It’s kind of a great idea. Taking off your clothes to help promote something you believe in actually sounds like fun to me. (And why not?) But there are some who cry foul  — or at the very least, tacky — when that something happens to cross over into the professional arena. 

Here’s the skinny, according to Veterinary Practice News:

Fourteen veterinarians recently undressed for a calendar project to help celebrate the benefits of holistic and integrative veterinary medicine.

The 2011 Dr. ShowMore Calendar is done in the theme of the movie "Calendar Girls," where the subjects pose in a series of tasteful, artistic photographs, said Margo Roman, DVM, who helped spearhead the project with the Center for Integrative Veterinary Care.

"The pictures capture the human-animal bond, and the love these vets have for the profession," said Dr. Roman, owner of MASH, Main St. Animal Services of Hopkinton in Hopkinton, Mass.

Each month in the calendar depicts a different modality or procedure. For example, January represents the whole body exam; February depicts dentistry; March depicts homeopathy; and April, featuring Roman herself, represents acupuncture.

I learned about this barely-there issue when I received an e-mail from a colleague who wanted me to write about the inappropriateness of it all for my monthly Veterinary Practice News column. In so doing, he decried …

  • the lack of professional decorum inherent to such depictions of veterinarians
  • the tackiness of the pictures themselves
  • the misogyny of it all! 

After all, he wondered, why would modern, educated women validate the sexism of yesteryear with nudie-shots? In my view, he was way off on this last point. In fact, it’s my take that only modern, educated women have the ability to take it all off — tongue-in-cheekily and/or artfully — to feminist-satisfying non-sexist effect.

His first point, however, deserves some more thought. Is it professional? Does this calendar in any way denigrate the seriousness of what we as veterinary professionals do for our patients, for our clients, for society?

Given these two pictures from the calendar below … I’ll leave it up to you decide.


Dr. Patty Khuly

Pics of the day: Screenshot from "Dr. DoMore Presents the 2011 Dr. ShowMore Calendar" and "Yawn" by Vic