As the old saying goes, "Any publicity is good publicity." Maybe that was true in the 19th century, but not so much in 2021 thanks to the permanency of the internet and the proliferation of social media. And certainly not in healthcare, where professional reputation and maintaining good appearances is crucial, not only for the survival of one's career, but also the integrity of the patient-physician (patient-provider?) relationship. Most sane folks (including healthcare professionals) don't spend an inordinate amount of time curating their online reputation. But certainly, most people aren't trying to actively destroy their credibility and professional reputation either. Unless you're a physician assistant by the name of Daniela Salazar, apparently. Until very recently, PA Daniela was employed at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Bronx, NY with the non-profit group Urban Health Plan. PA Daniela went above and beyond for her patients using her creative skills, as demonstrated by her cringe-tastic TikTok video:
Ah yes, because there's nothing quite like demonstrating your commitment to vulnerable, socioeconomically disadvantaged and medically underserved communities by mocking a poor patient's STD diagnoses, inability to maintain steady phone service, and resulting health complications requiring an extensive medical workup due to an inability to arrange timely follow-up care!
It's all the more ironic, given that PA Daniela markets herself as a healthcare professional who's deeply devoted to serving medically disadvantaged patients and making a difference in their lives. She somehow landed a scholarship with the National Health Service Corps, a US government program that recruits healthcare professionals in training to commit to providing primary care to communities in need, in exchange for tuition support and eligibility for loan repayment. And if her (now-deleted) Instagram account is any indication, PA Daniela had a substantial social media following and was an influencer for the medical apparel company Medelita. It seems Daniela was more interested in graduating from PA school debt-free than actually caring for the underserved...she had us all fooled for a while, eh?
With the help of various online netizens armed with virtual pitchforks, it looks like PA Daniela's tomfoolery has come to an end. On August 23, 2021, Urban Health Plan posted the above message on their Instagram. Needless to say, PA Daniela's online antics are irreversibly antithetical to the mission of Urban Health Plan, not to mention healthcare and professionalism in general, and we are pleased to see UHP take such swift and decisive action. It looks like PA Daniela is now trying to lay low, with her Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn profiles either deleted or made private. Time for a career change?