It's no surprise that employers often look at job applicants' social media profiles before hiring them. According to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers "use social media to screen candidates before hiring."
It makes sense because social media profiles can reveal a lot about someone's true personality and employers don't want to take any unnecessary risks.
The Journal of Vascular Surgery did a study where it viewed the social media profiles of 235 medical residents to see if they had "unprofessional or potentially unprofessional content."
The study found that "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."
The paper with a warning: "Young surgeons should be aware of the permanent public exposure of unprofessional content that can be accessed by peers, patients, and current/future employers."
via Science Direct
At first glance, this study seemed like it was helping graduates with their careers by warning them against social media posts that could get them into trouble. But the study created in a backlash from the medical community because it shamed female doctors.
The major bone of contention that medical professionals had with the study is that the team of predominantly male researchers said that "provocative posing in bikinis/swimwear," "provocative Halloween costumes," and "holding/ consuming alcohol" are all inappropriate.
There's nothing wrong with a woman wearing a bikini or anyone having a beer in public, why did the study deem them inappropriate?
The paper inspired female medical professionals to push back against the study by posting shots of themselves in swimwear and imbibing adult beverages under #MedBikini.
Proudly married to a beer drinking, bikini wearing, loving, caring & exceedingly professional doctor. Fuck these cl… https://t.co/IlU2Va1S6b— Chris (@Chris)1595596869.0
was initially a little nervous about participating bc the tag is rly full of white & thin bodies BUT anyway fuck ar… https://t.co/Jd2scPIknL— bimbo rights activist (@bimbo rights activist)1595598144.0
My #MedBikini because there's nothing unprofessional about a backyard swim, but also my Mardi Gras look because the… https://t.co/xo5EHXp17s— Emery Excell (@Emery Excell)1595592820.0
Now I know some of you may be thinking “wow she owns a swimsuit, how unprofessional”, but all I’m thinking is “wow… https://t.co/V6qrlW97nx— Natalie Wall, MD (@Natalie Wall, MD)1595558102.0
I am a woman in medicine who loves to travel to tropical locations and dress accordingly. I will not wear my white… https://t.co/FCSaDXx3d9— saphrophyticus (@saphrophyticus)1595538566.0
bikini pics on my social media are only ONE, VERY MINOR component of my unprofessional social media presence! her… https://t.co/l0j8re96QG— Al (@Al)1595538468.0
Apparently chicks who wear bikinis in their free time can’t be professional healthcare providers? Me, six weeks aft… https://t.co/W3vdqJYl4b— Karen (not “that” Karen) A. (@Karen (not “that” Karen) A.)1595562890.0
👋Hi I’m a medical professional & I wear bikinis. Here I am post-night shift enjoying life like a normal human. Did… https://t.co/K9vyxyIUj3— Darien Stratton, MD MA (@Darien Stratton, MD MA)1595564846.0
I am good at my job, I am a professional. I am a doctor. I am also a human. So to anyone who wishes to take issue… https://t.co/COKYNGDEMz— Stephanie deGiorgio (@Stephanie deGiorgio)1595584026.0
reposting to use #MedBikini 🥵✌🏼swimwear and alcohol are not forbidden from the instagrams of women in medicine beca… https://t.co/wJp1Vc0fnm— mango med (@mango med)1595562862.0
Some male allies got in on the hashtag, too.
Although no one will want to see this Dad bod here it is in full support of my female colleagues and this misogynis… https://t.co/7eD6UZj4s4— Anthony Tucker (@Anthony Tucker)1595593057.0
#MedBikini come get your boy, he’s unprofessional https://t.co/5y3fUha5IX— Nicholas Miladore (@Nicholas Miladore)1595554119.0
How unprofessional is this life jacket? #medbikini https://t.co/RAuGeik3zD— Ortho PA-C (@Ortho PA-C)1595565113.0
The backlash prompted one of the authors of the study, Dr. Jeff Siracuse, to apologize for the paper's framing.
"Our intent was to empower surgeons to be aware and then personally decide what may be easily available for our patients and colleagues to see about us social media," Siracuse wrote on Twitter.
"However, this was clearly not the result. We realize that the definition of professionalism is rapidly changing in medicine and that we need to support our trainees and surgeons as our society changes without the appearance of judgment."
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