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Professor was harassed by his university after criticising routine prostate cancer screening, inquiry finds

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 14 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4150
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

A prominent medical school professor has been subjected by his university to “egregious” harassment after he wrote an editorial critical of routine prostate cancer screening, according to an internal investigation at the university.

Michael Wilkes, former vice dean for medical education and now director of Global Health, a research and policy institute, and professor of medicine at the University of California Davis, co-wrote an editorial published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 30 September 2010, with Jerome R Hoffman, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles.

Wilkes and Hoffman, who were serving as researchers/consultants to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote that routine prostate cancer screening “can cause more harm than good” and said that men should be full participants in the decision to be screened through a process of “shared decision making.”

Wilkes told the BMJ that he was moved to write the editorial after some of his students told him in mid September 2010 about a free university seminar for the public on “men’s health” to be held at the end of the month.

The seminar featured a “special guest,” three time Super Bowl Champion, Guy McGuire. An advertisement for the event stated that “Prostate Defense Begins at 40” and “Know Your Stats About …

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