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Physicians: What is a PCP?
What is a 'primary care physician'?

Primary care physicians are those who generally see patients when they first enter the health care system. They treat a wide range of conditions.

The term includes all family physicians and those pediatricians and internists who have generalized practices. Sometimes obstetricians are included.

Internists and family physicians have taken over the role once filled by the GP (general practitioner). Both receive the same medical school training but the three years after med school differ. An internist receives more in-depth training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the major internal organ systems. Family physicians cover general adult medicine, plus areas such as pediatrics, gynecology, obstetrics and in-office surgical procedures.
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