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General practitioners (GPs) are primary care physicians and may sometimes be referred to as family practice physicians or family practitioners. They are usually the first health care professional patients consult for a problem. They treat people of all ages and tend to see the same patients on a continuing basis, often for years. General practitioners diagnose and treat any illness or injury that does not require the service of a specialist. They frequently serve as the family doctor, treating all the members of a family. There are approximately 120,860 general practitioners employed in the United States.
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