RETRACTED: Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons

J Vasc Surg. 2020 Aug;72(2):667-671. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2019.10.069. Epub 2019 Dec 25.


This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal ( This article has been retracted at the request of the authors, the Editor-in-Chief and the Senior Editor of the Journal of Vascular Surgery. This article has been retracted in accordance with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Retraction Guidelines because the authors did not have permission to use the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery (APDVS) directory of program directors and trainees to conduct research. In addition, the methodology, analysis and conclusions of this article were based on published but not validated criteria, judging a series of behaviors including attire, alcohol consumption, controversial political and religious comments like abortion or gun control, in which significant conscious and unconscious biases were pervasive. The methodology was in part predicated on highly subjective assessments of professionalism based on antiquated norms and a predominantly male authorship supervised the assessments made by junior, male students and trainees. The authors did not identify biases in the methodology, i.e., judging public social media posts of women wearing bikinis on off-hours as “potentially unprofessional”. The goal of professionalism in medicine is to help ensure trust among patients, colleagues and hospital staff. However, professionalism has historically been defined by and for white, heterosexual men and does not always speak to the diversity of our workforce or our patients. The Editors deeply regret the failures in the Journal’s peer review process which allowed this paper to be published. The Editors and the review process failed to identify errors in the design of the study, to detect unauthorized use of the data, and to recognize the conscious and unconscious biases plaguing the methodology. For this, we express our most sincere apology.

Keywords: Professionalism; Social media; Trainee; Vascular surgery.

Publication types

  • Retracted Publication