Misogyny: A Case Study

CC: female physician wearing scrubs #wearfigs



Released ad for their scrubs x 1 day

Portrayed female physician as (in no particular order):


                Very very young

                White female

                Waif thin

                Wearing stereotypical bubble gum Barbie pink scrubs

                Reading “Medical Terminology for Dummies” upside down

                Video ad with a couple of close-up shots of said female’s posterior and pelvis

                ID badge identifies this person as a “DO” physician           

Scrub company owned by females



In 2015, there were 859,848 total active physician across all specialties. 292,003 were women = 34% of the physician workforce.



In 2019, male physicians still outnumber female doctors, 64% to 36%.

-à https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/the-big-number-women-now-outnumber-men-in-medical-schools/2019/12/20/8b9eddea-2277-11ea-bed5-880264cc91a9_story.html


Also in 2019, females now comprise 50.5% of all medical school students.

                Applicants who are Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin increased 5.1% (5,858) and matriculants grew 6.3% (2,466).

                Applicants who are black or African American applicants rose by 0.6% (5,193) and matriculants increased by 3.2% (1,916).

                Applicants who are American Indian or Alaska Native applicants grew by 4.8% (586), and matriculants rose 5.5% (230).

-à https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/press-releases/majority-us-medical-students-are-women-new-data-show



Despite the challenges faced by female physicians, female physicians have shown lower mortality and readmissions for hospitalized patients when compared to their male counterparts.

-à ‪https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2593255‬



Female physicians:

1. Earn less money than their male counterparts

2. Are more likely to get divorced due to long hours

3. Higher risk for “burnout” and depression

4. Still bear the brunt of burden when it comes to household and childcare duties

5. Greater chance of being harassed at work

6. Higher risk of bias by workplace and patients

7. Less likely to be promoted at work

8. Less likely to move into leadership positions

9. Experience near daily microgressions

-à https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/challenges-being-female-doctor

-à https://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2018-05-11/women-physicians-face-extra-challenges

-à https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7417925/

-à ‪https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/physician-diversity/challenges-faced-women-physicians-don-t-disappear-age‬


Covid19 has shown that society can not and will not function without the women who have now thanklessly had to double down both at work and at home.








Data: see above




1. Sexism / Misogyny

    * Lies, stereotypes and myths about women that both men and women hear over lifetimes

         i.      For example:

            1. Women can’t be physicians

    * Internalized misogyny (aka “horizontal hostility”): women act out the lies and stereotypes perpetuated

         i.      For example:

            1. Female-owned company portrays female physicians as reading books for dummies upside down

            2. Female-owned company portrays female physicians as wearing pink

2. Ageism

    * Discriminatory practice against people of a certain age who have devoted their lives to learning and perfecting a craft

    * Displayed DO physician looks young enough to be be a medical student, maybe? Was that the intention?

3. Racism

    * 56.2% of American physicians are white

    * Displayed DO physician does not represent 43.8% of physicians

4. Body misrepresentation

    * It is true that physicians frequently skip meals to take care of patients…still doesn’t fit the “average” woman

     * Objectification of said DO physician 

5. Inaccurate representation of what a DO is

    * DO’s complete 4 years of medical school, just like MDs

    * DO’s complete accredited residencies, just like MDs

6. Everyone loves to hate on physicians until they need one

7. Media representation of physicians is not a favorable one

Prognosis: poor



            1. Remembering that only 36% of American physicians are women and face numerous challenges as is, check the internal biases and misogyny and think twice before posting

            2. Acknowledge that female physicians come in all colors and shapes

            3. Acknowledge that female physicians can wear any color of their choosing, not just pink but also including pink, should they desire (they may also wear bikinis if they desire, referencing #medbikini earlier this year)

            4. Offer a sincere heartfelt apology to female physicians for underestimating their intelligence and resilience

            5. Sincere heartfelt apology to DOs for portraying them like idiots

            6. Get rid of the “Medical Terminology for Dummies” because everyone who is actually taking care of patients already knows the lingo from reading much more advanced textbooks, of which many female physicians have authored and co-authored

            7. Acknowledge that physicians, nurses and healthcare staff have suffered greatly in 2020 with Covid – extend a little kindness, for crying out loud. We don’t need to be the brunt of your lame humor.

            8. Boycott Figs

            9. Here are other options for scrubs:

                * Fabled (female physician-owned)

                * Jaanu (female physician-owned)

                * Blue Skye (female physician-owned) 

                * APlus Medical Scrubs (female physician-owned)

                * Kalea (female physician-owned)

                * Medilita

                * Dope Scrubs

                * Uniform Advantage butter soft

            10. Commit to proper media portrayal of what a female physician looks like and acts like




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