think it’s maybe unprofessional or something like that, but I say, ‘I’m at home with my kids, doing this on my own time,’” Moon said. “It’s a stress reliever for me just to be able to make them.” Moon was planning to speak about her research at conferences around the world until COVID-19 put her plans on hold. However, Moon said that if it wasn’t for the pandemic, she likely wouldn’t have had the time to even make videos.

“The forced pause, the canceled conferences, the PowerPoint slides that I didn’t have to do — it’s been almost like a reprieve in a way because I’ve gotten to spend so much time with my kids,” she added. Now with more than 87,000 followers, Moon said that though she occasionally wishes to inform, her main goal is to make people laugh. “I have medical students and residents following me around all day and I’m explaining things to them all day, so really the last thing I want to do when I get home — and also be a preschool teacher to my five year old twins —  is have to educate more,” she said.

Though there’s much uncertainty with the world and in her profession, Moon said that she wants to continue making people smile with her videos. Mentioning the positive comments she receives on her posts, Moon said, “I’m going to keep doing this because I like it, people like it, it makes me happy, and I love making other people laugh.” 

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