Emergency Medicine is not considered primary care.

Primary care is a basic level of healthcare that helps to assess, prevent, maintain and diagnosis illness. It’s a way to coordinate care at higher levels, such as through referral to specialists. Primary care can be planned in advance through regularly scheduled checkups.

Emergency care, however, provides care for patients when a sudden and unexpected event or illness poses a threat and the patient can’t wait an extended period of time for an appointment. The nature of emergency care is to respond to an illness already present. One of the biggest reasons it doesn’t count as primary care is primary care will focus on preventing illness and promoting good health, which can help avoid emergency care in the long run.