One-Year Anniversary of New Yorker-Inspired Portraits of Women Surgeons
Surgeons, from left, Lucy Kornblith, Rita Mukhtar and Carter Lebares pose for a photograph in the lobby of the UCSF Clinical Science Building in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Courtesy Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
The April 3, 2017 cover of the New Yorker depicting four women in blue doctors' scrubs over an operating table has gone viral. Reflecting the power of that image, female surgeons throughout the world have been posting group selfie photos of themselves recreating the pose. Malika Favre, who has designed a number of covers for the magazine, told CNN that "none has ever taken off like this one."
The Mercury News reports on this phenomenon in the Bay Area, speaking to women surgeons at all three major academic medical centers in the region. That group included UCSF surgeons Lucy Kornblith, MD, Rita Mukhtar, M.D. and Carter Lebares, M.D., all of whom offered their thoughts in a video accompanying the story. (Note: Video appears below author line and date on Mercury News site does not display as a video in all browsers).
What does a female surgeon look like?
Obscured by her cap, mask and gown, it might be hard to tell for patients waking up in the operating room to the face of progress.
But a captivating New Yorker magazine cover this month of four women surgeons — dressed head to toe in surgical attire, only brows and eyes visible, gazing down on their patient — has sparked a surgeon selfie movement across social media from the Bay Area to Saudi Arabia.
Sister surgeons at Stanford University, UC San Francisco, UC Davis and many more are following the lead of a University of Wisconsin endocrine surgeon who re-created the image with three colleagues and posted the selfie on Twitter.
Dr. Lucy Kornblith thinks women surgeons in the Bay Area are already seeing the results. At UC San Francisco, after all, a number of leading female surgeon mentors, including Dr. Nancy Ascher, have been leading the way for years.
So when the New Yorker arrived in Kornblith’s mailbox with the four female surgeons staring her in the face, “I didn’t think anything of it, to be perfectly honest,’’ Kornblith said. “It didn’t strike me as being abnormal.’’