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Tag: insensitive

Scrubs brand FIGS comes under fire for ‘insensitive’ ad featuring female physician

FIGS, a medical apparel company known for its fashionable scrubs, has come under fire for an “insensitive” video that portrayed female doctors of osteopathic medicine as “dummies.”



a person holding a sign: A medical worker walks past a sign that reads "Express Care."


© Spencer Platt/Getty Images, File
A medical worker walks past a sign that reads “Express Care.”

In the marketing materials, a woman wearing a set of pink scrubs and a name tag with the abbreviation DO, for doctor of osteopathic medicine, is holding a “Medical Terminology for Dummies” book upside down. Many in the medical community criticized the since-removed ad as misogynistic and disrespectful toward female physicians and DOs.

“We are outraged that in 2020, women physicians and doctors of osteopathic medicine are still attacked in thoughtless and ignorant marketing campaigns,” the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine said in a statement. “A company like FIGS that asks us to spend money on its product should be ashamed for promoting these stereotypes. We demand the respect we’ve earned AND a public apology.”

The organization Physicians for Patient Protection said it was “dismayed” by the Los Angeles-based company’s marketing.

“Our DO colleagues are highly trained physicians, many of whom hold leadership positions in academia and have authored medical texts themselves,” the organization said in a statement to ABC News. “Many of our DO colleagues are also women. And they may wear pink scrubs, but they’ve never needed to read any textbook made ‘for dummies.'”

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FIGS apologized for the video on Tuesday, saying it had “dropped the ball.”

“A lot of you guys have pointed out an insensitive video we had on our site — we are incredibly sorry for any hurt this has caused you, especially our female DOs (who are amazing!),” the company tweeted Tuesday. “FIGS is a female-founded company whose only mission is to make you guys feel awesome.”

Dr. Stephanie Markle, DO, MPH, an ICU doctor and surgeon in Kalamazoo, Michigan, told ABC News that the “blatantly misogynistic” ad has angered many in the medical community. Markle said the ad is particularly harmful as someone who experiences sexism and has to “constantly validate” herself as a female physician.

“I have to explain to people multiple times: I’m not the nurse, I’m not the dietitian, I’m not the janitor,” she said.

Female doctors also tend to make less than men, she noted. Male primary care physicians make about 25% more than their female counterparts, according to Medscape. Among specialists, they make 31% more, it found.

“The sexism is still so prevalent that this was such a slap to the face,” Markle said.

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DOs are fully licensed physicians who take a more holistic approach to medicine, compared to medical doctors. Dr. Miranda Rosenberg, MD, a resident in the ABC News Medical Unit, said the ad was particularly insensitive “especially after so many doctors have sacrificed so much

Figs, maker of scrubs, apologizes for ‘insensitive’ ad targeting osteopathic doctors

Figs, a medical apparel company known for stylish scrubs, apologized Tuesday for a video advertisement on its website that targeted doctors of osteopathic medicine.

“A lot of you guys have pointed out an insensitive video we had on our site — we are incredibly sorry for any hurt this has caused you, especially our female DOs (who are amazing!),” the company said in a statement. “FIGS is a female founded company whose only mission is to make you guys feel awesome.”

The company also tweeted: “We dropped the ball and and we are so sorry. We love you guys and we’ll always listen to what you have to say!”

The video, which is no longer on the company’s website, features a woman in neon pink scrubs reading a book titled “Medical Terminology for Dummies” while holding it upside down.

The camera zooms in on the woman as she adjusts the waist of her pants, capturing a work identification card that says “DO.”

Doctors of osteopathic medicine, or DOs, are fully licensed physicians, according to the American Osteopathic Association. They are different from traditional medical doctors in that they are trained to take a holistic approach to patient care.

Many people slammed Figs on social media Tuesday, accusing the company of exhibiting gender bias in the ad.

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine said in a statement that it was “outraged that in 2020, women physicians and doctors of osteopathic medicine are still attacked in thoughtless and ignorant marketing campaigns.”

“A company like FIGS that asks us to spend money on its product should be ashamed for promoting these stereotypes,” the statement said. “We demand the respect we’ve earned AND a public apology.”

Brenna Hohl, a first-year medical student in Lillington, North Carolina, said “the disrespect for female physicians and DOs exhibited in the ad is unforgivable.” She said she was offended by it.

“Not only did it offend female DOs, but it is also extremely disrespectful toward any woman working in the healthcare field,” she said in an interview.

Marie Thigpen, a neonatologist in North Carolina, said it was “shameful.”

“Female doc here,” she wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “How many execs saw this and no one said a thing? How many in your company thought this would be a good ad? That’s the real problem. You don’t even realize that your ad is trash. Well female docs, nurses and staff have spending power and we will spend elsewhere.”

Cara Norvell, a doctor of osteopathic medicine in Dallas, said she hoped the company’s founders “will gain access to a book called ‘Advertising for Dummies.’”

She said the ad was extraordinarily “ignorant and disrespectful to DOs.”

“As an incredibly smart DO not needing ‘Medical Terminology for Dummies,'” she wrote on the company’s Facebook page, “I also don’t need, ‘Where to Spend your Money Earned with your Medical Degree for Dummies.'”

Norvell said she has loyally supported the brand and has raved about Figs “to