Female surgeons take to Twitter to blast physician gender stereotypes

In the wake of the #iLookLikeAnEngineer hashtag that aimed to break gender stereotypes in engineering, female surgeons are beginning to make waves in the Twittersphere to raise awareness about women physicians.

The engineering hashtag got its start when Isis Anchalee, a female platform engineer, was featured in an ad campaign for her employer, OneLogin, and it received a slew of negative comments. "Some people think I'm not making 'the right face'. Others think that this is unbelievable as to what 'female engineers look like'," Ms. Anchalee wrote on her blog.

Ms. Anchalee's story prompted Heather Logghe, MD, a surgery resident at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Hospital, to create the related hashtag #iLookLikeASurgeon, to disrupt gender stereotypes in surgery on Twitter.

Dr. Logghe first tweeted the hashtag Aug. 5, and followed up the next day with a picture of herself in scrubs holding her daughter. The idea quickly caught on.  

As of June 2015, only 32 percent of physicians identify as female, according to Kaiser Family Foundation, yet they have managed to make a big impression online. According to Boston.com, there are more than 11,000 tweets and nearly 29 million impressions for the #ILookLikeASurgeon hashtag.


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