Strike a pose

Why so many female surgeons are posting photos on social media of themselves posed in this formation

Female Surgeons (NUH - NHS Obstetricians)

The April 3 cover of The New Yorker has inspired creative copycats from across the country and the world. Unique and inspiring, the copycats come from a somewhat surprising source: the medical community of female surgeons.

The cover, designed by Malika Favre in true, stylized New Yorker tradition, depicts four female surgeons in their standard blue scrubs — presumably leaning over a patient on the operating table — backlit by the traditional surgical lamp. While the issue itself focuses on broad issues of health and body image, Favre, who has designed three other covers for the magazine in the past, wanted to create an image from her own personal experience. “I was operated by a woman surgeon as a kid. I think it was more of my subconscious and it wasn’t about making a public statement,” Favre explained to CNN. But she was unprepared for the magnitude of responses on social media that her design would inspire, “It shows the power of an image and how you can touch a lot of people.”

The social media deluge can largely be traced to one woman: Susan Pitt, an endocrine surgeon who works for the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Pitt, who saw the magazine cover at a medical conference, asked three other female surgeons to pose with her to recreate the picture. “I just thought it would be cool to replicate this in real life and at the same time, to show people that there really are women surgeons in real life” Pitt told CNN. Posting the photo side by side with the magazine cover on her Twitter account, Pitt was astounded when her feed began to blow up with similar images from across the globe. “I was totally blown away by the first international post that came from Saudi Arabia. Then several came in from Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, the U.K., and Kuwait.”

Female surgeons, who continue to take a few minutes off from saving lives to snap a quick photo, have inspired Pitt who says that the Twitter campaign helps create a “broader international connection with surgeons.” She remains involved in encouraging further responses and continues to tweet supportive messages to fellow female surgeons who have posted photos.

Read the full story at CNN.


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