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.
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 (MLPs) are healthcare professionals who undergo advanced training and education but do not possess a full medical degree. They include:
- Nurse practitioners (NPs): As mentioned above, NPs are capable of performing many primary care functions and can specialize in fields like pediatrics, family medicine, and women's health.
- Physician's assistants (PAs): These professionals can perform various medical procedures under the supervision of a physician.
- Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs): Registered nurses with a master's or doctoral degree in a specialized area of nursing practice.
- Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs): Focus on childbirth, gynecological and obstetric care, and reproductive health.
Specialists are professionals who cater to specific health conditions or provide particular types of services. Some common specialists include:
- Cardiologists: Focus on heart-related issues
- Oncologists: Specialize in the treatment of cancer
- Psychologists: Address mental health and behavioral issues
- Allergists: Diagnose and treat allergies
- Podiatrists: Focus on foot, ankle, and lower limb problems
- Orthopedists: Concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system
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.
- Lists of healthcare providers in Africa
- Lists of healthcare providers in Asia
- Lists of healthcare providers in Europe
- Lists of healthcare providers in North America
- Lists of healthcare providers in Oceania
- Lists of healthcare providers in South America
|External Resources & AI tools|
|Up To Date|
WikiMD is the world's largest, free medical and wellness encyclopedia edited only by professionals. Advertise!
| This article includes a healthcare providers-related list of lists.
If an internal link incorrectly led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.