Gothe and Gynecology

As a physician we derive inspiration from many sources. Goethe was once quoted to say that' there are many thoughts that can come from general culture, like buds from green branches.' I've taken that to mean that the seeds of ideas can go in many directions, like our proverbial genetic ancestral tree that leads to our oldest common relative. But now, as we begin to rewrite how and when to get pap smears, I've rethought Goethe's quote and wonder if he was referring to that seeding thought of conquering a disease, and all the pathways we might select to do that. Or the idea that one branch will be more successful than others, or the fact that an idea is a plant at all, needing nourishment and light as well as, in some cases, some help in pollination to fully thrive! So as we discuss, should you get vaccinated against HPV, or should you be tested for HPV with your pap smear, and watch as other tests may evolve, we have to remember the goal: that beautiful tree of cure!


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