Talk:Primary care physician

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Geographical usage[edit]

Coming here from discussion with RJ1001 regarding the plantar wart article. As far as I'm aware, 'primary care physician' isn't commonly used in the UK, and the abbreviation PCP would not be understood in this meaning. I wonder if it's worth clarifying the geographical spread of this usage in the article? I'm also confused from a UK perspective as to whether or not it's a synonym for what we'd call a 'general practitioner' (usually GP) or just a 'doctor'. Espresso Addict 23:46, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that you are correct, it is primarily used in the US, replacing general practitioner, but the same role - ambulatory care, chronic conditions, no surgery. However, I noticed that the term "primary care" is sometimes used. I added the geographic usage to the lead paragraph.Ryanjo 03:11, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

PCP definitions[edit]

I normally avoid reverting so many edits, but the issue of defining "PCP" is not being made any clearer by recent edits.

  • ARNP's and PA's have medical degrees. MDs & DOs have advanced medical degrees. Therefore, I reverted the sentence.
  • The phrase "It is important to distinguish.." must be backed up with some evidence of its importance. Who gets to determine what is important? Give our readers some credit. They can read a simple declarative sentence and decide for themselves.
  • The following: "...most commonly used in the United States. In the United States it is important..." is, well, just repetitive.

Defining the term PCP doesn't belong in the header anyway. So I moved it to the "Defining primary care physicians" section. Ryanjo (talk) 02:52, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

The term does need to be defined because the acronym is used for two different types of provider and means two different things. This needs to be clarified in this article. You stated that NPs and PAs hold medical degrees, this is not correct. They hold nursing degrees and physicians assistants degrees respectively. A basic medical degree is either a MD, US-DO, or MBBS degree, there is nothing else that is classifed as a medical degree. Jwri7474 (talk) 04:03, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

In a very parochial sense, all degrees are different: does a university professor have a professorial degree, a high school teacher have a high school teaching degree, a teaching aide have an aide degree? Or do all have education degrees, and some are more advanced than others? Would it be accurate to say that a pharmacist or physical therapist does not have a medical degree? In Wikipedia's own article on Medicine, contributed by multiple editors, "Interdisciplinary fields", include general practitioners and other primary physicians as well as nurses and PAs. Implying that nurse practitioners, etc. do not have medical degrees is not accurate.

NPs and PAs are "allied health" providers, they do not "practice medicine". Its pretty black and white. NPs and PAs have degrees in allied health fields, they do not hold medical degrees. Every US state board of medicine has in writing what is considered "the practice of medicine". They quite clearly state that the only people who are licensed to "practice medicine" are those who hold basic qualifications in medicine (MD, MBBS, DO) are the ONLY degrees in medicine that allow for this. You cannot define the practice of a nurse, a nurse practitioner, or a Physician assistant as practicing medicine or holding medical degrees as this would be against the law. Jwri7474 (talk) 04:19, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

My objection to the statement "It is important to distinguish.." is that it states an opinion without providing a reference, ie a weasel word. It is just as clear to say:

The term "PCP" is most commonly used in the United States, where it may either be used to refer to a primary care physician, with a medical degree, or a primary care provider, who may be either a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, or an alternative medicine practitioner with no formal medical training.

and avoids expressing an unverifiable opinion.
The proper place for providing an extended definition of PCP is not the lead paragraph. It is more appropriate in the section named "Defining primary care physicians"
Ryanjo (talk) 03:01, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't have any problem with this issue. Jwri7474 (talk) 04:19, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Salary Info[edit]

The current table of salaries is not from the best available source. The citation is ( The data is from 2001. Also it includes "Base salary only; bonuses excluded." I am replacing with official data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:57, 5 April 2009 (UTC).

Chiropractors as PCPs[edit]

I have modified the recent edit by Sarahcrawford14 to reflect the fact that, although they have some common characteristics, chiropractic physicians are not usually defined as PCPs (see article references), and also to be consistent with the scope of practice section within the existing Wikipedia article, Chiropractic. Ryanjo (talk) 20:26, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

"Primary medical doctor"[edit]

Is "primary medical doctor" a term which should be mentioned in this article as an alternative name? I ask because there was an entry in PMD (disambiguation) pointing this way. Neither "PMD" nor "Primary medical doctor" appears in this article. There's an unlinked (and of course unsourced) entry in List_of_medical_abbreviations:_P. Googling seems to show a few uses of the term, but most occurrences are in dictionaries of abbreviations (and could be spawned from this encyclopedia!). Any thoughts? PamD 16:21, 7 May 2016 (UTC)