VCU OB-GYN Who Led in Development of Pap Test Guidelines Offers Insight

David Chelmow, M.D., who drafted the new Pap test guidelines issued on Monday by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is available to speak to the media.

Chelmow is chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

The guidelines recommend women wait three to five years between Pap tests.  

Chelmow said the changes in the recommendations are significant for both patients and physicians.  “It will take some time and a lot of effort to re-educate everyone that the annual Pap is no longer the standard of care,” said Chelmow.  “It is critical, however, that women understand that their annual ‘well-woman’ visit is still very important for many other aspects of their health care.”

The guidelines also recommend that women 30 and older have both a Pap test and human papillomavirus (HPV) test at the same time, once every five years.  

Chelmow is editor-in-chief of the eMedicine OB/GYN online textbook and has authored more than 65 peer-reviewed papers and review articles.  

Editor’s note:  Interviews can be conducted by phone, in person or using the university's VideoLink ReadyCam studio. ReadyCam transmits video and audio via fiber optics through a system that is routed to your newsroom. To schedule a live or taped interview, contact the VCU Office of Communications and Public Relations, 804-828-1231.