At UW Health's clinics, a team of dedicated professionals is responsible for your health and well-being. The following are some of the professionals you may encounter when you visit one of our clinics:
Your doctor, sometimes referred to as the "attending physician," is the leader of your overall care. Along with his or her residents, the attending physician examines you, oversees treatment and directs care. If you are seeing a primary care physician in one of our clinics, your doctor may refer you to one or more specialists with expertise in additional specialty areas - such as allergy, gastroenterology or cardiology.
Physician Assistant (PA)
Physician assistants work together on teams with our physicians to provide direct medical care to patients of all ages across primary, specialty, hospital and long-term care settings. A physician assistant is an advanced practice provider (APP) with a bachelor's or master's degree. They have education, training and certification in a medical model of care that focuses on the diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of common and complex medical conditions. They are licensed and board certified to provide medical care with the supervision of a physician. Physician Assistants are also referred to as advanced practice providers (APPs) and PA-C (certified physician assistant).
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Nurse practitioners work together on teams with our physicians to provide direct medical care to patients of all ages across primary, specialty, hospital and long term care settings. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with a master's or doctorate's degree. They have advanced education, training and certification in the diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of common and complex medical conditions. Nurse practitioners are also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and advanced practice providers (APPs). Their training focuses on nursing and medical models of care, overall health and wellness.
Residents are physicians who are receiving additional training after obtaining their doctor of medicine degrees. Residents have completed medical school and are gaining additional training in a field of specialized medicine, such as pediatrics or surgery. Because of their education and experience, residents can make some decisions regarding patient care and perform minor procedures without direct supervision. They generally are overseen by an attending physician. Residents may stay in a UW Health residency program for three to seven years, depending upon their specialty.
Students - medical, nursing, pharmacy and many others - work under close supervision of fully trained team members. Students are active and helpful in patient care, but they do not make any independent decisions about your care.
Medical students have completed four years of college and are in the process of finishing four years of medical school. They are not yet physicians and do not make decisions regarding patient care. They might be involved with obtaining laboratory tests and X-ray results for their supervising physicians, and might speak with you and convey information to your doctor.
Registered nurses coach you on ways to achieve health and prevent disease. They can help you manage your health at and between visits, and partner with you to manage any chronic conditions.
Licensed practice nurses and medical assistants help ensure that you receive needed prevention and screening tests. They also provide guidance on ways to achieve good health and prevent disease, and sometimes will contact you between visits.
Our receptionists and schedulers will welcome you to our clinic. They also support you in getting timely responses and visits and help schedule your care after and between clinic visits.