A general practitioner can act as a primary care doctor; however, a general practitioner is not always a primary care doctor. Other specialists that may provide primary care include internists, pediatricians and geriatricians.
A primary care physician treats patients of all ages and serves as the initial point of contact for a patient seeking treatment for a health concern. He also treats a variety of illnesses, refers patient to specialists, and serves as a starting point in a patient's overall treatment plan. General practitioners and family physicians provide nearly identical services; however, family physicians must complete an additional residency in family medicine.