What is Primary Care?
An essential element of any health care system is primary medical care. All Americans should have access to a health professional trained to provide quality primary medical care as their entry point to the system.
Such primary care physicians provide:
- first-contact care for persons with any undiagnosed sign, symptom, or health concern;
- comprehensive care for the person which is not organ- or problem- specific;
- longitudinal or continuous care for the patient;
- responsibility for coordinating other health services as they relate to the patient’s care.
A primary care provider is responsible for screening all major health-related conditions. If a patient already has a chronic condition, a primary helps manage it and improve their quality of life.
Why Study Primary Care?
Healthcare across the world faces major challenges from the increasing demands of ageing populations and the rise in non-communicable diseases. If a good primary healthcare system is in place, it is able to meet 80–90% of a patient’s health needs over the course of their life. This presents a huge opportunity for those in this field to make a difference to wider populations.
Top schools offering online (graduate) Primary Health Care include:
Overall employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth is projected due to increased demand for healthcare services by the growing and aging population.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages for physicians and surgeons are among the highest of all occupations, with a median wage equal to or greater than $208,000 per year.
Mean (average) annual wages for physicians and surgeons in May 2017 were as follows:
|Obstetricians and gynecologists||235,240|
|Physicians and surgeons, all other||211,390|
|Family and general practitioners||208,560|
Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular, and overnight hours. Physicians and surgeons may travel between their offices and hospitals to care for their patients. While on call, a physician may need to address a patient’s concerns over the phone or make an emergency visit to a hospital or nursing home.