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

Kaiser members sought exemptions from Allen and Sutton, neither of whom work for the HMO, and then gave them to their primary care doctors. Cat Ferguson, The Mercury News, "Five California doctors now under investigation over student vaccine exemptions," 3 July 2019 Absent reforms, the shortage will increase waiting times to see primary care doctors beyond today’s historically long spans. Ron Hurtibise,, "Is forced telemedicine the future of healthcare?," 28 June 2019 Once a homeless people is in the system, a case worker will get an alert whenever that person checks in at the city’s Neil Good Day Center for homeless people, another service provider, a primary care physician or if they are arrested. Hayne Palmour Iv / San Diego Union-tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, "City team recommends improvements to bridge shelter tents," 10 June 2019 With no functioning primary care system, patients flock to hospitals in major cities, sometimes camping out overnight just to get treatment for a fever. Sui-lee Wee And Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Amazon Wants to Disrupt Health Care in America. In China, Tech Giants Already Have.," 31 Jan. 2018 Planned Parenthood Mar Monte provides reproductive health and primary care services to more than 220,000 men, women and children every year at 35 health centers throughout mid-California and northern Nevada, according to the organization. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "How Santa Clara County plans to partner with Mountain View’s Planned Parenthood," 19 June 2019 The volunteers will receive training and typically spend two to four hours per week providing assistance to patients while performing such duties as social visits, serving meals and offering primary care givers a respite. Sergio Carmona,, "MorseLife’s hospice and palliative care looking for volunteers," 18 June 2019 The drugstore chain wants to improve access to primary care for its customers, said Walgreens executive Dr. Pat Carroll. Tom Murphy,, "CVS announces further expansion into health care services," 4 June 2019 Ascension Wisconsin hopes to add primary care services, possibly in partnership with other organizations, at the hospital. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ascension Wisconsin cutting services at St. Joseph hospital," 5 Apr. 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

8 Jul 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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