Primary: from the Latin primus, as in of first rank, importance or value. Patients should see this type of doctor FIRST for all problems before ever considering seeing a specialist or subspecialist. A competent primary care doctor should be able to take care of at least 90-95% of your problems and decide if you need to see a specialist. In fact, these days, the rarely-heard-from primary care doctor is blessed by specialists because he does not make annoying garbage referrals. You do not absolutely need to see an otologist for your ears, a laryngologist for your throat, a psychiatrist for your psyche, a hematologist for your heme, a cardiologist for your cardium, etc.
Care: As in someone who actually CARES to sift through all of your problems from your heads to your toes and figure out which ones are legitimate and which ones need further follow up. Specialists only care about the problems that they deal with, which is why the word “care” is not part of their specialty name.
Doctor: As in someone who has spent four years in college, four years in medical school, another three years, and owes the better part of half a million dollars in student loans, and even though they could have picked a higher-paying field of medicine, they’ve dedicated their lives to ongoing preventative care and building long term holistic relationships with their patients. Even though it seems like they are on the lowest part of the totem pole, they still deserve your respect.
*Please note the author is a subspecialist, but his father has practiced for 30+ years in small town America as a family medicine doctor.