Antiviral: ‘TikTok Doc’ loses paper on faculty development over concerns about harassment suit

Jason Campbell

The now-infamous “TikTok Doc” who was embroiled in a recently settled sexual harassment suit has lost a 2020 paper on, wait for it, faculty development after his co-authors decided that the collaboration risked “reputational damage” to themselves and dismissal of the work. 

Jason Campbell was an anesthesiology resident at Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland, when he became a social media darling. Clips of him dancing in the hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic went viral on TikTok — before Campell was accused of sexually harassing a social worker at the Portland VA hospital, where the anesthesiologist sometimes worked. (Campbell left the institution and reportedly now lives and works in Florida.)

According to The Oregonian, the suit against Cambell and OHSU alleges that: 

Campbell harassed a woman social worker from January through March last year, sending a pornographic photo of himself through social media and sexually charged text messages.

Then on March 12, the suit alleges, Campbell went into the woman’s office area at the medical center, crept up behind her and forcibly pressed against her so she could feel his erection.

Court documents claim that Cambell also was accused of sexually assaulting an “OHSU student and employee” — but that the episode was not disclosed to officials despite being relayed to an unidentified assistant professor who was a mandatory reporter. 

The suit settled for $585,000 in April.

In November 2020 — after the alleged assaults occurred but before the lawsuit was filed — Campbell and two OHSU colleagues published a paper in The Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine

Titled “The Growth Mindset in Medical Education: A Call for Faculty Development,” the article argues that: 

Despite a national call for increased under-represented in Medicine (URiMs) in the United States’ (US) medical schools, data from 2018 to 19 indicate that the number of Latino/Hispanic (6%) African American (7%), and American Indian/Alaska Natives (0.2%) has plateaued [1]. Attention to creating a culture that is supportive of URiM trainees is critical to providing our increasingly diverse patients a similarly representative healthcare workforce. Increasing URiM physicians will not only help to meet a predicted 139,000 physician shortfall by 2033 but it will also help to ensure greater access to quality care for all patients including racial and ethnic minorities [1]. A lack of mentorship, stereotype threat, and racial bias from instructors resulting in isolation in medical training are factors responsible for a disproportionate number of URiMs [2,3]. A necessary starting point for reversing this trend is promoting an understanding of the racism endemic in medical centers, departments, and individuals in conjunction with institution-wide educational programs focused on creating an antiracist culture. Exploration of education research, the historical perspective of medicine and the current racial climate in the US has provided us an opportunity to consider novel approaches for medical education.

The journal has now decided to retract the paper, stating

Following publication of this article, the authors shared a major disclosure that, in the view of the Editor-in-Chief, would have unduly affected the perception and influence of the work. Specially [sic], one author became involved in a legal dispute with their institution leading to their resignation. Although this dispute was unrelated to the article, all authors agreed to retract the paper because of the potential for reputational damage and denigration of the article.

Campbell did not respond to a request for comment.

We emailed the journal for comment but have not heard back.

Like Retraction Watch? You can make a one-time tax-deductible contribution or a monthly tax-deductible donation to support our work, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, or subscribe to our daily digest. If you find a retraction that’s not in our database, you can let us know here. For comments or feedback, email us at

2 thoughts on “Antiviral: ‘TikTok Doc’ loses paper on faculty development over concerns about harassment suit”

  1. Not sure this is a good idea – of course researchers who commit sexual harassment/assault deserve to suffer the consequences, but I think it’s bad for research and knowledge if entirely legitimate articles start getting retracted because of misconduct by authors that was unrelated to the integrity of the research.

    (Of course, things are more difficult in the humanities, if a person who has been speaking for a particular ethical/political position in their writings turns out to have been behaving in a very different way in their personal life.)

    1. It appears that the authors withdrew the paper not because they had lost confidence in the accuracy of its contents, but because they decided that its impact on their reputations (and the reputations of their institutions) would not be as positive as they had originally believed.

      This is an unusually honest insight into the driving forces for academic activity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.