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MDLinxA Viral TikTok Doctor Lost Her Medical License After Botching Surgeries

Here’s how can you use the platform for good.

The recent loss of medical licensure for an Ohio plastic surgeon who was previously viral on TikTok has underscored the need for medical professionals to approach social media with caution. The case brings to light the complex issues of patient privacy, consent, and maintaining professional standards in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. It’s not just about what can be shared, but also how it’s done and why, and it’s something that all medical professionals must grapple with in the age of social media.

Key Points:

  • Ohio-based plastic surgeon Katherine Grawe lost her medical license in July after being sued for botched surgeries and streaming procedures on TikTok.
  • The medical board cited her reckless attitude, prioritizing social media over patient care, and fined her $4,500.
  • The case emphasizes the importance of upholding professionalism in both the medical practice and online, with special attention to factual accuracy, patient privacy, and safety.
  • HIPAA law highlights that the doctor-patient relationship is confidential, and breaching this can result in serious consequences including reputation damage, job loss, and litigation.
  • Even signed consent for social media videos might not be enough to protect doctors and patients from legal issues or social backlash.

Additional Points:

  • There’s a need for an extensive and detailed consent process if doctors wish to post patient content online, including thorough explanation of risks and intended use.
  • Alteration, reposting, or misuse of content by others is a risk that both doctors and patients must be aware of once it’s uploaded.
  • An alternative to posting patient content is to focus on educational format, letting facts guide the content.


  • The incident with Dr. Grawe serves as a stark reminder of the intricate relationship between medical professionalism and social media. Physicians must carefully weigh the benefits and risks of social media engagement and adhere to strict guidelines to protect both their patients and their professional standing.

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“Once content is posted, both doctor and patient must realize it takes on a life of its own over which the original creators have no control.”

Martin Gasparian, Esq
Maison Law (California)
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