Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Jen Gunter: Poking the snake oil

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 07 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4327
Duncan Smith


Jen Gunter, 52, is the scourge of medical nonsense, ever willing to stick her head above the parapet to denounce the latest faddy idea with wit and no little courage, given the poisonous nature of social media. An obstetrician-gynaecologist from Canada, she practises in California: fad capital of the world and home to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, which has often provided a tempting target. Of a machine designed to deliver coffee enemas and marketed by Goop at $135 (£102; €117), she wrote, “Keep the coffee out of your rectum and in your cup. It is only meant to access your colon from the top.” And, when trolled about her views, she fights back: “Sometimes I just feel like swinging the bat.”

What was your earliest ambition?

I wanted to be a detective, like Nancy Drew. I thought that it would be awesome to solve mysteries with my gal pals and drive around town in a cool convertible, pondering the latest mystery over a milkshake. Nancy Drew had it made.

What was your best career move?

Going into OB/GYN.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

I’m not sure that …

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