Medical care, or healthcare, involves the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. Medical care is delivered by practitioners in allied health, dentistry, obstetrics, medicine, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, psychology and other health professions. The medical field includes primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as public health.
The delivery of modern medical care depends on groups of trained professionals and paraprofessionals coming together as interdisciplinary teams. This includes professionals in medicine, psychology, physiotherapy, nursing, dentistry, midwifery (obstetrics) and allied health, plus many others such as public medical practitioners, community medical workers and assistive personnel, who systematically provide personal and population-based preventive, curative and rehabilitative care services.
While the definitions of the various types of medical care vary depending on the different cultural, political, organizational and disciplinary perspectives, there appears to be some consensus that primary care constitutes the first element of a continuing health care process, that may also include the provision of secondary and tertiary levels of care. Medical care can be defined as either public or private.