A doctor's office in American English, or a doctor's surgery in British English,
is a medical facility in which a doctor, usually a general practitioner (GP),
receives and treats patients. Doctors offices are the primary place where ambulatory care is given,
and are often the first place that a sick person would go for care, except in emergencies,
where one would go to an emergency department at a hospital.
In most developed countries, where health services are guaranteed by the state in some form,
most visits to doctors take place in their offices. In the United States, where this is not
the case, many people who cannot afford health insurance or doctor's visits must either go
to free or reduced-cost clinics or an emergency department at a hospital for care, instead of a doctor's office.
For healthy people, most visits to doctors' offices revolve around a once-yearly recommended physical examination.
This exam usually consists of gathering information such as a patient's blood pressure, heart rate,
weight, and height, along with checking for any irregularities or signs of illness around the body.
GPs will also ask the patients about any mental health problems that they may be experiencing,
and may refer them to a psychiatrist for further examination in the event that they do indeed have such problems.
If there are any other health problems that must be addressed by a medical specialist,
such as a cardiologist, a referral will be given.
The staff of a doctor's office usually consists of nurses, receptionists, and doctors.
Sometimes, many doctors of different medical specialties may be housed in one building, allowing easy referrals.