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Types of Medical Providers


Which Caregiver is Best for You?

  • Board Certified: The intent of the certification of physicians is to provide assurance to the public that those certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Board have successfully completed an approved training program and an evaluation process assessing their ability to provide quality patient care in the specialty.
  • Primary Care: A physician who specializes in Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatric, or OB/GYN. This physician is someone who provides you or your child with the majority of your medical care. Your primary care physician will work with you to determine if you require care from a specialist, such as an allergist or cardiologist.
  • Family Practice: Has at least three years of additional training in Family Practice after medical school, provides healthcare for your entire family and has an emphasis on pediatrics, women’s health or geriatric medicine.
  • Internal Medicine: Has at least three years of additional training in Internal Medicine after medical school, usually manages more complex illnesses and multiple medical needs, and mostly treats adults.
  • Pediatrician: Has four additional years of training in Pediatrics after medical school, manages childhood healthcare from routine children’s' illnesses to complicated, chronic health problems.
  • Family Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants: Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) and Physician Assistants (PA) are licensed. FNP must complete at least a four-year bachelor degree, plus additional graduate-level training. PA must complete a two year program. Each must pass a rigorous national exam before being licensed in the State of California. FNP’s and PA’s take health histories, make diagnosis, perform physical exams and routine tests, administer immunizations and injections, and educate patients. A physician supervises FNP’s and PA’s and follows each patient’s progress. Most patients find that working with their physician along with a FNP or PA can offer an exceptional healthcare experience.

For more medical terms, visit Medical Dictionary.