Why You’re Suddenly Seeing Female Surgeons Posing Like This on Social Media

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New Yorker covers are created to strike up conversations and start discussions. The one created for the magazine’s April 3 issue, however, is doing more than that—it’s causing people to act.

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The cover, created by Malika Favre, shows four female doctors in blue scrubs standing over an operating table. To illustrate the image, Favre pulled from her own experience. “I was operated by a woman surgeon as a kid,” Favre told CNN

Although the cover wasn’t meant to make any sort of public statement, the image took off on social media, inspiring female surgeons all over the world to recreate the pose using the hashtag #ILookLikeASurgeon.

It’s reported that the first woman to recreate the image was an endocrine surgeon for the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Susan Pitt. She asked other female doctors to pose with her after seeing the cover at a conference.

One of the doctors who is participating in the pose is Vestalia Hills, AL, facial plastic surgeon Melanie Petro, MD. “Everyone told me that I don’t look like a surgeon, so I love the hashtag #ILookLikeASurgeon,” she says.

Dr. Petro explained that, as a child, watching her father operate inspired her to become a surgeon. However, growing up in Mississippi, becoming a surgeon didn’t always seem like an option. “As a female, especially in Mississippi, there is a stigma as to what a girl can do,” she explained. “Being a physician was not uncommon, but women were typically not surgeons.” 

It was overcoming this stigma that made the cover so relatable to Dr. Petro. “When I saw the cover I got goosebumps because I realized there were others who found their passion by following a dream. A dream that required very hard work with predominantly men. I just love the connection the cover has created for women surgeons all over the world.” 

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