Healthcare provider

From WikiMD's Wellnesspedia

A person who supplies health care services. Health care providers include individuals with professional training (including doctors, nurses, technicians, and aides).


A Healthcare Provider (often pronounced as HELTH-kayr proh-VY-der) is a person or organization that has been licensed to offer healthcare services to patients. The term "healthcare provider" serves as an umbrella designation, capturing a plethora of professionals and entities that provide health-related services.

Health care workers

Types of Healthcare Providers

Given the diverse needs of patients, the healthcare sector consists of a myriad of professionals. This wide variety includes:

Primary Care Providers

Primary Care Providers (PCPs) serve as the frontline of general health services. They:

  • Address fundamental health issues
  • Provide recommended screenings
  • Help manage chronic diseases
  • Make referrals to specialists when necessary

Various professionals can serve as a PCP, including:

  • Family physicians or general doctors: Cater to the general health needs of individuals and families
  • Internists: Focus on adult medicine and have had special training that focuses on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases
  • General practitioners: Offer routine health care (e.g., physical examinations, immunizations) and assess and treat various conditions
  • Nurse practitioners (NPs): Registered nurses with advanced training, NPs can diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, and start treatments, including prescribing medications
  • Physician’s assistants (PAs): Licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision, PAs can conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions

For pediatric patients (children and teenagers):

  • Pediatricians: Focus on the overall health of children, including the treatment and prevention of illnesses specific to children and teenagers

Mid-Level Providers

Mid-Level Providers (MLPs) are healthcare professionals who undergo advanced training and education but do not possess a full medical degree. They include:

Specialist Providers

Specialists are professionals who cater to specific health conditions or provide particular types of services. Some common specialists include:

Many health insurance plans necessitate a referral from a primary care provider before covering a visit to a specialist.

WikiMD provider directory

In its endeavor to uniquely identify healthcare providers, see physician directory on WikiMD.


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Contributors: Bonnu, Prab R. Tumpati, MD