Hall Health Center has a number of different clinics, each of which is staffed by a variety of medical providers. These providers, also known as clinicians, have different types of medical degrees.
Physicians are sometimes called doctors or MDs. MD stands for medical doctor, which means that the provider has completed four years of medical school. MDs also must complete a residency, or a program that involves three or more years of additional training. In order to practice medicine, doctors must also pass exams and obtain licenses to prescribe medication.
Some doctors a specialty, such as gynecology (a focus on the female reproductive system) or pediatrics (a focus on children). Other doctors train as generalists, serving as primary care providers (PCPs). At Hall Health, you can establish a relationship with a single primary care provider and continue to see the same practitioner for routine visits, as well as non-emergency medical concerns.
MDs are able to provide the following services:
Nurse Practitioners, commonly called NPs, are Registered Nurses with advanced degrees. In the state of Washington, NPs are licensed with the title Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP). ARNPs are experienced RNs who complete a Master’s degree and the additional clinical training required to pass a national certifying exam in a paritcular specialty. Most ARNPs in primary care practice are either Family Nurse Practitioners or Adult Nurse Practitioners.
NPs are able to provide you with much of the same medical services as doctors, and can serve as your primary care provider (PCP).
A Registered Nurse (RN) has a bachelor's level degree in nursing, and has passed a state exam granting a license to practice.
RNs are not able to perform physical examinations without the supervision of a doctor, or, in Washington State, prescribe medications. At Hall Health, you may encounter an RN when you contact our Consulting Nurse service to determine what course of treatment you should pursue.
A Physical Therapist is a medical provider who has received undergraduate and/or graduate level training in promoting and restoring mobility. Your primary care provider (PCP) might refer you to a physical therapist if you injure the ligaments in your knee or sprain your ankle. The physical therapist will provide you with exercises that you can do to help restore range of motion and build strength.
Authored by: Hall Health Center Health Promotion staff
Reviewed by: Hall Health Center Primary Care Clinic staff (KC), February 2014