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Primary care presentation 

Primary care presentation
Chapter:
Primary care presentation
Source:
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)
Author(s):

Elspeth Wise

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199642489.003.0015_update_001
Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

For many patients their first presentation to a medical professional with a musculoskeletal complaint is in a primary care setting. They may have as little as 10 minutes to explain their problem, be examined, and have a management plan determined. Quite commonly the musculoskeletal problem may present as an aside—by the way doctor, while I’m here’. All of this presents a challenge to the assessing primary care physician, who may have had little specific training for what makes up a large part of their workload. What training they have had may be inappropriate for their day-to-day job, as it is often secondary care led. The conditions that are classically seen in a secondary care setting and that are emphasized in the medical school curriculum are rarely seen in primary care. Patients also may not necessarily present with the classical symptoms described in textbooks; often it is over time, and with repeated contact, that the diagnosis may become more obvious. This chapter looks at the prevalence data for primary care and discusses the routine workload of a primary care physician.

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