Referral (medicine)

In medicine, referral is the transfer of care for a patient from one clinician to another.[1]

Tertiary care is usually done by referral from primary or secondary medical care personnel.

In the field of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), referral also means the informing of a partner of a patient diagnosed STD of the potential exposure. Patient referral is where patients directly inform their partners of their exposure to infection. An alternative is provider referral, where trained health department personnel locate partners on the basis of the names, descriptions, and addresses provided by the patient to inform the partner.[2]

See also


  1. García Olmos L, Gervas Camacho J, Otero A, Pérez Fernández M. La demanda derivada: un estudio de la relación entre médico generales y especialistas. Rev San Hig Púb. 1994; 68(2):267-78.
  2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2006 CDC. August 4, 2006 / 55(RR11);1-94
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