I expected to hear a celebratory, “Woohoo!” Instead, she scrunched up her face and regarded me suspiciously. “No. Really?” She sounded doubtful.
“Really!” I smile back at her.
“Yeah…. I don’t know about that. I am used to doing them every year. That’s what my OB always did.”
“These evidence based guidelines have been around for years. I cannot speak as to why your OB was not following them. I reviewed those records. You had no history of anything abnormal. You just told me that you have not had any funky discharges or abnormal bleeding. No new sexual partners….”
“I still want to do a PAP.”
“I just do.” She sighed. “Look, my friend just had a PAP with her doctor. She gets one every year. Why did she have to do one and you are telling me I don’t have to?”
I have had countless conversations like this. Variations are: Accusations that I am lazy. Or stupid. Or I am trying to kill them. Or that this is a vast democratic male governmental scheme to save money and kill women.
Sometimes we do such a good job educating patients that to reverse that ingrained notion is a major uphill battle…