Money Matters

can general physicians do pap smears and pelvic exams?

I normally lurk, but since you ladies always seem to have good advice, here's my question:

DH and I are probably switching to a high deductable health insurance plan for next year. It will cover one general healthy check up for each of us, no co-pay required. It sounds like they are referring to a check up by a primary/general physician. Does anyone have their general physician do their annual pelvic exam and pap smear? And do you know if they can prescribe birth control? We aren't planning to TTC for at least 5 years, so right now my only real OBGYN concern is "please make sure I don't get knocked up." Therefore, I'd rather not pay ~$200 out of pocket if my PCP can take care of it.?

Is that a reasonable idea or am I imagining things??

Running PRs: 5K - 23:09 (5-15-2010) 10 mile: 1:21:48 (8-27-2011) Half marathon: 1:48:58 (9-12-2011)

Re: can general physicians do pap smears and pelvic exams?

  • Yes, I have a general doc do a pap/well woman check up.  Works fine for me.
  • My PA at my PCP does mine yearly.  I only saw an obgyn this year because I had an IUD put it.  I'll be back at my PA next year.
  • Mine general physician is doing mine next week. I believe most do, but never hurts to ask when you schedule your first doctors appointment.
  • I would think they could, whether they will may be another issue. It would be best to call your dr. & ask.

    I have no first hand experience, I see my family doc for regular sickness/injuries & my OBGYN for my annual exam.


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Yes, they can do pelvic exams and pap smears. They can also prescribe birth control. If you are having problems with your reproductive system or your cycle, you need to see an OBGYN. Otherwise you are fine to see a family doctor.
  • I've had Family Practitioners and PAs do them for me.  I agree with pp that you should see a specialist if you are having any medical problems though.
  • Yes, my GP always asks me if I want a pelvic & pap when I call to make a checkup appointment.
    DD1 July 2010, DD2 due June 2013

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Yes, definitely. I have never known a family medicine physician who didn't do this. An internist, you may want to ask to make sure.
  • My family doctor did my paps and prescribed my BCP when I was younger.  No problem.  I would go back to that now, except that I'm kind of "trying out" ob/gyn's for when we have kids.  I'm not having good luck finding one I like in the area I live in now.
  • Thanks for the responses - it's definitely good to know, and makes me feel a little better about switching to the high deductible plan.
    Running PRs: 5K - 23:09 (5-15-2010) 10 mile: 1:21:48 (8-27-2011) Half marathon: 1:48:58 (9-12-2011)
  • I've always had my PCP do my gyn exams.
  • I see an internist, and she does my pap.
  • image Ashley&Scott:

    I would think they could, whether they will may be another issue.

    wtf? Some docs think they're too good to use a speculum?

  • Yes, but call and ask to be sure. I made an appt with an internal medicine doctor once to get my annual exam and he FLIPPED out in the examining room when I told him I was here for my pap. He said "I haven't done one of those in 20 years." Uh, no thanks then.
  • Mine does. 
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • One thing to keep in mind is that when you do decide to get pregnant, you want to be with an OB who you like and feel comfortable with.  So, a year or so before you want to TTC, you might want to start looking around for an OB.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Apparently the doll needed a time out... image
  • You can use an ob/gyn as your PCP with my insurance company (UHC). 
  • I've had two PCP's lately and both were able to do paps.  but beware, both my PCP's required I set up seperate appointments for them.  I am not able to do it if I'm in for a checkup or anything else.  They wanted the copay paid twice and they want to collect from insurance on two visits vs. one.  Annoying for me.  Also both the PCP's only did paps certain days/times and it was very limited so it would normally take me 2-3 months to get in. 

  • I had my regular doctor do pap's and birth control until I had an issue he felt needed more specialized care. He then referred me to an OB. It was fine arrangement and lasted for several years.
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  • I've used my internist to do them before, but I have gyno issues so I generally use an ob/gyn.
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