Chapter

What Is Primary Care?

ERIC J. CASSELL

in Doctoring

Published in print July 1997 | ISBN: 9780195113235
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199999828 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195113235.003.0002
What Is Primary Care?

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For almost 200 years, the idea of health has been equated with freedom from disease. Developing slowly during the same period have been the explicit medical and social meanings of the word disease; and the science necessary to understand diseases. Organizing medicine according to disease is a theoretical construct that developed, in its present form, at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The idea of health as freedom from disease has been seen as increasingly inadequate, and new definitions have arisen that emphasize the ability of persons to reach social, emotional, and economic goals. This viewpoint, called an ecological theory has both fostered and found expression in the rise of primary health care. The new surge in student interest and the rising number of applications for training programs in family practice, general pediatrics, and internal medicine suggests student awareness of the economic realities favoring primary care.

Keywords: primary health care; family practice; ecological theory; care system; medicine

Chapter.  10022 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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