Ms Zoey Martin-LockhartZoom
Over the past decade, Twitter emerged as the ground-zero node hosting and linking together online medical communities around the world. Used for sharing emerging medical practices (particularly during time-compressed moments like the Covid-19 pandemic), curating #MedEd[ucation] “Tweetorials”, and networking, #MedTwitter is also space notable for its animated network of medical students and professionals from groups traditionally excluded from, pathologized by, and marginalized in biomedicine (often referred to as Under-Represented Minorities or URMs).
This paper focuses on the network(s) of disabled doctors and medical students on #MedTwitter. It explores their strategic use of specialized hashtags like #DocsWithDisabilities and #DisabledDocs to enumerate dis/ableist tropes and practices naturalized in biomedical culture, treatment practices, and epistemology: How does the networked omnipresence and invisible anonymity facilitated by Twitter’s platform uniquely afford disabled doctors and medical students the stage and security to make visible dis-ableist medical practices and cultures hidden in plain sight? How, then, do disabled doctors and medical students craft a hybrid subjectivity and gravitas, drawing on their professional authority as physicians (or physicians-in-training) and their experiential authority as disabled people—and, inevitably, the subjects of biomedical investigations and treatment? In short, how is the #DisabledDocs spotlight changing online—and offline--medical culture(s)?