Primary care is provided by physicians specifically trained for and skilled in comprehensive first contact and continuing care for persons with any undiagnosed sign, symptom, or health concern not limited by problem origin, organ system, or diagnosis.
Primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses performed and managed by a personal physician, often collaborating with other health professionals.
Primary care provides patient advocacy in the health-care system to accomplish cost-effective care by coordination of health-care services. Primary care promotes effective communication with patients and encourages the role of the patient as a partner in health care.
A primary-care practice serves as the patient’s first point of entry into the health-care system and as the continuing focal point for all needed health-care services. Primary-care practices provide patients with ready access to their own personal physician, or to an established backup physician when the primary physician is not available.
Primary-care practices, generally located in the community of the patients, provide health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health-care settings.
A primary-care physician is a generalist physician who provides definitive care to the undifferentiated patient at the point of first contact and takes continuing responsibility for providing the patient’s care.
The term “primary care” does not fully describe the activities of family physicians. The terms “primary care” and “family medicine” are not interchangeable.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians