A published study that shamed female medical professionals for sharing bikini photos had people up in arms on social media.
The study, “Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons,” appeared in the August 2020 edition of the Journal of Vascular Surgery. The paper defined inappropriate attire as “pictures in underwear, provocative Halloween costumes, and provocative posing in bikinis/swimwear.”
However, healthcare professionals hit back. They flooded the internet with bikini pics alongside photos of themselves in work gear under the #MedBikini hashtag on Instagram and on Twitter. Scroll down, have a look, and don't forget to upvote your fave pics.
Researchers came under fire for a study they conducted about medical professionals
One doctor explained exactly why the study was sexist
The authors of the study have since apologized, as did the Journal of Vascular Surgery. The paper has also been retracted.
Most of the study’s authors have ties to the Boston Medical Center which put out a statement. A BMC spokesman said that the paper was “ill-conceived, poorly executed, and reinforces biases about professionalism and gender” and added that it doesn’t represent the values of the hospital.
“This paper highlights that we have so much more work to do to eliminate gender bias among our medical community, our training programs, and especially in the care we provide to our patients and the communities we serve,” they said.
The initial backlash was huge. Healthcare professionals criticized the “disturbing” study that concluded that young surgeons ought to be aware of the” permanent public exposure of unprofessional content that can be accessed by peers, patients, and current/future employers.” In other words, the study focused on the footprint that medical pros leave behind on social media and deemed certain things ‘unprofessional.’
The researchers compiled their data by creating ‘neutral’ profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They then used them to look through the social media feeds of young vascular surgeons.
However, medical professionals pointed out that posing in swimwear, enjoying the beach, or having a cocktail to relax didn’t make them any less professional or less committed to their jobs—it made them human.