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Womens Health Issues. 2002 May-Jun;12(3):138-49.

Are two doctors better than one? Women's physician use and appropriate care.

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Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, USA.


This study examines nonelderly women's concurrent use of two types of physicians (generalists and obstetrician-gynecologists) for regular health care and associations with receipt of preventive care, including a range of recommended screening, counseling, and heart disease prevention services. Data are from the 1999 Women's Health Care Experiences Survey conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, using random digit dialing (N = 509 women ages 18 to 64). Key findings are: 58% of women report using two physicians (a generalist and an ob/gyn) for regular care; seeing both a generalist and an ob/gyn, compared with seeing a generalist alone, is consistently associated with receiving more clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive services related to heart disease. Because seeing an ob/gyn in addition to a generalist physician is associated with receiving recommended preventive services (even for heart disease), the findings suggest that non-elderly women who rely on a generalist alone may receive substandard preventive care. The implications for women's access to ob/gyns and for appropriate design of women's primary care are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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