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 nouna 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 And while California averages one primary care physician per 1,260 residents, Imperial County only has one per 4,250 residents. Kristi Sturgill, Los Angeles Times, "Its two hospitals overrun, Imperial County halts in-store retail and indoor religious services," 2 July 2020 Talk to your therapist, psychiatrist or primary care doctor for help in managing PTSD and anxiety symptoms. Arash Javanbakht, The Conversation, "Fireworks can torment veterans and survivors of gun violence with PTSD – here’s how to celebrate with respect for those who served," 1 July 2020 The Imperial Valley is also medically underserved, with a ratio of about 4,250 people for every primary care doctor. Dustin Gardiner,, "In California’s hardest-hit county, fear and death mix with anger," 1 July 2020 Its goal is to provide half of those visits that can be done remotely—such as primary care visits or general internal medicine—through video and audio calls by the end of the year. Elaine Chen, WSJ, "Health Provider Gundersen Prioritizes AI Integration Amid Pandemic," 22 June 2020 The second anomaly of this primary care practice is what is missing from the exam rooms: there are no scales. Virginia Sole-smith, Scientific American, "What if Doctors Stopped Prescribing Weight Loss?," 16 June 2020 Another popular tool is tele-consultation, when a specialist from another hospital can virtually drop into an in-person visit between a patient and a primary care physician, to offer insight beyond the scope of what the local hospital can provide. Lynn Johnson, National Geographic, "Why rural hospitals may not survive COVID-19," 2 June 2020 Still, the federal report troubles Dr. Nick DeBlasio, director of the pediatric primary care center at Cincinnati Children Hospital Medical Center. Anne Saker,, "Five lessons from the coronavirus pandemic about your child's immunizations," 16 June 2020 Ensure access to primary care for everyone by providing services that are more convenient and more geographically accessible. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Norton Healthcare announces 5-step plan to address racial inequalities," 16 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for primary care

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The first known use of primary care was in 1967

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Statistics for primary care

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Primary care.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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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 attributivelyprimary 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

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