Usually when a person is infected by a disease, they will first visit a nearly hospital or dispensary. In medical terms the first doctor he meets is called something specific.

I remember this word from the book by Richard Preston called The Hot Zone which was about an ebola outbreak many years ago.

Edit: General practitioner is definitely not the word I'm looking for. I am aware of all the terms such as GP, specialist, consultant etc. The word, or term I'm looking for addresses the first point of specialized care a patient encounters. This is called something along the lines of 'initial medical entry point', and the doctors at that point will try their best to contain the disease without letting it spread, based on the diagnosis. Sorry for any confusion.

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    In Britain the person is called a General Practitioner, usually shortened to GP. But people will often simply say the doctor, as in Have you seen the doctor about that cough that you have? To access the National Health Service in Britain one first has to see a GP, who, if you have something which he or she cannot immediately deal, will refer you to the hospital, or to see a consultant, sometimes called a specialist. – WS2 Sep 28 '15 at 10:00
  • Thanks for your comment, but this is not what I was looking for. I believe the work I'm looking for is a little more specific to the medical field and usually not spoken by laymen such as myself. Please see my edit on the question. Thanks. – simon Sep 28 '15 at 11:03
  • There are terms for this, but they likely vary from institution to institution. Something of a variation on an emergency medicine specialist. – Hot Licks Sep 28 '15 at 11:46
  • Are you talking about an attending physician? – Lawrence Feb 22 '16 at 13:18
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    At an ER, you may first meet a triage specialist -- whether this is a nurse or doc will vary with the place. – ab2 Feb 22 '16 at 17:38

You might be thinking of 'first responder'

a person (as a police officer or an EMT) who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance


Or you might be thinking of a 'triage team'

triage in Medicine

noun A process for sorting injured people into groups based on their need for or likely benefit from immediate medical treatment. Triage is used on the battlefield, at disaster sites, and in hospital emergency rooms when limited medical resources must be allocated.


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General practitioner is the word. You can be a general practitioner without going through internship and residentship while you need to complete the 2 courses in order to be a specialist.

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  • Sorry, GP is not it. Please see my edit above. – simon Sep 28 '15 at 11:03

Given that you're asking about a doctor in an outpatients or accident and emergency department of a hospital the two choices that come to mind are:

  • On duty doctor, or
  • A&E doctor
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I googled your idea, but without the quotes, and found

Entry Point/Initial Assessment. The first point of contact for all responders who are ... an initial assessment of their medical condition and well-being

This sounds like it might be what you were looking for.

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PCP (Primary Care Physician).

A primary care physician (PCP) is a physician who provides both the first contact for a person with an undiagnosed health concern as well as continuing care of varied medical conditions, not limited by cause, organ system, or diagnosis. The term is primarily used in the United States. In the past, the equivalent term was general practitioner in the US; that is still the term in the United Kingdom (and in many other countries).


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    This has all the beginnings of a fine answer, but please provide some source to support it. – Cascabel Jul 16 '19 at 18:42
  • An almost identical answer was given on 22 February 2016 and deleted after two days because it wasn't expanded. This answer has already been flagged as low quality. I can see it going the same way. Please enhance this answer to stop that happening. – Andrew Leach Jul 16 '19 at 19:00

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