Friday, August 18, 2017

What does a vet look like?

This is what Google returned today when did an image search on "veterinarian". Note that we stereotype patients as well (only one in 16 images of a cat, and one in 16 features wildlife - spot the Koala!).

What does a vet look like? You might be one, but it’s still a worthwhile exercise to close your eyes and consider what comes into your head: a male? A female? James Herriot? Chris Brown or Katrina Warren?

Or according the Google image I did, someone wearing either a lab coat or scrubs, accessorised with an occasionally used stethoscope, concerned about mostly cute dogs and looking impeccably groomed (obviously the photos were taken during the first minute of the first consult of the day!).

But are these stereotypes limiting? Veterinarians are trying to break the mould, challenging the stereotype that every veterinarian is a clinician, belongs to a particular race or gender or class or does not have any disabilities, and looks like they could just hop onto the cat walk.

It started with an article about sexism in our profession, published in The Guardian

The hashtag #looklikeavet was born, appearing on twitter, facebook and Instagram, challenging stereotypes about veterinarians. You can read the background here.

If you want to join in, use the hashtag #looklikeavet.