FAQs

WHAT IS A DOCTOR OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE?

Osteopathic Medicine is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human illness, disease and injury. The Doctor of Osteopathy, D.O., is a fully trained physician who prescribes drugs, performs surgery, and selectively utilizes all accepted scientific modalities to maintain and restore health. Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine practice a “whole person” approach to medicine. Instead of just treating specific symptoms, osteopathic physicians concentrate on treating you as a whole. The whole person concept makes D.O.’s especially skilled at preventing health problems from affecting other parts of the body. This same approach is useful in recommending exercise and changes in diet to help maintain overall health.

WHAT IS A PHYSICIAN’S ASSISTANT?

The American Academy of Physician Assistants defines a Physician Assistants, PA, as a health care professional who is licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs provide patients with services ranging from primary care medicine to specialized surgical care. PAs are often the first health care provider to examine patients. They perform a variety of tasks including collecting patient histories, performing physical examinations and ordering preliminary laboratory tests.

Working with the physician, the PA summarizes the information gathered and participates in formulating and executing a treatment plan to meet the patient’s needs. Under physician supervision, the PA makes assessments and provides therapy for basic health-related problems. Also the PA can evaluate the psychological aspect of a patient’s problems. With physician approval, the PA makes referrals when indicated. The PA can perform technical skills such as EKGs, venipuncture, minor suturing, and giving injections.

WHAT IS A FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER?

A Family Nurse Practitioner, FNP, has a Master’s Degree in Nursing and is a registered nurse who has an advanced education and the clinical training necessary for the delivery of primary medical care. The FNP can perform physicals, treat acute and chronic conditions, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make referrals to other health care providers and prescribe medications and treatments. The FNP really cares about you as an individual, your health, your family and the community where you live.  The FNP can perform technical skills such as EKGs, venipuncture, minor suturing, and giving injections.