primary care vs patient care

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kelpy, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. kelpy

    kelpy Senior Member

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    #1 kelpy, Jul 24, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
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  3. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Primary care, from what I understand, is usually used in the context of a primary care provider (such as a doc specializing in Internal Medicine, Family Practice, or Pediatrics) as opposed to a specialist (such as an oncologist).

    I wouldn't worry about it if you just made a single slip. These things are bound to happen.
     
  4. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats

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    no and no.

    although primary care and patient care are not the same thing, you can get around this by twisting the meaning of primary care. Oncologists are essentially the primary care doc for cancer patients.
     
  5. kelpy

    kelpy Senior Member

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    I hope they do realize that it was a misnomer and don't think that I'm confused or contradicting myself. :(
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I'm not sure the internal medicine specialties constitute primary care.
     
  7. kelpy

    kelpy Senior Member

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    #6 kelpy, Jul 25, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Specialists treat patients too-- That clearly isn't the definition. It means the doctor you see at your first point of contact in medicine. It is thus the FPs, the ED docs, the pediatricians.

    I'm pretty sure it is not the IM specialist (cardiologist, Gastrointerologist, etc) you get referred to by your PCP, or where you get sent up to from the ED.
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    No, but internal medicine as a specialty constitutes medical care. A fair percentage of primary care physicians are internists, not family practice. But the subspecialties (cardiology, nephrology, etc.) would not be primary care.
     
  10. Punkn

    Punkn at the Christie Rd tracks

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    Primary care usually includes general internal medicine, general pediatrics, OB/GYN, family practice, and sometimes psychiatry.
     
  11. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Sounds right.
    But bear in mind that because the subspecialties (there are 9 or 10 big ones) tend to be a big popular draw, a school with a ton of people placing into IM residencies might actually be a school which ultimately sends very few people into primary care.
     
  12. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh!
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    Like notdeadyet said, internists (IM docs) are generally regarded as primary care. The IM specialties are generally not.

    ED doctors are generally NOT considered primary care, either, though I think they should be because, like you said, they are your first point-of-contact for an emergency.
     
  13. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    And, if you're at a county hospital, the primary care physician for a depressingly large segment of the population.
     
  14. joanofarc0907

    joanofarc0907 Senior Member

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    Never EVER should ED doctors be considered primary care doctors. They do not follow patients, they know nothing about patients except what they are told and the paper work that is lucky enough to come with them. Primary care doctors are there to follow a patient through their care and manage this. ED doctors are there for EMERGENCIES!!! I can not tell you how much this matters!! (can you tell I work in an ER?)
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I think what the above folks are saying is that in a ton of cases, the ED doctor is the ONLY physician a lot of folks will EVER see. So they know as much about the patient as any doctor, and follow and manage the patient as far as any doctor ever will.
     
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  17. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats

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    you can't equate primary care with patient care due to the us news dichotomy. the research ranking rank schools based off of their research caliber and reputation. the primary care rankings rank schools based off of how many of their students go into primary care specialties. Neither have nothing to do directly with the actual quality of the clinical education!
     
  18. kelpy

    kelpy Senior Member

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    Do you guys think this issue will come up in interviews if I only used it once in the PS? Can I redeem this by extending the meaning of the word and telling them that I meant getting involved in patients lives by following their health closely.
     
  19. joanofarc0907

    joanofarc0907 Senior Member

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    I know what they meant...its just a sore subject :) Unfortunatly what you say is true, but that is not the purpose of an ED physician technically, and I know for a fact that is not why people go into emergency medicine as a specialty.
     
  20. kelpy

    kelpy Senior Member

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    bump
     
  21. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats

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    don't sweat the small stuff!
     
  22. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    Primary Care = Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and in some cases, Emergency Medicine, OB/GYN, and Psychiatry.

    Patient Care = what physicians and allied health personnel do for patients.

    These terms are COMPLETELY unrelated.
     
  23. kelpy

    kelpy Senior Member

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    Since oncology is an internal medicine subspecialty, does it count as primary care?
     
  24. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    No. All subspecialties are by definition not primary care. They are subspecialties.

    Primary care means the doctor a patient sees first (your "regular" doctor). You don't go to an oncologist until you have been referred to one.
     
  25. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats

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    not in the strictest sense, but an oncologist pretty much takes the role of a primary care doc for cancer patients since they have to closely track their progress and watch for any conditions which may adversely effect the health of oncology patients who tend to be frail due to chemotherapy (opportunistic infections are common).

    I wouldn't worry about this minor gaffe. What's important for admission is a dedication to medicine, obviously the direction you take this dedication may change once in med school and thats understood, just be clear that you want to be a physician in your interviews and I'm sure that this won't be a problem at all.
     
  26. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I think you are trying to use "primary" as a definitional substitute for "main", rather than "first" (as in primary secondary, tertiary, and so on). The term "primary care" is not who is the main physician (although it certainly can be), it is who is the "first" physician. The front line. Oncologists are who you get sent to once a smart primary care doctor realizes you have a problem which requires a specialist.
     
  27. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    You're stretching. It's a goof, but it's a minor one in the big picture.

    You'll look far worse trying to justify your classification of oncologist as primary care than you would be to just own up to a minor error.

    If that's the biggest mistake you make in this process, you're doing a lot better than most.
     
  28. 63768

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    oncology isn't primary care. i don't think the two terms are interchangeable but nothing you can really do now to correct that, so don't worry about it. if the question comes up, just tell them you inserted the wrong word, no biggie.

    btw, don't tell people in interviews that you want to be an oncologist. tell them you're keeping an open mind, and if pressed for an answer, say internal med (not a lie!) haha.
     
  29. Hoberto

    Hoberto Squirrel Girl

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    When I see or hear patient care I think of nurses, CNAs, PTs and other similar allied health professionals.

    As far as your application goes, don't worry about it and don't bring it up in the future! :luck:
     
  30. Kuba

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    so this begs the question, why in the world is ob/gyn primary care?! I get that the Gyn part can be primary care sometimes, but what if an obgyn is constatly delivering babies, doesnt seem like primary care to me.
     
  31. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    If the patient is the baby, that is clearly the first physician they see...
     
  32. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats

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    You are right. But in a way, the oncologist acts as a PCP for cancer patients referring them as needed to surgeons, rad oncs, palliative care phyiscians, and other specialists who assist in cancer treatment. the OP can at least redeem him or herself by pointing this out.
     
  33. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I guess that would really be the secondary physician referring on to a tertiary. Primary was the front line and is no longer in the picture. The OP should not bring any more attention to this.
     
  34. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    A majority of women see an OB/GYN for regular check-ups. This is often the only physician they see.

    Obviously if you are an OB only and not OB/GYN, you wouldn't be considered.
     
  35. OSUdoc08

    OSUdoc08 Banned
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    Ha. No, the pediatrician assesses the newborn.
     

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