General Medicine

 
 
Secondary education streams:
Scientific
In the medical profession, a general practitioner (GP) is a physician who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients of all ages. Their duties are not confined to specific fields of medicine, and they have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues. They are trained to treat patients to levels of complexity that vary between countries. A core element in general practice is continuity that bridges episodes of various illnesses. Greater continuity with a general practitioner has been shown to reduce the need for out-of-hours services and acute hospital admittance. Furthermore, continuity by a general practitioner reduces mortality.The role of a GP can vary greatly between (or even within) countries. In urban areas of developed countries, their roles tend to be narrower and focused on the care of chronic health problems; the treatment of acute non-life-threatening diseases; the early detection and referral to specialised care of patients with serious diseases; and preventive care including health education and immunisation. Meanwhile, in rural areas of developed countries or in developing countries, a GP may be routinely involved in pre-hospital emergency care, the delivery of babies, community hospital care and performing low-complexity surgical procedures. In some healthcare systems GPs work in primary care centers where they play a central role in the healthcare team, while in other models of care GPs can work as single-handed practitioners. The term general practitioner or GP is common in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand and many other Commonwealth countries. In these countries, the word "physician" is largely reserved for certain other types of medical specialists, notably in internal medicine. While in these countries, the term GP has a clearly defined meaning, in North America the term has become somewhat ambiguous, and is sometimes synonymous with the terms family doctor or primary care physician, as described below. Historically, the role of a GP was once performed by any doctor with qualifications from a medical school and who works in the community. However, since the 1950s, general practice has become a specialty in its own right, with specific training requirements tailored to each country. The 1978 Alma Ata Declaration set the intellectual foundation of primary care and general practice. ..More on Wikipedia

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