A comprehensive women's health care center: are gynecologists offering primary care?

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jun;194(6):1660-6; discussion 1666-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2006.03.010. Epub 2006 Apr 25.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare patient characteristics and diagnoses in a comprehensive Women's Health Care Clinic between gynecologists and internal medicine physicians.

Study design: This retrospective cohort study evaluated International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, codes that were recorded between January 1, 2001, and January 4, 2004, at the Women's Health Care Clinic. We compared demographics and prevalence of diagnosis codes for patients who were seen by obstetricians/gynecologists and internal medicine physicians and compared these data with national survey statistics. A sampling of charts was reviewed for coding verification.

Results: We analyzed 13,462 visits at the Women's Health Care Clinic. Patients who were seen by internists were older, had greater racial diversity, and had more gender-nonspecific medical disorders (hypertension, depression). Gynecologists saw more specific women's health problems (P < .05). The diagnoses of menstrual disorders, menopause, pelvic pain, and abnormal cytologic findings within the Women's Health Care Clinic follow closely with the national ambulatory survey data.

Conclusion: Within this multispecialty Women's Health Care Clinic, internal medicine physicians are practicing primary care and obstetricians/gynecologists are providing specialty care.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gynecology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / methods*
  • International Classification of Diseases / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Obstetrics / methods
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Women's Health Services* / statistics & numerical data