Medical professionals around the world are posting bikini selfies to protest a study that suggests the pics are “unprofessional.”
The study, which appeared in the Journal of Vascular Surgery, suggested that patients may choose their hospital, doctor or medical facility based, in part, on how professional a doctor’s publicly available social media content appears.
The researchers created fake social media profiles in order to study each medical professional’s personal photos and determined that 61 of the 235 medical residents they studied had “unprofessional or potentially unprofessional content,” according to Insider.com.
The study defined “unprofessional behavior” as drinking alcohol, using profane language, wearing Halloween costumes and sharing bikini photos.
Although the study was published last December, it went viral among medical pros this week, many of whom objected to the way it was conducted.
If you are a true #heforshe then you must speak up against this disturbing study— Mudit Chowdhary (@DrChowdharyMD) July 24, 2020
3 men created fake social media accounts to purposefully spy on applicants
Worse they are shaming our women physician colleagues for wearing bikinis 🤦🏽♂️ #MedTwitter #MedBikini #retraction pic.twitter.com/MvNZoBnok2
As a result, the hashtag #MedBikini started trending on Twitter as many female doctors posted their own bikini selfies in protest.
Apparently it’s unprofessional for doctors to post social media pics wearing bikinis & drinking alcohol, so here’s me doing both. #MedBikini— Dr. Victoria Dooley (@DrDooleyMD) July 24, 2020
Also deemed unprofessional, profanity & political talk but these dudes can fuck off b/c health care should be free at the point of care. https://t.co/Lk99jCRdrD
I’m excellent at my job, I’m a professional. I’m a doctor. I’m a human. I’m VERY sexually active. If you have a problem with that, there’s the fucking door. Nobody tells me what I can/can’t wear since I’m in healthcare, like this see-through set I’m wearing #MedBikini #medbikini pic.twitter.com/AAq9f5bwIb— Karen Estefany (@thekinkymedgirl) July 24, 2020
Very professional neonatologist. Likes include bikinis, uttering profanities, alcoholic beverages, singing/dancing at concerts, shouting at matches, dressing up. Fan of breast milk. Dislikes include racism, homo/transphobia, misogyny #MedBikini pic.twitter.com/BJbAHemgZU— Anne Doolan (@drdoolan) July 24, 2020
#MedTwitter, do you know what’s unprofessional? Misogyny and sexism.— Marina (@marinadpol) July 24, 2020
Do you know what not unprofessional? Enjoying yourself, knowing how to relax and owning your body.
Here I am in a cold waterfall. Placement clothing wouldn’t be very appropriate here.#MedBikini #BodyPositivity pic.twitter.com/iRj9AKHMV8
It breaks my heart, but this just shows a peak behind the curtain at how behind and backwards the culture in medicine is. Here's a picture of me after finishing my leading Research Thesis on Emergency Vehicle Trauma. Doctors are people too #MedBikini pic.twitter.com/A4zrSYEFNo— Emily Casey (@emilyscasey) July 24, 2020
Many male doctors also posted swimsuit photos to show their support for the cause.
Although no one will want to see this Dad bod here it is in full support of my female colleagues and this misogynistic study. Without my female mentor in medschool and the one in residency, I wouldn’t be the surgeon I am today. #MedBikini pic.twitter.com/nSlDtA5hTZ— Anthony Tucker (@AnthonyTuckerMD) July 24, 2020
In lieu of posting bikini selfies, other medical professionals posted tweets asking the study be retracted.
This is a call for the retraction of your paper: https://t.co/bsrEDC4QRC. It is highly inappropriate and discriminatory. It does not reflect the values of your institute and that of this profession. #retractthepaper— SluttyMD (@MdSlutty) July 23, 2020
@BUMedicine @BMCSurgery @JVascSurg
The reaction was so intense that researcher Dr. Jeff Siracuse apologized via a multipart Twitter thread.
He said study’s intent was “to empower surgeons to be aware and then personally decide” what to post on social media.
He added: “I am sorry that we made our young surgeons feel targeted and that we were judgmental.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.