• Clodagh Meaney

#MedBikini: Doctors post bikini pics in response to sexist report calling them 'unprofessional'

"We can wear WHATEVER we want on our free time, and still save your life."

Female doctors across the globe have begun posting their beach-side bikini pictures in a bid to protest a sexist study which called them "unprofessional."

The research study 'Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons,' was published by the Journal of Vascular Surgery and found that 30 percent of female and 24 percent of male doctors surveyed had "inappropriate content" on their social media.

Deeming 9.4 percent of accounts to have "inappropriate attire", the study defined such as "pictures in underwear, provocative Halloween costumes, and provocative posing in bikinis/swimwear."

Taking to Instagram, social media star, and General Practitioner Dr. Doireann O'Leary slammed the study.

"This week a scientific paper was published in which male doctors openly admitted to using social media accounts to 'spy' on other doctors," her post began.

"They assessed their online presence and deemed content like bikini photos inappropriate. Needless to say, this has caused quite a stir amongst both male and female doctors alike and has sparked the trend #MedBikini"

Dr. Doireann expressed her disgust that the paper not only passed an ethics committee, but also a peer review process.

"What I do know is that patients don’t care what their doctors do in their personal life or share online."

"I’ve always shared my personal life quite openly," she said, continuing: "My patients don’t care about my online presence as long as I’m taking care of them professionally and competently - which I of course always do my utmost to achieve."

Director of Cardiology at the Institute of Plant Based Medicine, Dr. Danielle Belardo began the hashtag, standing with her fellow doctors she posted #MedBikini picture saying: "NEWSFLASH: FEMALE DOCTORS CAN WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT."

"I’m a cardiologist standing in solidarity with female vascular surgeons today," she said on Instagram, reiterating that doctors can wear bikinis and still be excellent healthcare providers.

"Female doctors, nurses, NPs/PAs, all healthcare professionals - we can wear a bikini, a dress, or we can wear scrubs."

"This does not change how good we are at being a healthcare provider. We can wear WHATEVER we want on our free time, and still save your life."

Slamming the article as "ridiculous", Dr. Danielle said that the study was written by three men who created fake social media accounts to spy on young graduates.

"Sexism in medicine is alive and well. But we won’t let that stop us," she continued.

"In this ridiculous article making its rounds on social media, the vascular surgery authors sought out to determine how many vascular surgeons had participated in what they state is 'inappropriate social media behaviour', which they defined as photos in BIKINIS - BUT ?? NOT MEN IN BATHING SUITS."

The doctor, from Newport Beach in California, encouraged other women in medicine to post their favourite bikini, dress, or Halloween costume with the hashtag #MedBikini in a bid to drown out the sexism in medicine.

Other criticism of the study included a lack of diversity among those conducting the research.

Following the backlash, the journal retracted the study and issued an apology to "every person who has communicated the sadness, anger and disappointment" caused by the article.

"Many who have read the article expressed great concerns about the method of data collection, lack of diversity of the authors collecting data, as well as a potential bias in the evaluation and conclusion.”

They also admitted that the authors did not receive approval to use of the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery's database to identify surgeons in training who had their social media accounts unknowingly studied for the paper.

"We have received an outpouring of constructive commentary on this matter, and we intend to take each point seriously and take resolute steps to improve our review process and increase diversity of our editorial boards."

© 2020 by EMPWR

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