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February 1978

Primary Care Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(2):177-180. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630260001001

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Medical histories, examinations, prescriptions  If experience holds true, there will be at least 568 million visits to officebased physicians in the United States this year.The National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md) has completed analysis of data from a 1975 survey and also finds that:Limited medical histories or examinations are the diagnostic service and prescription drugs are the therapeutic service most frequently used in office-based practice.

  • General and family physicians account for two of every five visits (of which there were a total of 567.6 million in 1975).

  • Diseases of the respiratory system accounted for the largest share (14%) of all visits to a physician (involving illness or injury). Diseases of the circulatory system were the next most frequent (10%).

  • The average visit, in time spent by the patient with the physician, was about 15 minutes

.About one in five visits was judged by the physician to

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