Primary care

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Primary care may be provided in community health centres.

In medicine, primary care is a term used for a health provider who acts as a first point of consultation for all patients. Generally, primary care physicians are based in the community, as opposed to the hospital. Alternative names for the field are general practice and family medicine, although the terms are not synonymous. General practitioners are physicians who have completed one year of post-medical school training in what has been traditionally described as an "internship." Family Medicine, on the other hand, is an actual specialty that requires a minimum of three years of residency training and Board Certification.

Because of the nature of problems presented to a primary care physician, he/she has to keep a holistic view of the patient, investigating carefully if the problem presented can be managed by reassurance and symptomatic treatment or by intervention.

Examples of diseases managed in primary care are:

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References and External Links

  • Defining Primary Care (http://books.nap.edu/books/0309053994/html/27.html) from Institute of Medicine IOM - Primary Care: America's Health in a New Era (1996)
  • Primary Care (http://www.aafp.org/x6988.xml) Definitions from American Academy of Family Physicians AAFP
  • Definition of Primary Care (http://www.ama-assn.org/apps/pf_new/pf_online?f_n=browse&doc=policyfiles/HnE/H-200.969.HTM) from American Medical Association AMA
  • Defining primary health care (http://www.cre.gov.uk/gdpract/health_care_cop_def.html) Department of Health United Kingdom UK
  • What is primary health care? (http://www.amsant.com.au/amsant/what-is-primary-health-care.html) Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) Australia
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