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Statement attributable to AOA CEO Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD:
When FIGS, a designer scrubs and medical apparel company, released an advertising campaign featuring a female physician in pink scrubs wearing a nametag that said “DO” and reading a “Medical Terminology for Dummies” book upside down, the AOA took immediate action. This imagery is laughable in its absurdity—but it isn’t funny.
The American Osteopathic Association, which represents 151,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students, does not find it humorous to downplay the education and training of Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine—which include, at minimum, four years of medical school followed by three to seven years of residency to practice in any specialty they choose. Equally important, the organization does not find it “cute” to portray females, let alone female physicians, in such a denigrating light.
The AOA immediately demanded the removal of the defamatory ad, which was taken down. The AOA also requested, and received, an apology from FIGS to all female and osteopathic physicians. Furthermore, the AOA stressed the need for FIGS to address their egregious error in judgment now and in the future.
As a result of this outreach, the AOA and FIGS have agreed upon a path forward that includes:
Errors do occur, but what an organization does to address them is key. The co-founders of FIGS were undeniably remorseful and accountable. They expressed a real desire to understand and to show respect to the osteopathic profession and female physicians. The AOA is committed to acting as a guide in this effort and will work tirelessly with its larger community to ensure that the images of osteopathic physicians and women are appropriately characterized and uplifted.