The Evolving Surgeon Image

AMA J Ethics. 2018 May 1;20(5):492-500. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.5.mhst1-1805.


The stereotype of the abrasive, technically gifted white male surgeon is ubiquitous among members of the public and the medical profession. Yet modern surgeons are far more diverse and socially adept than the stereotype suggests. While the stereotype is largely a relic of days gone by, it continues to influence patients' expectations and surgeons' interactions with their clinical colleagues. The #ILookLikeASurgeon movement and subsequent #NYerORCoverChallenge demonstrate the changing face of surgery and the roles of social media in resisting the social and cultural force of long-standing stereotypes.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Physician's Role
  • Public Opinion
  • Social Facilitation
  • Social Identification
  • Social Media*
  • Social Perception*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Surgeons*