Views & Reviews Outside the Box

New images needed: stereotypes in medical photographs

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 17 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1524
  1. Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care, University College London
  1. p.greenhalgh{at}

    If you search “medicine” on Google Images, you get a hundred million photographs. The most common image is a stethoscope. The next is a bottle of pills (or, sometimes, red and black capsules). The next is a surgeon, masked and gowned, slicing skin with a scalpel. Try “patient” and you will find lots of people in stripy pyjamas, lying obediently in bed, often with a spotty rash or a leg strung up in an orthopaedic hoist. Access a professional image …

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