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Greater Racial, Ethnic Diversity of Doctors Found in Ob-Gyn

Compared with other adult medical specialties, more black and Hispanic physicians practice ob-gyn

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Among adult medical specialists, greater racial and ethnic diversity is found among obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns), according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

William F. Rayburn, M.D., M.B.A., of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving national U.S. data for 190,379 physicians to examine differences in racial and ethnic characteristics among specialties. Adult medical specialties included obstetrics and gynecology, general internal medicine, family medicine, and emergency medicine.

The researchers found that, in all specialties, female physicians were more likely to be nonwhite; in obstetrics-gynecology, physicians were more likely to be female (61.9 percent). Compared with the other specialties studied, obstetrics-gynecology had the highest proportion of underrepresented minorities (combined, 18.4 percent), particularly black physicians (11.1 percent) and Hispanic physicians (6.7 percent). Underrepresented minority ob-gyns were more likely than white or Asian ob-gyns to practice in federally funded underserved areas and areas with high poverty levels. Native American, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander ob-gyns had the highest proportion of those practicing in rural areas.

“Compared with other adult medical specialists, ob-gyns have a relatively high proportion of black and Hispanic physicians,” the authors write. “A higher proportion of underrepresented minority ob-gyns practiced at medically underserved areas.”

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