Every time I go to a walk in clinic the doctor asks me “When was your last pap test?”. I went to a clinic for a sprained ankle and the doctor glanced briefly at my ankle, and then continued to pressure me into a pap test. The same thing happened when I went to a clinic about a suspicious looking mole on my back.
The scenario always goes something like this:
Me: I’m worried about a mole on my back.
Dr.: Uh huh, when was your last pap test?
Me: I can’t remember, not too long ago.
Dr.: Well, we will have to do one then. Get undressed and hop up on the examining table.
Then the Dr. leaves before I have a chance to say anything. I worry if I don’t comply and be a good girl that he won’t help me with my health concerns. I would like to be given information and a choice!
Link to a good article about informed consent for pap smears: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/11/informed-consent-missing-pap-smears-cervical-cancer-screening.html
Link to summarized article about unnecessary pap tests/pelvic exams: http://forwomenseyesonly.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/battle-brewing-over-pointless-pelvic-exams/