Why is a throat culture a culture and a Pap smear a smear?
Forgive me, Doctor, for I have sinned. It’s been six years since my last physical. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, it’s just that I am doctor’s daughter, and I learned at a young age that if my head was still attached to my neck by at least one singular strand of tissue, I was absolutely fine and in no need of medical care. Don’t judge. I’m trying.
I called my internist after my six-year hiatus to schedule an appointment. I like her because she does the whole shebang, physical, Pap, boob job, the whole enchilada. Except, come to find out, that six years later, she doesn’t.
Because I see a doctor who is part of an enormous medical group of internists and specialists who work on a huge campus, I was able to choose another doctor who did it all and who happened to be available when I was. Did I ask for recommendations or search for reviews? No. I just wanted someone, anyone, who could look under the hood and send me on my way.
Dr. K greeted me with pleasantly forced smile on her pinched face and a light handshake. She was probably five to ten years my junior and a few inches taller. Under her doctor’s coat, she wore a form-fitting red dress cut above her knees that accentuated her exceptionally ample and gravitationally defiant rack. Imagine Benny Hill’s head on Joan Harris’s body.
Now, while I live in a very diverse town, the medical group on this enormous campus is elsewhere and pulls from many other less diverse towns. So, I was sadly not at all surprised when I handed my new doctor my new patient form and we had the following exchange as she entered my details in the computer:
Doctor K: Married?
Doctor K: Two children?
Me: Yes, two.
Doctor K: Did you intentionally check homosexual on the form?
Me: (Here we go.) Yes.
Doctor K: And you’re married?
Doctor K: So, then you’re married…to a woman?
What I wanted to say: And you graduated from medical school?!?
Me: That would be correct.
Doctor K: Ok. I’m just making sure.
What she wanted to say: Don’t blame me for making a completely normal assumption that you were straight, and also…ew.
What I wanted to say: And you “make sure” with all your new patients that they intentionally selected “heterosexual” and “married?”
Me: It’s fine.
But it wasn’t fine, because I spent the rest of the exam wondering if she thought I made the appointment just to get some action.
Doctor K: Any problems with your breasts?
What I wanted to say: Only that I can never find a good bra. That is clearly not an issue for you, and I’d love for you tell me where you get yours.
Me: No problems.
Doctor K: Now, people like you have the option to do an STD screening. Do you want it?
What I wanted to say: What the fuck do you mean, “people like you?!?” Parents? Jews? Women with such pretty vaginas?
Me: Uh, I’ll pass.
Doctor K: Move down a little further on the table and place your feet in the stirrups. And two fingers…
What I wanted to say: Are you sure there are two up there? Not much girth to those girls, is there?
What I did say was nothing and walked out vowing to find myself a new doctor.