General Practice

General or Other | General Practice (Medicine Field)


General practice is an old term for comprehensive medical care regardless of age of the patient or presence of a condition that may require the services of a specialist. This term has now largely been replaced by the term “family practice”.


A general practitioner (GP) is a medical practitioner who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to everyone regardless their age or sex. They have particular skills in treating people with multiple health issues and comorbidities.

General practice is an essential part of medical care in all countries. The general practitioner is the first point of contact for most medical services. The bulk of the work is carried out during consultations, in the surgery, and during home visits. General practice allows individual doctors a wide choice of where to practice, with whom and how.

The features that make general practice different from hospital or specialist-based medical practices include: first contact, diagnostic methodology, early diagnosis of life-threatening and serious disease, continuity and availability of care, personalized care, care of acute and chronic illness, domiciliary care, emergency care (prompt treatment at home or in the community), family care, palliative care (at home), preventive care, scope for health promotion, holistic approach, health care co-ordination. The essence of general practice is continuity of care.

General Practitioners provide a complete spectrum of care within the local community: dealing with problems that often combine physical, psychological and social components. They increasingly work in teams with other professions, helping and encouraging patients to take responsibility for their own health.

A general practitioner has to have an extensive knowledge of medical conditions to be able to assess a problem and decide on the appropriate course of action. They know how and when to intervene, through treatment, prevention and education, to promote the health of their patients and families. ...