Intimate Intimidation

by longformphilly

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Sabrina Rubin Erdely | Philadelphia Magazine | April 1996

Gail Greeby stared at the ceiling and waited for it to be over. 

She was dressed in a hospital gown, her legs spread, feet raised in stirrups. At the foot of the examining table crouched the gynecologist, his face just visible over the sheet draped from Greeby’s knees to her waist.

Oh God, she thought with an inward groan. How am I gonna face him at work now that he’s seen me like this?

Both worked at Springfield Hospital in Delaware County, Gail Greeby as the cardiology-department manager, Dr. Allan Nachlis as one of the staff’s newest obstetrician-gynecologists. A few months before, when Springfield had offered free Pap smears for all female employees, Nachlis had discovered some abnormal cells on Greeby’s cervix. He had suggested she consider cryosurgery, in which her cervix would be frozen with nitrous oxide to slough off the abnormality. Greeby had never undergone a procedure quite like this before, and so was feeling more squeamish than she had that first time Nachlis examined her.

Writer bio: Sabrina Rubin Erdely, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, served as a senior writer and writer-at-large at Philadelphia Magazine for a combined 13 years. She has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award twice. “Intimate Intimidation” earned her the first nomination. She is currently a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.

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