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Cover Stories, From the Editor

Primary Caregivers are Gatekeepers for Patients

We have been bringing you updated information on specialty care in our most recent issues. In this issue we want to bring the focus back to the “primary care physician.” Primary care is that care provided by physicians specifically trained for and skilled in comprehensive first contact and continuing care for persons with any undiagnosed sign, symptom or health concern not limited by patient age, gender or by problem origin, organ system or diagnosis. Because primary care physicians provide definitive care to the undifferentiated patient at the point of first contact, they are in essence the entry point or “gate-keepers” for patients.

Because primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses for both individuals and families in a variety of health care settings, we wanted to update you on risk factors, diagnostic tests and treatment of several disorders that are commonly cared for in the offices of family medicine providers. Our panel of experts have provided us with timely information and suggestions.

Please let us know your impressions of our latest issues by e-mailing me.

By W. David Hager, M.D., FACOG, Editor

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