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Facilities and Programs 3  Health and Medical Wishes: Providers, Facilities, and Programs (3)Sometimes we’re not going to the right place because our particular problems aren’t that provider’s specialty. Ask questions. Make sure this provider has experience treating your specific condition. The first thing you want to know when you see a new physician is something often taken for granted: Will this physician be good for what you need? How do you know? How do you define “good”?

Office Overview Let’s face it—a doctor’s office is crazy busy. There are lots of people poking, prodding, and probing. Here’s a quick review of who’s who: Physician (MD or DO)—A medical doctor (or doctor of osteopathic medicine) with a medical degree who is licensed by the state where he or she practices.

Many physicians today specialize or sub specialize after completing residencies and fellowships and then passing the necessary board exams. Physician’s assistant (PA)—A medical practitioner who works under the direct supervision of a doctor.

Nurse practitioner (NP)—A registered nurse with advanced training in a particular medical specialty. Registered nurse (RN or BSN)—A nurse who has completed a two- to four-year degree in nursing, respectively. Licensed practical nurse (LPN)—A nurse who has completed a one- to two-year training program.

So how do you decide who’s a good physician? Start by defining the traits you’d like in a doctor. In medical school, residency, and fellowship studies, all physicians are taught that being well trained, having good bedside manner, and keeping long hours are the most important qualities of a good doctor.

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