Primary Care Physician

Updated: 29 February 2024

What Does Primary Care Physician Mean?

A primary care physician is a medical specialist who is both first contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern and the main caregiver of ongoing diagnosis and treatment of different medical conditions.

The term is primarily used in the United States. In the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, primary care physicians are known as general practitioners.

Insuranceopedia Explains Primary Care Physician

A primary care physician is a medical specialist with an educational background in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Pediatrics. They provide a broad range of care services to the undifferentiated patient at the point of first contact. They also take continuing responsibility for a patient’s comprehensive care. This care can consist of chronic, preventive, and acute care services in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Primary care physicians provide primary care services to a limited number of patients to ensure quality of service. They are responsible for examining patients, cataloging medical histories, prescribing medication, and performing and assessing the results of diagnostic tests. They can also provide advice on diet, hygiene, and preventative healthcare.


General Practitioner
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