Julie L. Kessler
lawyer traveler writer


The One Prostate Solution

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, a show I never watch, “Fox & Friends,” aired what has turned into a massive gender-baiting exchange. Fox News medical contributor Dr. David “One Prostate” Samadi, a urologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, argued in the Fox segment that women should pay more than men for health insurance. Why? Because we women have more body parts that need to be checked out. To quote Samadi, “Women have the breasts, they have the ovaries, they have the uterus, they get checked in every part.”


I could say something utterly snide and snarky here, but I am engaging in body-part control.


Samadi’s remarks on Fox so stunned me that I had to sit through the offensive video clip twice just to make sure I wasn’t having an auditory hallucination. Then, in a gender-twisting experiment of my own, as soon as my “one prostate” attorney husband came home from slaying corporate dragons, I had him watch the Fox interview also. My husband (who happened to receive his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, where Samadi is a professor) was likewise mortified.


I posted the link to the offending interview on my personal Facebook page and that of my book, and tweeted about it as well. I then received messages from several people I did not know, including a Reuters reporter in NY espousing the virtues of Lenox Hill Hospital (with which I happen to agree). Then late Saturday night—actually around 2:00 a.m. New York time—I started receiving Twitter messages from Samadi himself. The first stated that he “was trying to educate men out there to go for screening just like women, not trying to offend anyone.” His second message to me a minute later (in response to the Reuter’s reporter that Lenox Hill is a great hospital) said, “This is not the view of Lenox Hill. I am pointing out that men need to go for screening like women.” In, I imagine, an effort to remove itself from the escalating and damning controversy, the marketing department at Lenox Hill probably told him to clarify that the explosive views he expounded on Fox were solely his own. When I responded to Samadi that his comments were “pure damage control, as he never once mentioned men and screening on Fox,” in that context and that “Lenox must be outraged,” he immediately wrote me (and I am presenting this verbatim) that I should “watch the segment and do not be so judgmental. started by saying that men do not go to doctors like women. Women go for pap smear, mammogram e that is what should do. attacking me will not bring more awareness be smart.”


In an attempt to end this absurd, going-nowhere late-night exchange, I wrote “Sadly for me I have seen it twice. And so has the rest of America. Good night.” He couldn’t control himself, however; he had to have the last word, and wrote, “yes it is sad. It may take you three times to really get the message Didn’t think it was that complex.” Oh, what a guy.

The next morning as I was answering emails, I stumbled upon an unbelievable twist in this saga. One angry viewer of the Fox segment wrote on Samadi’s twitter feed that Samadi is “The most sexist physician in America….Then [if women should pay more for health insurance] women should get paid at least as much as men too, dont’cha think?” Astonishingly (and I am still utterly blown away by his response), Samadi wrote to that viewer on his feed, “Not sexist at all. You mean Sexiest doctor in America. I was actually complementing [sic] women for going for screening unlike men.” What??? Even if he believes he is the sexiest man on Planet Earth, how can this possibly be considered an intellectually honest, or appropriate, response to the Pandora’s Box he so unceremoniously opened?


If you take Samadi’s logic one step farther, should Congress be lobbied to impose a birth tax on women who bear two-ovaried babies, or a double tax on those who have twin girls? How about a tax credit on those who give birth to one-prostate babies? Or perhaps the federal dependent tax credit we Americans currently enjoy should be modified contingent upon the dependent child’s number and/or type of anatomical body parts: two testicles, tax credit; two breasts, tax imposition.


You see where this is going; it’s absurd, unfair, undemocratic, and, frankly, altogether un-American. Given that as of the 2011-12 academic year, women (with ovaries) accounted for 47% of U.S. medical school graduates, my best guess is that none of that nonsense would ever come to pass.


In fairness, people make enormous blunders all the time, even on television, and perhaps especially often on Fox. However, the key is what you do with those blunders after they rear their ugly heads. An honest apology usually suffices, with the requisite mea culpa—or as one of our teenagers (three prostates, one uterus) would say, “My bad.” But such a blatant attempt to engage in ex post facto damage control in such an intellectually dishonest way simply serves to smear the doctor and his name further, irrespective of his technical (urologically speaking) skills. People with such blatantly sexist ideas, regardless of what degrees they hold from prestigious universities, should not be given a television platform from which to disseminate Neanderthalean positions under the disingenuous guise of allegedly educating the public about Obamacare, the healthcare delivery system, and the all-important, holy grail of prophylactic screening.


Perhaps Samadi subscribes to the school of thought that says that any publicity is good publicity. I don’t know about that, although my dual-ovarian instinct says no dice. What I do know however is that Lenox Hill is indeed a very good hospital. I also know that I happen to really like my thus far non-fiscally taxed ovaries. Both of them.

Date Posted:  Sep. 3 2013