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Male GP refusing to do a pap smear


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#1 Riotproof

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

I've just been along to my GP for my pap smear, a bit overdue but I took the opportunity because DH took a random day off and I left DS with him.
He refused to do it, saying it's better to get a female Dr to do it, I told him that I was fine with him, and he still refused. They booked me another appointment for Tuesday.

Is it me or is it just weird? I spoke to the receptionist afterwards and she said none of the male Dr's at the clinic will do one for public liability reasons, and they only have the one female GP. I suppose I could have insisted, but it would have been pretty uncomfortable for both of us.

Edited by Riotproof, 14 December 2012 - 02:52 PM.


#2 JRA

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

My old doctor stopped doing pap smears, I actually was a bit annoyed as well, but then decided given todays day and age, sadly I could understand.

My OB was then male and it seemed ridiculous again that a male doctor would not do a pap smear.

Now, even though I have changed clinics (for other reasons) I book in to a female doctor for a pap smear, as my main GP is female, not because I wanted a female GP though

#3 luke's mummu

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

At my medical centre, I'm not sure what the official policy is, but they try hard to steer you to a female GP e.g. reminder letters state Drs XXX and YYY (both female) are available to do your pap smear on such-and-such days.

My obstetrician (male) did it at the 6 week's post birth check-up for both of my  babies.

#4 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:56 PM

My male GP does them, but always has a nurse in the room at the time.

#5 katniss

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

Gosh, that's ridiculous. What is this world coming too.

#6 PatG

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

Wow, that's amazing.  Does the clinic have nurses?  If so they could possibly get one of them to "chaperone" the procedure?  What a world we live in when a professional can't do his job...  This can't be normal though - what about all the country towns with only one (or less than one) doctor who is male, their patients can't be expected to travel hours to see a female doctor for a simple, straightforward, very important procedure.

#7 noi'mnot

Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

This startled me too, when I first came across it. In my experience, many male doctors will get a female nurse to chaperone for a pap smear. These days, many clinics have a practice nurse (often female) who does pap smears.

#8 Riotproof

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

I think I feel annoyed that I had geared myself up for it (as you do) with a Dr I've seen for two years and now I have to go and see a different Dr just because of what she has between her legs. And now I'll have the toddler in the waiting room to entertain.

QUOTE (luke's mummu @ 14/12/2012, 03:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At my medical centre, I'm not sure what the official policy is, but they try hard to steer you to a female GP e.g. reminder letters state Drs XXX and YYY (both female) are available to do your pap smear on such-and-such days.

My obstetrician (male) did it at the 6 week's post birth check-up for both of my  babies.

I'm trying to be responsible since we'll start TTC in the new year and this was something I needed to tick off of my list.

QUOTE (katniss @ 14/12/2012, 03:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Gosh, that's ridiculous. What is this world coming too.

I agree. The receptionist said if i had told her what I was booking for, she would have told me. I don't like the idea of having to discuss your reason for an appointment with a receptionist unless you're bleeding.

#9 solongsuckers

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

My male GP does mine, no nurse in the room.

He is a doctor, not some dirty old perve.

As PP said, what is the world coming to?

#10 Riotproof

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE (PatG @ 14/12/2012, 03:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, that's amazing.  Does the clinic have nurses?  If so they could possibly get one of them to "chaperone" the procedure?  What a world we live in when a professional can't do his job...  This can't be normal though - what about all the country towns with only one (or less than one) doctor who is male, their patients can't be expected to travel hours to see a female doctor for a simple, straightforward, very important procedure.

They only have a pathology nurse.

I am a bit slack I know, but pap smears are very important and it feels wrong that they should make it harder to access one.

#11 CallMeFeral

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

Wow. I had no idea that was happening.
My GP is female so I guess I haven't had the opportunity to come across it, but it is sad.

#12 Feral Becky

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

It is just one of those 'sign of the times' OP, sorry.

I had a pelvic US PV this year and the receptionist had to come in although the sonographer was female ohmy.gif

Sometimes I think it is worse to have all these gawkers than just the original person only. unsure.gif

I work on a ward and nearly always we go with a doctor to listen to a patients chest etc and ABs*utELY always if a male doctor is looking at a young girls 'bottom area' for instance. Dunno how gynos, obstetricians get around it as it is not my field.

#13 Bwok~Bwok

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

It is sad - all the fertility treatment I've had recently

During scans, EPU, Transfers - basically anything to do with down yonder - has had a female nurse and she stands where she can see everything going on down there.

#14 Riotproof

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE (LindsayMK @ 14/12/2012, 04:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is just one of those 'sign of the times' OP, sorry.

Dunno how gynos, obstetricians get around it as it is not my field.


I recently had an internal pelvic ultrasound with a male radiographer at a major hospital. Honestly, it doesn't bother me at all. I see it as one of those things you just occasionally have to do.

So, I wonder if I had a concern about a lump on my breast would I need to book with the "lady" GP?

#15 julzely

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

I am appalled at the state of society if our concern about inappropriate behavior is leading to professionals being unable/unwilling to do their job.

#16 Cat People

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

I think the cries of "what are the world coming to?" are quite OTT.  The world is becoming what it always was, which is why some male doctors/clinics have these rules.  There also seems to be the implication that the doctors have stopped doing this due to the fear of legal action by women just waiting for the opportunity to sue a poor vulnerable, naive doctor.  

OP, I always tell the receptionist when I'm having a pap smear.  It allows the GP to set up for the appointment, extra appointment time if necessary.  Why wouldn't you want the receptionist knowing?  I'm sure they're not giggling at the water cooler discussing your up coming pap smear.

#17 Funwith3

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:16 PM

How weird, I've never heard of this before! My GP is a male and he has always done it for me. I've never give it a second thought. Same as a male GP did my Mirena.

#18 SaintJoe

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

I thought this has always been the case.

My GP is male but I always let them know when I am coming in for a pap smear due to this. I thought it was common tbh.


#19 SDEE

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

Mine's the same, though female health nurse can chaperone. I really dont have an issue with a male GP doing it all the OBs in this town are male... and really they dont see much when they are doing a pap smear


#20 Riotproof

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:21 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 14/12/2012, 04:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP, I always tell the receptionist when I'm having a pap smear.  It allows the GP to set up for the appointment, extra appointment time if necessary.  Why wouldn't you want the receptionist knowing?  I'm sure they're not giggling at the water cooler discussing your up coming pap smear.


Because I don't think it's any of her business and I have heard her say some very inappropriate things at times, even though she's a lovely lady.

IME, a pap is a very quick procedure 2 minutes tops, so even allowing for talking I can be in and out in 15 minutes.

I understand that some women do prefer female's for this sort of thing, but I don't care. I've had a baby, a catheter, sometimes you just have to get on with it.



#21 julz78

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:23 PM

My male gp does them with no fuss but previously I have had a pelvic exam at medical centre and male dr needed a female chaperone and once at hospital had male gynaecologist registrar ask for a nurse to observe but they were all busy so he asked my permission to go it alone.

#22 ritten

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

I have always had an observer for any internal exams/tests regardless of if the GP/radiographer is male or female unless I have brought someone with me.  In some small places, this has been the receptionist.

I just thought it was standard practice!

Would find it strange for them to refuse to do it though - and if the clinic had a policy like that, you would think it would be advertised, they way they let you know about longer appointment times etc...

#23 Goggie

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

This has always been the case at my GP's office. A nurse or female admin staff is always in the room if a make does an internal. It's just life and while slightly sad, there must have been a reason as to why the medical association put this rule in place.

QUOTE (Riotproof @ 14/12/2012, 04:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The receptionist said if i had told her what I was booking for, she would have told me. I don't like the idea of having to discuss your reason for an appointment with a receptionist unless you're bleeding.


Why don't you feel comfortable telling the receptionist?? They are medical receptionists, trust me they see and hear much worse things than 'I'd like to make an appointment for a Pap test please'...


#24 frizzle

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:27 PM

My parents were telling me a while back that the drs at their clinic wouldn't do a breast exam by themselves. I thought it was ridiculous so I imagine they would be the same with smears. Our gp does them solo, my gyno is male too and does them by himself too. I doubt either of them get their jollies with me in there with my fat bum up in the air  wink.gif

I always tell the receptionist too so he has enough time aside.

#25 Feral Becky

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:29 PM

Another thought OP. I don't use them but friends do- Womens Health Clinics. I think all the staff are female. Some have a creche there, so ring and find out. They will send the results along to your GP. original.gif




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