Nurses and doctors are flocking to TikTok to crack jokes and lip sync. But are they eroding patients' trust?

Updated 5:06 AM ET, Sat January 18, 2020

(CNN)Scroll past the teens who film themselves flossing (that's the dance, not the act of dental hygiene) and the young activists satirizing the issues of the day, and you might find a board-certified physician thrusting furiously to a Ciara song, extolling the virtues of complex carbohydrates.

That may sound like a sentence straight out of Mad Libs. It's not.
Medical professionals are navigating the testy waters of TikTok, one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, en masse.
The hope is, if TikTok's primarily teen demographic doesn't get adequate health education in school, maybe they can pick up a tip or two in between all the lip syncing. Just make it funny, self-aware enough and, if possible, frame it like a meme.
They don't always get it right.
Healthcare-themed TikToks that have gone viral as of late have been widely derided. A now-deleted clip from a user named Nurse Holly was widely criticized this month for stating that abstinence is the best form of STI prevention. Before that, a nurse who goes by D Rose on TikTok who mocked patients for faking their symptoms accidentally kicked off a hashtag movement that led thousands of users to share moments when their medical providers didn't believe them.
    And when a few people get it wrong, experts worry that their slip-ups, shared far and wide, could sow growing distrust in the medical profession.
    "Social media is absolutely an important space for medical professionals to be having conversations around things like public education, trying to combat some of the misinformation and pseudoscience that's just running rampant on all these different platforms," said Sarah Mojarad, a lecturer at the University of Southern California and science communications expert.
    "But people are just posting content. They're not really thinking about their role as a medical professional and how that's going to impact the public's perception of medical professionals," she told CNN.

    There's no preced