Florida surgeon resigns over graphic patient photos, claims they were 'educational'

A former University of Miami Health System physician who resigned after posting graphic images of patients taken during surgery discussed the situation during an interview with The New York Times March 13.

Christopher Salgado, MD, who worked at the university's LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender and Sexual Health, told the publication he resigned from the institution last month after a public uproar over photos he posted to Instagram. He said he deleted the Instagram account Feb. 16.

"It was a bad decision to even open an Instagram account, looking at it now. The purpose really was to be educational with it, but it went awry," he said. "Yeah, these [photos] are patients' genitals, but it was teaching. It was basically educational: This is how we do this transformation. I felt like it really was educational."

Dr. Salgado said he deleted his account after receiving complaints from a user, who also complained to the university. Officials reportedly told Dr. Salgado he would be suspended while an investigation was conducted. However, he believed officials prejudged him, so he resigned over email instead.

"The hashtags were what people found the most offensive," Dr. Salgado told The New York Times. "It doesn't seem like it is related to the content that much because it was meant to be educational. But once the hashtags were added it became different."

While Dr. Salgado told The New York Times he did not write some of the hashtags, he admitted to writing others, including several hashtags about Asian men alongside photographs explaining the medical condition known as micropenis. However, he added that the posts did not violate patients' privacy because they did not directly identify any patients.

A University of Miami Health System official confirmed in a statement that Dr. Salgado is no longer employed.

"The University of Miami is committed to promoting and supporting diversity in its students, faculty, and staff and finds any transphobic comments unacceptable. As healthcare providers, we continue to have a team of experts dedicated to delivering the full continuum of care for gender reassignment patients," she said.

To access the full report, click here.

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