Dr. Lazar Greenfield, the editor-in-chief of Surgery News, wrote an editorial recently that didn't go over very well. In it, he cited research that found that "female college students who had had unprotected sex were less depressed than those whose partners used condoms speculating that compounds in semen have antidepressant effects". Here was his big punch line:
“So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates".
Dohhhhh. Well, the NYT got a hold of this and you can guess the rest. Dr. Greenfield, who was also the President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons, resigned from that position and also from the editor position. The reason for the brouhaha is that the article brought up a lot of ill will amongst women surgeons who have had a history of being picked on by the surgical "good old boys club".
For those who want to read his whole editorial, go here. It was a stupid line but I am not sure that he isn't being overly criticized. First, some people just can't tell a joke. Second, he is 78. Third, he was the inventor of the Greenfield Filter and now he gets to be remembered for this. I mean, it is not like he wrote, "Now I know what to give my female colleagues to make them happier. Who wants a piece of grampy?" The bottom line is that Surgery News is not the venue for medical jokes. Greenfield now becomes the poster boy for male chauvinism in the medical field. Poor bastard.