Primary Care Physician Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | October 30, 2023
Primary Care Physician Job Description
Primary care physicians help prevent illness in people and ensure their wellness.

This post provides detailed information on the primary care physician job description, including the key tasks, duties, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the primary care physician role by most recruiters/employers.

What Does a Primary Care Physician Do?

The primary care physician is the person that patients go to for a health check-up. He/she takes care of basic health care by focusing on general wellness and prevention of ailments.

His/her job description entails making sure that patients get recommended health screenings and assessments.

A primary care physician is usually in most cases a specialist in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, or Pediatrics.

He/she spends a huge amount of his/her time providing basic health care to a particular group of patients.

His/her role involves serving as patients advocate in making arrangements for the use of the entire health care system to the benefit of patients.

Usually, the physician builds relationship with their patients, listens, and responds to their needs, and also makes appropriate recommendations to help them optimize their health.

The primary care physician is usually the first person to be contacted by a patient. This is mainly due to factors, like proximity, ease of communication, accessibility, cost-related issues, and familiarity.

Sometimes, they also serve as “median doctors” for patients by referring them to specialists in the case of advanced ailments.

In many health organizations, the duties of primary care physicians entail acting as middle-man that regulates patients’ access to more expensive treatment procedures and health specialists.

They usually act on behalf of patients in working with referral specialists, and also in providing basic management of chronic conditions on a long-term basis.

Primary care physicians are the mainstay of the medical community because they provide the majority of bulk medical services to patients. They normally work as part of a group or individually.

They are responsible for providing preventive care to their patients, which may include carrying out examination on them on a regular basis.

They give treatment to patients that are generally healthy, as well as to those that come in for required management of illnesses, and to those with long-term but not severe medical situations.

A primary care physician is trained to have the skills to effectively perform basic diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions.

He/she usually starts diagnosis by conducting interviews to obtain information on current symptoms from the patient, previous medical history, any other relevant health details, and if need be, physical examination of the patient.

Most primary care physicians are trained in the field of basic medical testing with their work description involving interpreting medical results and x-rays.

They also counsel and educate patients on safe health behaviors and various treatment options.

Primary Care Physician Job Description Example/Template

Primary care physicians perform various functions in ensuring the wellness of patients; the common tasks, duties, and responsibilities that make up their job description are shown below:

  • Act as a key point of entry to the entire/larger health care system
  • Make sure that emphasis is laid on early detection of ailments, prevention, and wellness generally
  • Identify and refer patients to the appropriate specialist based on the nature of the ailment and the health need of patients
  • Serve as the first point of call for patients
  • Act as a middle-man between patients and medical specialists in the case of more complex medical conditions
  • Responsible for managing and directing general physician medical care
  • Carry out primary mental screening and adjustments in medical procedures if required
  • Make sure that patients are well attended to and cared for based on acquired skills and training
  • Oversee and supervise the whole process of health care delivery to patients by medical organizations they are referred to
  • Participate in the process of identifying risks for serious or acute problems, and make plans to hinder their development/growth.

Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities – for Primary Care Physician Role

If you are applying for the primary care physician job, the following are important requirements and qualifications you need to meet to be considered for the role by the majority of employers:

  • Good communication skill. In a bid to carry out accurate and precise diagnosis, and to be able to get needed information from patients, the physician must be able to communicate effectively (especially listening)
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills so as to enable patients to warm up to him/her and generally help to make treatment easier
  • Must be able to work as part of a team if need be
  • Ability to work with little or no supervision
  • Ability to pay attention to details
  • Good reasoning and decision-making ability
  • Must be someone that exercises patience even in the most gruesome circumstance
  • Must have graduated from an approved medical school
  • Must have license to practice within a given locality
  • Must have completed an approved residency in the specialty
  • Must have a minimum of 2 years work experience in a similar role or capacity.


The sample primary care physician job description provided in this post can help you create a detailed description for the position in your organization if you are an employer recruiting for the role.

With a detailed description of the job in your advertisement, you stand a better chance of attracting the best physicians for the position, which makes your recruitment process a success.

This post also provides individuals aspiring to become a primary care physician the information they need to learn more about what the career entails.