Black Humor Case 01

You see a series of tweets between doctors using medical slang:

The ICU with many people in comas described as a cabbage patch
The labor and delivery suites as birthing sheds  


Is black humor appropriate on social media channels?

Is it appropriate on private channels?

How would you handle this?

Case 02a

You have been having a spirited conversation on Twitter with a number of people. One of them is a medical student.

You receive a direct message from the student that though not clearly inappropriate makes you feels uncomfortable due to a flirty/sexual tone.

Case 02b

You have been having spirited conversations on Twitter with a number of people. You are building a network of mentors across specialties, ages and regions.

You receive a direct message from one of these mentors and suggests you come and do an away rotation at his hospital. He offers to pay for your flight and help you find a place to stay.

How do you handle this?

When do you ignore? block? mute?

Do you remind them to be professional?

Case 03

You wrote about your political views. You defended trans rights to use the bathroom and you are attacked. First a few tweets come in, then dozens and then 100s of tweets. What do you do?



Social media, black humour and professionals...


Derogatory and cynical humour in clinical teaching and the workplace: The need for professionalism. Article in Medical Education 43(1):7-9 · January 2009

Simply put, derogatory and cynical humour as displayed by medical personnel are forms of verbal abuse, disrespect and the dehumanisation of their patients and themselves. Those individuals who are the most vulnerable and powerless in the clinical environment – students, patients and patients’ families – have become the targets of the abuse. Such humour is indefensible, whether the target is within hearing range or not; it cannot be justified as a socially acceptable release valve or as a coping mechanism for stress and exhaustion.

Coverage in the Daily Mail

How to get the most out of Twitter's mute feature from Wired Magazine

While twitter is often described as a place that can be difficult and tear you down, some feel that it can provide a supportive community to fall back on when the stress and sexism of the real world drags you down.
— @McSassyMD

Great essay from @McSassyMD on her experience on Twitter:

“Come do an away rotation here. I’ll pay for your plane ticket.”
“I’d love to take you out sometime and we can talk about this project further.”
“Here is some money, your tweets make you sound stressed.”
— @McSassyMD
I have not had inappropriate or uncomfortable sexual attention
I have had a few cases of unwelcome personal DMs but they quickly resolved primarily by ignoring them.

Using twitter to counter sexism in the real world #ILookLikeASurgeon (Huffington Post coverage)

At the end of the month as I transitioned off the service and said goodbye, he looked at me and asked, “Are you training to be a nurse?” I was flabbergasted. I had been taking care of this gentleman all month, rounding on him at least twice a day, listening to his lungs, telling him the daily care plan, and even once, obtaining his written consent for surgery, and after all of this, he assumed that I was training to be his nurse. When I told him I was already a doctor he beamed at me and said that he was “so proud of me,” almost as if he couldn’t believe it.
— Andrea Merrill


Unpopular suggestion on how to respond to sexual harassment in medicine:

A senior surgeon has been criticised for her “appalling” suggestion that surgical trainees should stay silent if they’re sexually assaulted by a colleague because coming forward could ruin their careers.
— Dr Gabrielle McMullin, a Sydney vascular surgeon
Sexual harassment is 2 weeks ago when I lead a code blue which saved a woman on the labour ward & my male colleague arrived after the fact & said ‘they shouldn’t send you up here, you’re too clucky’.

It’s the consultant who commented that I’d ‘obviously gotten to where I was at a young age because I was pretty’ (Um, maybe I’m actually good at my job?)

It’s the surgical registrar who told me if I wanted to be taken seriously I needed to dye my hair dark.

It’s that I’m a little bit scared I’ll lose my job for writing this blog post.
— Ashleigh Witt