An Evening with Dr. Jen Gunter
When Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness and lifestyle company, Goop, tells women to carry a jade egg in their vagina for health reasons, Dr. Jen Gunter rolls her eyes.
When Paltrow’s company tries to convince you to buy a special blend of coffee to irrigate your colon, Dr. Gunter simply laughs with worry.
An when Paltrow tries to make Psychic Vampire Repellent healing oils the next health care craze, Dr. Gunter just says NO!
Dr. Gunter, a board-certified specialist in obstetrics and gynecology and pain medicine, is a fierce advocate for women’s health. She wields what many have called her lasso of truth to debunk pseudo-scientific myths used by many to sell products.
And her chosen means to do so? Primarily social media. With over 72,000 followers on Twitter alone, her reach in promoting scientific, unbiased, evidence-based health information is growing by the day. She has combined her scientific prowess with her humour and social media savvy to quickly and thoroughly debunk Goop’s claims that their products can help improve the health of those who can afford to pay the prices.
Having graduated Manitoba medical school at the age of 23, Dr. Gunter was all too happy to accept an invitation from Doctors Manitoba to return home to speak to doctors, medical students and interested members of the public about her relentless battle against health myths.
Dubbed by New York Magazine as Twitter’s Resident Gynecologist, Dr. Gunter was greeted at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on May 11th by almost 300 people. Dr. Gunter was praised and thanked by many in attendance simply for her truthful, plainspoken and unwavering commitment to science and medicine.
She spoke to the audience about how to spot pseudoscience online, how to find sources of reliable, credible health information and about the role of media in all of this.
Sponsored by Doctors Manitoba and the Doctors Manitoba Mentorship Program, this event was a chance for the medical profession and the public alike to greet one another, hear Dr. Gunter speak and discuss the role physicians play in ensuring people can make sound and informed health decisions for themselves – without being unduly influenced by those who lack training or who have a financial motive, or both. All proceeds from the event were donated to the North End Women’s Centre.
“I’m so thrilled that Doctors Manitoba decided to put on an educational event for the public tackling pseudoscience in the media and how to find reliable health information online. Dr. Gunter delivered the message in her uniquely savvy and humorous style that kept everyone engaged. It was very well received and I hope that Doctors Manitoba continues to engage with our community in creative ways going forward,” said Dr. Rebecca Renkas, a Winnipeg-based family doctor who helped organize the event, interviewed Dr. Gunter during the Question & Answer portion of the event, and is soon to start a podcast of her own to discuss similar issues as Dr. Gunter.
Now practicing full time in California, Dr. Gunter is the author of The Preemie Primer – a guide for parents of premature babies. She has written for The Cut, USA Today, The Hill, and Self and writes regularly for The New York Times. Her new book, tentatively called The Vagina (and Vulva) Bible, will be published soon. You can follow Dr. Gunter on Twitter.