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Healthcare Provider Defintions

Listed below, please find a list of provider defintions for various specializations:

PhysiciansDC (Doctor of Chiropractic)—Doctors of Chiropractic are physicians who consider patients as an integrated being and give special attention to the physiological and biochemical aspects, including structural, spinal, musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular, nutritional, emotional and environmental relationships. Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-surgical science and, as such, does not include pharmaceuticals or incisive surgery. 

DO (Doctor of Osteopathy)—A Doctor of Osteopathy is also a licensed physician, able to perform surgery and prescribe medicine. DOs practice a “whole person” approach to medicine—placing a greater emphasis on understanding the relationship between the organs, muscles, nerves, tissues, bones and tendons—and focus on preventive health care.

MD (Doctor of Medicine)—A Doctor of Medicine is a health professional who has earned a degree after studying and graduating from a course of study at an approved medical school. 

MDA (Doctor of Anesthesiology)—A physician who specializes in administering medications to suppress consciousness and keep patients from feeling pain before, during and after surgery, childbirth and other procedures. Anesthesiologists monitor vital organ functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and blood-oxygen saturation during such procedures. An anesthesiologist may also provide diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain and work closely with CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists). At Ridgeview, a physician anesthesiologist typically performs and documents a pre-anesthetic assessment of the patient, recommends the type of anesthetic, performs all regional nerve blocks (such as spinal injection, epidural, etc.) and oversees the patient's progress and status in the recovery room. 

Other StaffCM/CNM (Certified Midwives/Certified Nurse Midwives)—All CMs and CNMs have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and more than 70 percent hold at least a master’s degree. CMs and CNMs must graduate from a nationally accredited education program, pass a rigorous national certification exam and be licensed to practice.

CNP (Certified Nurse Practitioner)—Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional skills and training that enable them to provide common primary health care services. Nurse practitioners may take medical histories, perform physical exams, interpret laboratory studies and provide treatment, but they refer problems to a physician or other health practitioners. CNPs may prescribe and administer drugs. They promote and teach health maintenance to patients and their families. They may also provide counseling in such areas as mental health and family planning. All nurse practitioners specialize in a particular health care area including family, adult, geriatric, women’s health, school, or pediatric nursing. 

CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist)—A registered, advance-practice nurse who has acquired additional education and training and has passed a national certification examination to administer anesthesia and provide anesthesia-related care. Like physician anesthesiologists, CRNAs care for patients before, during and after surgical, obstetrical or other medical procedures. A CRNA at Ridgeview will stay with a patient for an entire procedure, continually monitoring every important bodily function and individually modifying the anesthetic to ensure patient safety and comfort. Ridgeview CRNAs are in the hospital around the clock to respond to emergency situations requiring airway management, administration of fluids or drugs and application of advanced life support techniques to newborn, emergency room, critical care and other patients. 

PA (Physician Assistant)—Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and in virtually all states can write prescriptions. 

PA-C (Physician Assistant–Certified)—The person who holds this title has met the defined course of study and has undergone testing by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). To maintain that “C” after “PA,” a physician assistant must log 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take the recertification exam every six years. 

Types of PhysiciansFamily Practice/Family Medicine/General Practice Physicians—Family practice physicians provide comprehensive medical care with an emphasis on caring for all members of the family. Family practice builds upon a core of knowledge derived from other disciplines, primarily pediatrics, internal medicine, ob/gyn, geriatrics, surgery and psychiatry. The family practitioner plays the role of personal physician. 

General Surgeon—A general surgeon is a doctor who performs general operations to treat diseases, injuries and deformities. He or she has completed a residency or specialty training in the field of surgery; this training period may be five years or longer. 

Hospitalist—A hospitalist is a physician whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. The majority of practicing hospitalists are trained in internal medicine, and some have completed subspecialty fellowships, pulmonary/critical care being the most common. Hospitalists typically spend most or all of their work day in the hospital, and can be more readily available to a patient than a doctor who spends much the day outside the hospital in an office or clinic setting. 

Internal Medicine Physician/Internist—A doctor of internal medicine specializes in adult health care. They do not deliver babies, treat children or perform operations. They focus on how to prevent, find and treat illness in adults. An internist is not to be confused with an intern, or a doctor who’s a trainee and just out of medical school. 

Obstetrician/Gynecologist (Ob/Gyn)—An obstetrician is a physician who specializes in pregnancy, labor and delivery. A gynecologist is a physician who has a successfully completed specialized education and training in the health of the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases. Typically, the education and training for both fields occurs concurrently, and almost all obstetricians are also gynecologists. Therefore, an obstetrician/gynecologist can provide medical and surgical care to women and has particular expertise in pregnancy, childbirth and disorders of the reproductive system, including preventive care, prenatal care, detection of sexually transmitted diseases, Pap test screening and family planning. 

Orthopedic Surgeon—An orthopedic surgeon is a physician who specializes in surgery of the muscles, bones, joints, and related structures. Orthopedics is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. 

Otolargyngologist—This specialist treats the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The medical disorders treated by this specialty are among the most common that afflict all Americans, young and old. They include chronic ear infection, sinusitis, snoring and sleep apnea, hearing loss, allergies and hay fever, swallowing disorders, nosebleeds, hoarseness, dizziness, and head and neck cancer. 

Pediatrician—Pediatrics is the medical specialty fully focused on the physical, emotional and social health of children from birth through adolescence. The primary focus of pediatrics is on preventive health care. Pediatricians examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries of infants and children, extending into young adulthood. 

Other TermsBoard Certified—A board-certified physician has successfully completed an educational program and evaluation process approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties, including an examination designed to assess the knowledge, skills and experience required to provide quality patient care in a specific specialty. 

Fellow—A fellow is a physician who has completed medical school, an internship and a residency, and has chosen to receive very specialized training (a fellowship) in one particular treatment or research area. 

Hospital Medicine—Hospital medicine is the discipline concerned with the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Hospital medicine, like emergency medicine, is a specialty organized around a site of care (the hospital), rather than an organ (like cardiology), a disease (like oncology), or a patient’s age (like pediatrics). Doctors whose primary professional focus is hospital medicine are called hospitalists.

Sourced from: 

Ridgeview Medical Center
500 S. Maple Street 
Waconia, MN 55387 
(952) 442-2191 

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