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.
As a result, the hashtag #MedBikini started trending on Twitter as many female doctors posted their own bikini selfies in protest.
Many male doctors also posted swimsuit photos to show their support for the cause.
In lieu of posting bikini selfies, other medical professionals posted tweets asking the study be retracted.
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.
“However, this was clearly not the result,” he said, adding in another tweet that “we were wrong not to have considered the inherent gender bias and have certainly learned from this experience.”
He added: “I am sorry that we made our young surgeons feel targeted and that we were judgmental.”
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