Trends in Seeing an Obstetrician–Gynecologist Compared With a General Physician Among U.S. Women, 2000–2015
To assess trends in the percentage of U.S. women who visit an obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) and the percentage who visit a general physician (general practitioner, family medicine, and internist).METHODS:
We used data from the 2000–2015 National Health Interview Surveys, cross-sectional nationally representative surveys, to identify the percentage of U.S. women who have visited an ob-gyn and the percentage who have visited a general physician during the preceding 12 months. Unadjusted percentages, and percentages adjusted for sociodemographic and health factors, were entered into joinpoint regressions to assess unadjusted and adjusted trends over time.RESULTS:
The adjusted percentage of U.S. women who saw a general physician during the preceding 12 months did not significantly change from 2000 to 2015, ranging from 70.1% in 2007 to 74.2% in 2003 (P>.05 for trend). However, although the adjusted percentage that saw an ob-gyn in the preceding 12 months did not change from 2000 to 2003 or 2007–2011 (P>.05), it declined from 45.0% to 41.2% between 2003 and 2007 and from 41.8% to 38.4% between 2011 and 2015 (P<.001 for trends). The adjusted percentage that saw both an ob-gyn and a general physician was 32.4% in 2000, reaching as high as 35.2% in 2003, but then declined to 29.8% in 2015 (P<.001 for trend). Unadjusted results were similar.CONCLUSION:
The percentage of women who visit an ob-gyn has declined since 2000. To assure high-quality and coordinated care, physicians should identify whether women see both health care provider types or only one to help assure that all recommended services are being offered.