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The general practitioner (GP) usually works with a staff of nurses and office personnel. Other physicians and medical personnel may be a part of the office setup as well. The GP sees patients ranging in age from newborns to the elderly. Unlike a specialist, the general practitioner treats the whole patient, not just a specific illness or body system. The general practitioner may give the patient diet and lifestyle advice, as well as methods for preventing disease or injury. Some general practitioners may also provide prenatal care and deliver babies. The GP treats patients who have a wide variety of ailments and orders diagnostic tests and procedures, if necessary. If a patient comes in with an illness that requires special medical treatment, that patient is often referred to an appropriate specialist.
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