Young: So, the, uh, the sinister minister—that would be me … (Fades under again.)
Khazan: He had an account on Periscope, the live-streaming site.
Young: (Moaning.) Aw, shit! What a great, great, great, great song! Oh, look, I got a new haircut today … (Fades under.)
Khazan: And he posted dozens of videos there.
Young: Even get all gussied up for tonight. (Fades under.)
Khazan: Jeff was working as a nurse practitioner at a clinic called Preventagenix in Jackson, Tennessee. And he’d stream from inside the clinic sometimes.
Young: All right. This is just gonna be a little freeze spray first.
Khazan: Anyone online could watch him, say, biopsy someone’s skin while listening to hard rock.
Young: (Over hard-rock music.) It’s gonna be a little cold, all right? You ready? Three, two, one.
Khazan: Or stitch someone up after they cut themselves on a wine glass.
Young: (Just after another person laughs.) Hey, are you paying attention? I’m in the middle of a life-saving procedure here. [A moment of indistinct crosstalk.] Look at me! Everybody pay fucking attention worldwide because I’m about to save this motherfucker’s life—live on Periscope broadcast!
Unnamed guest: I can’t believe he stabbed himself … (Fades under.)
Khazan: The videos were sarcastic and loose, intimate in their own bizarre way. They painted a picture of the kind of medical office where you might actually want to hang out. It wasn’t like any medical office I’d ever been to. And Jeff, sitting at the center of it, covered in tattoos—he had a sort of unlikely charisma too.
Young: Hi, my name is Jeff Young. I am a, uh, nurse practitioner. Jackson, Tennessee. (Fades under.)
Khazan: In 2016, Jeff tried to broadcast his world even more widely. He invited a cameraman to document his life and eventually had it edited into a pilot for a reality-TV show.
Young: What’s up, my friend? How’s it going?
Patient: Good, man. How you doing?
(The two clap each other’s backs in a half-hug.)
Young: Aw, I’m doin’ good.
Khazan: In the pilot, he presents himself as more of a friend than a medical professional. He would chitchat with his patients, ask them about their latest tattoos.
Young: What’s your new ink?
Khazan: But the pilot also showed the other side of Jeff. The grosser side.
Young: (Moans, then inhales.) Mercy me.
Khazan: Like, for example, here he is sniffing a pair of women’s underwear with his sidekick, a friend named Kevin.
Young: Uhh …
Kevin: High-class, high-class.
Young: (Guessing.) Victoria’s Secret.
Kevin: High-class female right there.
Young: Very nice. Actually very nice, yeah.
Kevin: I bet they still smell good.
Young: Yeah. You wanna do a test?
Khazan: To me, this felt immature, but it was all part of the brand. He was the casual party guy, not the stuffy doctor. And people in the pilot gave testimonials saying as much.
Rock Doc pilot testimonial: (Over heavy rock music.) And most doctors you’ve seen, they give off this persona as like, “I’m too cool. I’m too good for you because I got this money,” or whatever. Yeah. He may have that, but he’s not … He’s down to earth. He’s just laid back. He’s just one of the guys that you could drink a beer with, or you can go let him give you a shot in the ass … (Fades under.)