As reductions to family planning programs continue, primary care provides an important opportunity for patients to access comprehensive reproductive health services. However, there is a lack of data on the specific reproductive services provided by primary care physicians and their perceptions of offering these services.
CUNY SPH faculty Meredith Manze, Heidi Jones, Lynn Roberts, and Diana Romero conducted a study focused on what reproductive and contraceptive services primary care physicians in New York state routinely provide. The findings were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The researchers found that more family medicine physicians offer reproductive health services than internal medicine physicians, and overall there is room for expansion of comprehensive services.
The physicians reported many more advantages than disadvantages in providing this type of care, with the reported disadvantages relating mostly to lack of training in the practice.
“Training on reproductive health services is needed, especially for internal medicine doctors, prior to expanding reproductive health in primary care,” says Manze.
The study could inform administrators, clinicians, and educators considering expansion of reproductive health services in primary care.