primary care


Definition of primary care

: health care provided by a medical professional (such as a general practitioner, pediatrician, or nurse) with whom a patient has initial contact and by whom the patient may be referred to a specialist often used before another noun a primary care physician

called also primary health care

— compare secondary care, tertiary care

Examples of primary care in a Sentence

He provides primary care to inner-city patients.

Recent Examples on the Web

Given the shortage of neurologists, especially in rural areas, the association is also developing tools to help primary care-physicians diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s. Clare Ansberry, WSJ, "For Elderly in Rural Areas, Volunteers Step In," 10 Dec. 2018 That’s why Eva, a primary care doctor in Boston; Doni, a musician in Brooklyn; and Jo, a midwife in Manhattan, teamed up with their scientist dad to create Sisters Body, a new line of hair and body products. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This All-Natural Beauty Line by Three Sisters Will Change the Way You Shower," 21 Aug. 2018 His wife and young son were in the WIC program, and also received primary care from Haq’s organization. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "As Trump considers penalties, Seattle-area immigrants turn down public benefits they’re entitled to claim," 13 Aug. 2018 Dental, vision, and mental care will be covered, as will inpatient care, outpatient care, primary care, preventative care, palliative care, ambulatory care, emergency care, maternal care, and newborn care. Tim Higginbotham And Chris Middleman, Vox, "“Medicare-for-all” means something. Don’t let moderates water it down.," 13 July 2018 Accompanied by more than 60 other doctors, nurses and clinicians from Christ, Barin spent 10 days triaging and administering primary care to refugees who had fled the civil war in Syria. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Advocate humanitarian award, scholarship fund spotlight Christ Hospital's medical relief work," 4 July 2018 Community health centers have long provided primary care to millions of patients in underserved areas across the United States, both urban and rural. New York Times, "Finally, Some Answers on the Effects of Medicaid Expansion," 2 July 2018 Pediatrics is a specialty of primary care medicine for a reason; children are different and need the care that only specialists in child health can provide. Anchorage Daily News, "Make mom’s morning with homemade baked oatmeal for breakfast," 10 May 2018 Clinicians provide regular primary care at the jail. Michelle Andrews, Scientific American, "Telemedicine Opening Doors to Specialty Care for Inmates," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'primary care.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of primary care

1967, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for primary care

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for primary care

The first known use of primary care was in 1967

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More Definitions for primary care

primary care


English Language Learners Definition of primary care

: medical care from the doctor who sees a patient first and provides basic treatment or decides that the patient should see another doctor

primary care


Medical Definition of primary care

: health care provided by a medical professional (as a general practitioner or a pediatrician) with whom a patient has initial contact and by whom the patient may be referred to a specialist for further treatment often used attributively primary care physiciansprimary care practiceprimary care medicine

called also primary health care

— compare secondary care, tertiary care

More from Merriam-Webster on primary care

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with primary care

Comments on primary care

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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