#MedBikini: Female doctors snap back after study body shames for bikini pics

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Saturday, July 25, 2020
Female doctors snap back after study body shames for bikini pics
#MedBikini flooded social media after healthcare professionals say a published study "body-shamed" them for pictures posted online.

Health care professionals flooded social media Friday with photos of themselves relaxing poolside and enjoying margaritas with #MedBikini.

Trading in their white coats for bathing suits, the posts are a clap back following a study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery that deemed those types of posts as "potentially unprofessional."

"I don't think because I have 'Dr.' in front of my name that should hold me to a different social media standard," said Gabby Brauner, a medical student at Stony Brook University.

The study, titled "Prevalence of Unprofessional Social Media Content Among Young Vascular Surgeons," looked at the social media accounts of nearly 500 young surgery trainees -- male and female.

It concluded that more than one-quarter of the accounts contained "unprofessional content," like images of people holding alcoholic beverages and inappropriate attire in photos -- including "people in their underwear," "provocative Halloween costumes," and "provocative poses in bikinis/swimwear."

That's why 26-year old Londyn Robinson, who is also fourth-year medical student, said she was outraged by the study and decided to start the "medbikini" hashtag.

"I am pleasantly pleased with how it took off," Robinson said. "This visceral reaction I think of social media to come together as a med professional unit and say, we are very sick of primarily white men framing, how we can and cannot act and look."

Dr. Yalda Safai, who has competed in beauty pageants and modeled throughout med school, said she was often told that posting images of herself in a bikini undermined her profession

"I could be intellectual, I could be caring," said Safa, fourth-year psychiatry resident at ABC News. "I could have the best intentions for my patients. And yet it comes down to how I choose to dress and how I choose to behave outside of my profession."

On Friday, two of the study's seven authors apologized for the paper's contents. One of them, Dr. Jeff Siracuse, wrote a tweet that has since been deleted: "... we realize that our design had the potential for significant gender bias, particularly with male authors assessing the appropriateness of women's as well as men's clothing. To clarify our classification scheme, the so-called 'inappropriate attire' category included both women and men in swimsuits without shirts on."

Six of the seven listed authors have ties to Boston Medical Center, where a spokesperson told ABC News the paper "was ill-conceived, poorly executed and reinforces biases about professionalism and gender."

The Journal of Vascular Surgery issued an apology, which read, in part:

"We offer an apology to every person who has communicated the sadness, anger and disappointment 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."