A group of researchers published a study that recently went viral last week for judging young doctors’ professionalism based on their social media posts.
Sexist study: On December 24, 2019, the study was published behind a paywall in the Journal of Vascular Surgery and looked at the social media accounts of 480 recent vascular-surgery graduates from 2016 to 2018.
- To be able to view these personal photos, the doctors and researchers created fake social media profiles.
- Based on their findings, 61 of the 235 medical residents they reviewed had “unprofessional or potentially unprofessional content.”
- These types of content were defined in their paper as: “drinking alcohol, using profane language, and wearing Halloween costumes, and sharing bikini photos.”
- The study posits: “One-half of recent and soon to be graduating vascular surgery trainees had an identifiable social media account with more than one-quarter of these containing unprofessional content.”
- “Account holders who self-identified as vascular surgeons were more likely to be associated with unprofessional social media behavior,” the paper continued. “Young surgeons should be aware of the permanent public exposure of unprofessional content that can be accessed by peers, patients, and current/future employers.”
Public reaction: When the study became free to view last week and was recently promoted on social media, it caught the attention and disapproval of many. The hashtag #MedBikini started trending on both Twitter and Instagram with medical professionals posting photos in their swimwear and showing their support for fellow “unprofessional” medical professionals.
- Thomas Cheng, one of the study’s researchers, shared a link to the paper via a tweet. His Twitter account has since been deleted or deactivated as of this writing.
- Social media users found the study deplorable for “shaming” female doctors and nurses.
- On Twitter and Instagram, many female medical practitioners posted bikini selfies using the hashtag #MedBikini to combat the stigma perpetuated by the study.
- Along with the bikini photos, the medics also shared details of their credentials and accomplishments.
- In her Twitter post, gynecologist Dr. Ariela Rozenek pointed out the double-standards in professionalism between male and female doctors and linked a separate report titled, “How Women Experience Gender-Based Discrimination During Postgraduate Surgical Training.”
— Ariela Rozenek (@Gyneonbeat) July 24, 2020
- Meanwhile, Rush University radiation oncology chief resident Dr. Mudit Chowdhary called the study “disturbing.”
If you are a true #heforshe then you must speak up against this disturbing study
3 men created fake social media accounts to purposefully spy on applicants
— Mudit Chowdhary (@DrChowdharyMD) July 24, 2020
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Just in case you thought me wearing a bikini has anything to do with how good or “professional” of a #nurse I am #medbikini 👙. As you’ve probably heard by now, yesterday a study was published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery where some male doctors took it upon themselves to become the social media police and go through other surgeons accounts to deem whether it was “professional” by their standards. They determined that wearing a bikini an “inappropriate outfit” and holding alcohol in a photo was also a big red flag.. along with so many other comical statements. Overall the study is a piece of trash. Not sure who gave them permission to determine what is and is not appropriate for a woman’s body. Swipe to see the study 🤣.