Department of Family & Preventive Medicine


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What is Primary Care?

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.

American Academy of Family Physicians website (

Primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in a variety of health care settings (e.g., office, inpatient, critical care, long-term care, home care, day care, etc.). Primary care is performed and managed by a personal physician often collaborating with other health professionals, and utilizing consultation or referral as appropriate.

Family Medicine is one of the primary care the medical specialties (General Internal Medicine and General Pediatrics are the others) which provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family and recognizes the role of family and community in effective care. It is a specialty in breadth that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages and genders from birth to the elderly, each organ system and every disease entity. (Adapted from the American Academy of Family Physicians website)


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