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Surgeon resigns after joking about semen

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Here's a bit of professional advice. When publishing an article in a scholarly journal, it's probably best not to make jokes about bodily secretions, even if they are well-intended. Dr. Lazar J. Greenfield learned that the hard way and is now resigning from his position as president-elect of the American College of Surgeons. Greenfield recently discussed the possible health benefits of semen in an editorial for an ACS publication. This theoretically sounds awesome, but his article closed with this 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."

It's lame and inappropriate, for sure. And regardless of whether or not you think it was sexist, it ticked a lot of his female colleagues off, as the medical field already tends to be a male dominated arena. According to a post about the controversy by Dr. Pauline Chen on the Times' Well blog,

While women now make up almost half of all entering medical school classes in the United States, fewer than a third choose to go into surgery, in part because of a perceived male bias, negative attitudes of surgeons and a lack of female mentors. Once in practice, studies have shown, well over half of all women surgeons report feeling demeaned, and nearly a third say they have been the objects of inappropriate sexist remarks or advances.

While Greenfield's remarks are clearly symptomatic of a larger issue, I think it's safe to say doctors should leave their not-very-funny semen jokes out of their work.