Especially since I'm a doctor myself, I hate being a difficult patient. I want to be the sort of patient who does everything the doctor tells me to do and never complains and is always healthy.
In some sense I've succeeded. As a mother, I don't call the pediatrician's office after hours more than once or twice a year. Aside from making appointments, I only called my OB's office once: while in labor. But I also feel like I should advocate for myself a little bit as a patient, and I worry that sometimes might cause me to be perceived as annoying.
At my last visit to the OB/GYN, it was noted that I had my last pap smear six months ago. As such, the doctor told me I'd need to come back in six months for my next annual pap.
Now don't get me wrong, I love getting paps. I love having to pay for them out of pocket due to my deductible, I love waiting an hour to get in to see the doctor, and the exam itself is pure enjoyment. I wish I could get them every week. But in actuality, the guidelines from the ACOG say:
Women age 30 and older who have had three consecutive negative cervical cytology test results may be screened once every three years
And actually, the last doctor I saw before I moved a couple of years ago was a primary care physician who confirmed that I only needed to get this delightful test every three years.
So now I have two choices: I can either get an inconvenient and expensive test I don't need, or I can be that patient who shows up with the ACOG guidelines in my hand and explains why I'm refusing the exam.