Date of this Version
Background and Objectives: This study’s purpose was to simultaneously investigate demographic, socioeconomic status, health status, and access-to-care factors to see if they could explain racial/ethnic differences in the odds of reproductive-aged women having a regular physician and perceptions of those women about their care. Methods: Data come from a nationally representative sample of 4,520 women ages 25–45. We used logistic regression models to ascertain the odds of having a regular doctor and feeling cared for among black, Hispanic, and Asian women as compared to non-Hispanic white women. Models contained controls for factors found significant in prior research and interaction terms. Results: Hispanic women have significantly lower odds of having a regular doctor than white non-Hispanic women, a gap primarily explained by differences in language and insurance status. Asian and Hispanic women have significantly lower odds of reporting feeling cared for by their doctor, and black women have higher odds of reporting feeling cared for by their doctor than white women. Significant interaction terms of race/ethnicity by economic level, residence, and health status show that the associations between race/ethnicity and having a regular doctor, and feeling cared for by that doctor, depend on other characteristics. Conclusions: The odds that women of reproductive age will have a regular doctor and report feeling cared for by that doctor differ by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic characteristics. Black women have higher odds, and Spanish-speaking women have lower odds of having a regular doctor than white women, and Hispanic and Asian women have lower odds of feeling cared for.