Continuing Medical Education

Papshop: Not a ‘melon’choly Pap smear workshop!

C Gordon


As Head of Undergraduate Education in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, I have a particular interest in the competencies needed to perform primary care gynaecological procedures, one of which is the Pap smear. I was approached by a group of keen volunteer students to assist with Pap smear training to roll out a pilot screening programme at student-run after-hours clinics in Cape Town and at volunteer rural health promotion clinics. This article describes a novel approach to teaching the Pap smear technique, using fruit and toilet rolls, which can easily be replicated in resource-constrained areas. Students branded the workshops as ‘Papshops’, and the name has stuck. Increasing numbers of students are now taught by peers already trained in prior Papshops, thereby expanding the teaching workforce. To date, during 2013 - 2014, Papshop students have performed almost 300 Pap smears for eligible women in under-resourced areas.


Author's affiliations

C Gordon, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text



Pap smear

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(9):640. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.8728

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-07-28
Date published: 2014-07-28

Article Views

Abstract views: 2127
Full text views: 2465

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here