A primary-care physician is a medical practitioner who provides general medical care. These doctors possess a broad base of knowledge in many different areas of medicine including general well-being to acute and chronic patient care. They are essential to the medical community and an integral part of the health-care system.
Primary-care doctors include family practice physicians, internists and pediatricians. In general, primary-care doctors evaluate many conditions ranging from the simple routine cold to life-threatening heart attacks. It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 primary-care physicians in the United States, equaling approximately one-third of the total number of physicians practicing in the country. However, it is calculated that more than 50 percent of doctor visits are to primary-care practitioners; disproportionately affecting the ability for patients to see their primary-care physician in a timely fashion.