Carl G. Streed Jr.
AMSA National LGBT Policy Coordinator
Last month, before taking the gavel as the new president of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Lazar Greenfield resigned. The reason: an editorial in the ACS newspaper
that has divided its membership and warranted questions regarding the ACS’s attitude toward women and sexual minorities.
Dr. Lazar Greenfield, an emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, wrote in his St. Valentine’s editorial of recent research by evolutionary psychologists
describing the antidepressant qualities of semen. He concluded by saying, “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.”
Following complaints, the editorial was retracted and Dr. Greenfield stepped down as editor-in-chief of ACS’s newspaper. However, mounting complaints from the Women in Surgery Committee, the Association of Women Surgeons, and many members of the ACS have resulted in Dr. Greenfield’s resignation as president-elect.
This episode comes at a time when gender equality is just beginning to become something of a reality in medicine: nearly half of all entering medical school classes are women in the United States. However, change ...