Background and objectives: Family medicine has experienced variations in scope and comprehensiveness of care in recent years. To investigate whether these changes in practice have impacted women's health services, we measured trends in the proportion of preventive women's health visits provided by family physicians nationally.
Methods: We analyzed the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to identify the trend in the proportion of preventive women's health visits to family physicians and obstetrician-gynecologists and others between 1995 to 2007.
Results: A total of 6,088 sample records were included in the study, representing 239 million preventive women's health visits. The percentage of preventive women's health visits provided by family physicians remained stable over the 12-year study period from 18.6% in 1995-1996 to 20.3% in 2007. Family physicians provided care for 28% of total preventive women's health visits occurring in non-metropolitan statistical areas.
Conclusions: Family physicians provided a stable amount of preventive women's health services between 1995 and 2007. Family medicine should continue to foster comprehensive residency training in preventive women's health care and inclusion of such services in future scope of practice.