Objective: The purpose of this paper is to identify the specialties of physicians seen by women for regular health care, including the combination of an obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) and a primary-care physician, and to examine associations between type(s) of physicians seen and number of visits made and preventive services received. Design: Data are from the 1993 Women's Health Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey conducted by Louis Harris and Associates for The Commonwealth Fund. Participants: National sample, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, of 2,525 U.S. women ages 18 and over. Main Outcome Measures: The specialties of physicians seen for regular care, number of annual physician visits, and receipt of key preventive services (Pap tests, cholesterol screening, mammography) within the last 2-3 years. Results: One-third of women see both a primary-care physician and an OBGYN; they make more visits than women seeing a primary-care provider alone. Women seeing a primary-care physician alone receive fewer preventive services than women seeing both types of physicians, independent of type of health insurance. Conclusions: Women's patterns of physician use vary, and preventive services received depend on types of physicians seen.
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