What is a Family Physician?
A family physician is a doctor who has received at least three years of specialty training (beyond medical school) in the broad disciplines of primary care. These include in-depth coverage of adult and pediatric medicine, preventive care and obstetrics. Because of the breadth of their training, family physicians are uniquely qualified to serve as Primary Care Providers. The physicians at Lynden Family Medicine have taken the additional step of being certified by the American Board of Family Practice, and undergo recertification every six years to ensure continuing medical competency.
As family physicians, we strive to provide optimal medical care by looking at the whole person, rather than focusing on just one organ system. We directly provide 80-90% of the medical care required by the patients we serve, but are also trained to know when subspecialty care is needed. Every effort is made to communicate clearly with consulting physicians to achieve efficient coordination of care and minimize inconvenience to our patients. Our goal is to provide the right care by the right physician at the right time.
What is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
If you’re like most people, you’ve been going to a doctor since your were born and perhaps didn’t know if you were seeing a D.O. (osteopathic physician) or an M.D. (allopathic physician). You may not even be aware that there are two types of physicians in the United States.
The fact is, both D.O.’s and M.D.’s are fully qualified physicians licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication.
D.O.’s bring something extra to medicine:
- Osteopathic medical schools emphasize training students to be primary care physicians.
- D.O.’s receive extra training in the musculolskeletal system-your body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones that make up two-thirds of its body mass. This training provides osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of the ways that an injury or illness in one part of your body can affect another.
D.O.’s and M.D.’s are alike in many ways:
- Applicants to both D.O. and M.D. medical colleges typically have a four year undergraduate degree with an emphasis on scientific courses.
- Both D.O.’s and M.D.’s complete four years of basic medical education.
- After medical school, both D.O.’s and M.D.’s usually choose to practice in a specialty area of medicine-such as surgery, family practice or psychiatry-and complete a residency program (typically two to six years of additional training).
- Both D.O.’s and M.D.’s must pass comparable state licensing exams.
- D.O.’s and M.D.’s both practice in fully accredited and licensed health care facilities.
What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) with advanced training in diagnosing and treating illness. Nurse Practitioners are Master's prepared health experts that focus on helping you achieve total health and prevent disease. While Nurse Practitioners provide the same quality of care as doctors, the philosophy of Nurse Practitioners is different. NP's focus on prevention, wellness, and education. They often spend more time with the patient and use that time to listen to your health concerns. Nurse Practitioners prescribe medications, treat illness, and administer physical exams. Helping you stay well is something that Nurse Practitioners excel at. Their holistic focus, which looks at the entire person, is well-suited to helping an interested individual become healthier. Preventive screening for diseases such as elevated cholesterol, asthma, and cancer are another focus of Nurse Practitioners.
What is a Psychologist?
A Psychologist holds a doctoral degree from an accredited school. A licensed psychologist has completed post-doctoral supervised internships and passed a written and oral examination. He or she also is required to continue learning new concepts and skills. Psychologists may be specialists in clinical, consultative, or research areas. They have studied scientific psychology with courses in social and biological bases of behavior. They also have studied in an area of specialty, like school or industrial/organizational psychology. Clinical Psychologists address issues such as depression and anxiety, relationship problems, abuse, stress management, addictions, coping with medical problems, and life transitions. Psychologists believe that people are complex beings with physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs. Each of these areas impacts the others and requires evaluation and consideration when developing a sound treatment plan. Through care and teaching, the end goal is to help people accept responsibility to resolve their own problems, find renewed hope and a restored sense of purpose as they grow and mature.