Dr. Jen Gunter has two New York Timescolumns dedicated to women’s health, a Canadian docuseries called “Jensplaining” and a very active social media presence where she disseminates medical fallacies in a way that the general public can understand. Her latest project is the book “The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine” (Citadel, $18.95) -- a Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestseller. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, the obstetrician and gynecologist resides with her sons in Northern California. Dr. Gunterstays in touch with followers on Twitter and her website.
Q. You're famous for all the information you share about women's health, but let's be real. Your shoe collection is famous, too. Where do you buy them?
A. (Laughs) Oh yeah, I have a thing for shoes. I wear a lot of Fluevogs. They have stores in San Francisco, but I've also bought them in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto. These are the shoes I purchase the most because they're so comfortable. I have a huge shoe cabinet in my bedroom where I display my most beautiful shoes like artwork. I grew up with size 10-1/2 feet and no stores carried bigger than a 10. Or if they did, they'd have one pair and it'd be sold out. My whole life I wore shoes that were too small and painful or just really ugly, so I think that's why shoes are such a thing for me.
Q. You do a lot of writing that you share with the public. Do you write when you're on the road?
A. I actually do. I don't use public Wi-Fi ever, especially in places like airports. So I write a lot on planes and at airports, because I won't be distracted by being online. I can usually sit somewhere and tune everything out. I recently flew to Chicago and worked three hours solid on the way there and back. Writing makes the trip go faster.
Q. But you must also get stopped by people now who recognize you.
A. It happens sometimes. The funniest was when I was flying home from Calgary and I was in the duty-free shop with an armful of Canadian liquor that is hard to find in other places. I was stocking up so that I could give some away as gifts. And a few people came up to me and said, "Excuse me, but aren't you Dr. Gunter?" I just said, "Why, yes, I am!" (Laughs.)
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. My parents emigrated from England and we went back there every few years. The first trip I remember would've been around kindergarten time. It was such a big deal to fly in the early '70s. You dressed up and had to behave. The flight attendants gave you things like wings and little books for kids to fill out.
Q. Given the choice, would you eat at a street cart or fine restaurant?
A. There are people who have street carts who are making amazing food, but I like the experience of going in and sitting down to a great meal and I want my kids to have that experience. I cook at home mostly and we only go out to eat every four or five months, but when we do, it's to a really nice place like a Michelin-starred restaurant as a treat.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. We don't really go away for the weekends. My kids do, because they'll do that with their dad. But when they travel with me, it's usually on longer trips to see family in Canada or England. But once we get there, we will take overnight trips to another city. It's so much fun as a tourist to take the train.
Q. Do you speak any foreign languages?
A. Growing up in Canada, I was in French immersion and spoke some French. But it was a lot better when I was in Grade 12 and living somewhere where I could practice it. My French is not very good anymore.
Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. I'm desperate to go to Greece. I grew up obsessed with Greek mythology. I want to see the Parthenon and Acropolis and all the things I had read about. I also love Greek food!
Q. What's the last great concert you've been to and where was it?
A. I read somewhere that the music you listened to in high school is what stays with you for the rest of your life. I don't know if that's true, but it's true for me. I love '80s and '90s music like Journey and Depeche Mode. About 10 years ago, my best friend and I went to see Duran Duran at the Fillmore in San Francisco. It's such an intimate venue and everyone was dancing and you could see (singer) Simon LeBon up close. It was just the greatest night.
Q. What are some of your favorite cities?
A. I love Cardiff in Wales. Welsh people are so awesome, but I'm kind of biased because my dad's family is originally from Wales. It's cool to have a castle right in the city that you can walk right up to. It's not crowded or crazy. They have a beautiful art museum in Cardiff and you walk in and there's no crowd, because it's not London. I also like New York. When I took my kids the first time, they were unprepared for the volume of people on the street. They were a little freaked out. They'd been to Toronto and London, but London's not as dense as New York. It's a big city, but everybody's so nice and the food is great. And we love Broadway!
Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With...” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.