Oct 20, 2010

how did i miss this one?

I recently came across this article, "the other side of the speculum" in Canadian Family Physician, written last year by a then 3rd year medical student, Brent Thoma. Under the heading of "Reflections", Thoma discusses his distain for the "horrible ritual" of the pap smear. [hint: it is not more enjoyable on the woman's side of the speculum, FYI]

In the article, Thoma describes his distain for giving pap smears; "Suffice to say, herpetic lesions, warts, yeast infections, and week-old tampons are not what get me up in the morning."

For once, I am speechless.

This was actually printed in a medical journal? I will have difficulty seeing this as a credible publication after their editorial board stood behind this juvenile, sexist rant.

I suppose to his credit, Thoma wrote a reflective letter about his article in a later edition of the journal. However despite his apology for the "use of humour", I think that the original article tells us more about Thoma's view of women and about his professionalism.

I know I would never want this man involved in my medical care.


  1. yah that is a bit odd that it was published; doesn't really reflect the spirit of the journal

    there's a national pap campaign - I think on now, actually - and I'll post something once I climb out from under this pile... But I'll try and be a bit more sensitive ;)

  2. I suspect it is safe to say that no one particularly enjoys pap smears.

    I'll be sure to keep my eye out for your post ;-)