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Facilities and Programs 9  Health and Medical Wishes: Providers, Facilities, and Programs (9)Your physicians’ special abilities and particular interests, therefore, may be more pertinent than affability when choosing the “best” physician for you. Physician “Hats” Physicians can take on many roles throughout their careers.

Understanding your doctor’s “hats” will help you determine his or her skill level, interests, what he or she does every day, and his or her ability to understand your particular condition. Experimental physician—A basic research physician most likely associated with a university, pharmaceutical company, or government agency who spends a great deal of time in a research lab.

Clinical research physician—A research physician who conducts clinical trials and is most likely associated with a large practice or hospital, university clinic, institutional review board, or pharmaceutical company.

Numerical physician—A business managing physician for health payers who is most likely associated with an insurance company, medical product development company, government agency, or Wall Street firm analyzing the industry.

Regulatory physician—An academically oriented physician, often associated with medical societies or government agencies, who is involved with organizing research results, reimbursement policies, or clinical research to set best practice guidelines for institutional and practicing physicians. He or she may also provide organized feedback to numerical, clinical research, and institutional physicians.

Institutional physician—A business managing physician who runs an office practice, hospital staff, or other group of practicing physicians. Practicing physician—A diagnosing or treating physician who sees patients regularly in an outpatient or inpatient setting.

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