Dear Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman:

I read with interest your article titled: "Ohio State's medical industrial complex under fire for unnecessary surgeries".

As a woman retired MD who specialized in Gynecology and Anatomic Pathology, and who has worked at OSUMC, I have special insight into the situation.

According to the NOW letter to Dr. Gee published in the Dec issue of The Other Paper:

"In view of the fact that best practices calls for pathological analysis by an expert (experienced in gynecologic pathology) to properly determine Pap smear and cervical biopsy diagnosis and OSUMC is capable of providing that expertise in the person of Dr. Gerard Nuovo, there is no good reason for giving Ohio women second class medical treatment and care. And there is no good reason for dismissing an expert who brings shortcomings to the attention of authorities."

Dr Gabbe, the CEO of OSUMC, replies to this letter from NOW with the following statement:

"In order to ensure that excellent medical care is provided by our Department of Pathology, we have assembled a highly respected and skilled group of cytopathologists to perform pathology services including the identification of potential cervical disease."

The standard way a Pathology Department defines a "highly respected and skilled group of pathologists" is by their peer reviewed publications in the medical literature, as well as years of specialized practice. A Pathologist becomes highly respected and skilled by typically publishing from 20 to 50 such articles. This is a very simple way for the readers to determine if the Pathologist who reviewed their slides is considered highly skilled.

If one looks at public record documents of the current Pathologists at OSUMC who diagnose women's cervical and endometrial pathology, NOT ONE of these Pathologists has even ONE peer reviewed publication in HPV, cervical or endometrial pathology, as shown by the attached MEDLINE search. In comparison, note that Dr. Gerard Nuovo has 77 peer review papers in the area of HPV disease. He has two textbooks, as well as over 100 peer review papers in the area of cervical and endometrial pathology.

This information may help your readers more clearly see that the NOW legal division has a very solid foundation to make the claims they did, and serves as a word of caution to any woman when faced with the prospect of surgery of her cervix or uterus under these conditions.

Margaret Nuovo, MD