What is #MedBikini? The bizarre social media trend shaming docs for wearing swimwear

A deeper dive into the trend also shows cases of alleged stalking

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, July 25, 2020, 10:54 AM IST
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Several medical professionals have called out the paper for its bizarre study | futurenurselauren_wcu - Instagram

A new trend has suddenly exploded on social media where medical practitioners are seen sharing a collage with one image of them in their medical attire and the other of them donning a swimsuit.

The trend called #medbikini has garnered a lot of traction after a December 2019 paper published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery titled ‘Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons’ created major outrage.

The journal in its abstract says, “It has been demonstrated that publicly available social media content may affect patient choice of physician, hospital, and medical facility. Furthermore, such content has the potential to affect professional reputation among peers and employers. Our goal was to evaluate the extent of unprofessional social media content among recent vascular surgery fellows and residents.”

The Journal added that ‘clearly unprofessional content included Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violations, intoxicated appearance, unlawful behavior, possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, and uncensored profanity or offensive comments about colleagues/work/patients. Potentially unprofessional content included: holding/consuming alcohol, inappropriate attire, censored profanity, controversial political or religious comments, and controversial social topics.’

Following this, a number of medical professionals started sharing images on social media, with one of them even saying that people had created fake accounts to stalk female medical professionals.

This is how people reacted on social media

The Journal on Saturday, however, issued an apology in a statement that has been published on Twitter. Editors Peter Gloviczki and Peter Lawrence said that while the editors of the journal believed that the authors of the paper “were attempting to advise young vascular surgeons about the risks of social media, the review process failed to identify the errors in the design of the study with regards to conscious and unconscious bias and thus the paper was interpreted as broadening inequalities in surgery.”

However, what has created the biggest controversy is the claims of stalking. In the paper, it is said, "There were a total of three screeners, and all content on each platform was screened by two separate investigators for prespecified material categorised as either (1) clearly unprofessional or (2) potentially unprofessional. S.H. was a 33-year-old male vascular fellow who performed searches on Facebook and Instagram. T.C. was a 28-year-old male research coordinator and medical school applicant who searched Facebook and Twitter. S.R. was a 37-year-old male medical student who searched Twitter and Instagram."

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