primary care

noun

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

By 2030, the United States could be short 43,000 primary care physicians. G. Richard Olds, Washington Post, "International medical schools have a bad reputation. That needs to change, for the good of U.S. patients.," 26 June 2018 Both are dedicated to graduating primary care physicians. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "Retiring CareFirst CEO Chet Burrell discusses the future of health care and insurance," 15 June 2018 The medical pavilion offers primary care, cardiology, outpatient rehab and other specialties. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Monday health briefing: Care Spot opens new location; Baldwin Park ER breaks ground; Mothers' Milk Bank turns three," 11 June 2018 Their report from 2016 estimates that there could be a shortfall of between 14,900 and 35,600 primary care physicians. Maria Clark, NOLA.com, "Why physician assistant is the fastest-growing job in medicine," 15 May 2018 Maybe schedule a primary care appointment for yourself. Beth Kassab, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Caregivers need to focus on themselves too — and ask for help," 11 July 2018 Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, and Twin Falls counties are all HPSA-designated in primary care. Gretel Kauffman, idahostatesman, "This county has only 1 doctor. When he retires, who will replace him?," 29 May 2018 But such information is not commonly part of routine primary care. Michelle Andrews, The Seattle Times, "What if your doctor offered genetic testing as a way to keep you healthy?," 28 May 2018 Another problem is a shortage of nurses and doctors, which leads to long wait times for patients — three or four months for primary care appointments or for dental services or eyeglasses. Washington Post, "Medicaid Minus Stigma: In Indian Country, It’s Part Of The Fabric Of Life," 2 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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Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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The first known use of primary care was in 1967

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More Definitions for primary care

primary care

noun

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

noun

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

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