Flint physician makes cervical cancer screening a priority

Dr. Teresa Sherman and staff

An interview with Dr. Teresa Sherman

How do you make sure all your eligible patients are screened for cervical cancer?

We emphasize prevention in our office. We have lists that we review monthly of the screenings each patient needs.

And we stay on top of contacting those patients – mostly by phone – to encourage them to get in. If we don’t do the screening in office, we make sure we get the results from a gynecologist.

Do you have any challenges making sure your patients get regular screenings?

The only challenge is making sure the results come back to us if the screening was done elsewhere. We’ve worked hard to educate patients about our Patient-Centered Medical Home designation and tell them to make sure their results are forwarded to our office. We also have good relationships with most area gynecologists. If patients present an occasional challenge, we talk to them about why we do the screening and try to discover what their fears are.

Do you provide any patient education about cervical cancer screenings?

We have a lot of discussions in our office about screening tests, the reason we do them and what we’re looking for. We also do a lot of one-on-one consulting. Our reinforcement with phone calls is also important.

If there’s one thing you can point to that helps you stay on top of cervical cancer screenings what would it be?

We have put a lot of effort in building our database in our electronic medical records that tracks all health measures. We always know when a cervical cancer screening or other preventive test is due. It took some effort to get it done, but it’s been helpful. We also have a dedicated medical assistant and two front office staff who help with reminder calls. The medical assistant reviews the health maintenance grid for every patient.