Syn: family practice. The branch of medical practice that is concerned with the first contact and usually continuing care of unselected persons in the population, previously undifferentiated as regards their age, sex, medical condition, social background, occupation, etc. The general practitioner who encounters such persons as patients is usually their first point of contact with the health care system. General practice offers scope for the opportunistic early detection of important serious diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, which may be more cost-effective than screening programs for these conditions.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.