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Views And Reviews

#ILookLikeASurgeon: embracing diversity to improve patient outcomes

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 10 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4653
  1. Heather Logghe, research fellow1,
  2. Christian Jones, acute care surgeon and surgical educator2,
  3. Alison McCoubrey, consultant general surgeon3,
  4. Edward Fitzgerald, surgeon and visiting lecturer4
  1. 1Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, US
  2. 2Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, US
  3. 3Causeway Hospital, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK
  4. 4King’s Centre for Global Health, King’s College London, London, SE5 9RJ
  1. heatherlogghe{at}

The stereotype of the arrogant, white, male surgeon is a barrier to professionals

Over the two years since it began1 #ILookLikeASurgeon, an online campaign celebrating women in surgery, has been included in over 150 000 tweets by over 35 000 users, making nearly a billion impressions.2 More importantly, it has brought focus to issues that women and minorities have long understood: the arrogant, white, male surgeon stereotype is a barrier to surgical professionals, and those not fitting this dated mould are less likely to be recognised as part of our distinguished field. Participants using this hashtag have acknowledged both the need to change the image of surgeons, and that there must be no singular image—that the appearance, motivations, and behaviours of surgeons are as varied as humanity. From the single surgeon dad3 to the launch of Women in Surgery Africa,4 diversity has been recognised and applauded, and …

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