What all those Medical initals MEAN....(The difference btw an MD and a PA)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dojomo, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. dojomo

    dojomo New Member


    It's not so simple anymore as visting a doctor when you or a family member gets sick. The initials that follow each caregiver's name can be confusing. Understanding what those letters mean and what that person is best trained to do can help you take a more active role in managing your health care.


    MD

    Doctors in the United States must attend a minimum of 11 years of education past high school. They spend four years studying at a college or university, usually with a strong emphasis on basic sciences such as biology, chemistry and physics. The next step is four years at one of 125 accredited U.S. medical schools or schools of osteopathic medicine.
    After medical school, students earn their doctor of medicine degrees (MD) or osteopathic medicine (DO), but must complete additional training before practicing entirely on their own. New MDs and DOs enter a residency program that is 3 to 6 years or more of professional training under the supervision of senior physicians. This may be followed by two or more years of additional training in a subspecialty. DOs receive essentially the same medical education as MDs, but they also learn therapeutic manipulation of the body. Some specialists become board certified by passing specific tests and requirements.
    Both MDs and DOs continue to receive credits for medical education throughout their careers.


    RN

    The largest group of all health occupations is the registered nurse, the RN. The RN provides direct care and assists the physician with examinations, charts the condition of patients, gives medications, and administers treatments as ordered by a physician. To be licensed, RNs must complete a course of study and examinations.
    RN training varies in length, and many RNs earn a 4-year bachelor of science degree. RNs may also complete a master's degree in nursing or a medical specialty. Continuing medical education is also a requirement.


    CRNP

    Certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP) are RNs with graduate level training in diagnostic and health assessment skills. They complete at least one additional year of training in a medical specialty. CRNPs may perform medical diagnosis and write prescriptions, but always in collaboration and under the direction of a supervising physician. To be able to write prescriptions, CRNPs must complete additional hours of training.


    LPN

    A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, works under the direction of an RN or physician, and administers medicine and carries out therapeutic treatment. LPNs complete a 1- or 2-year educational program, sometimes offered by a hospital or vocational school, and must pass a license examination.


    PA

    A physician assistant, or PA, completes five years of education beyond high school. A PA is licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision and is able to conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions.


    All of these medical professionals may have a role in your care. Your physician is the primary manager, and it is helpful for you when discussing your care to know as much as possible about the care team.
     
    [This Message was Edited on 11/05/2002]
  2. dojomo

    dojomo New Member


    It's not so simple anymore as visting a doctor when you or a family member gets sick. The initials that follow each caregiver's name can be confusing. Understanding what those letters mean and what that person is best trained to do can help you take a more active role in managing your health care.


    MD

    Doctors in the United States must attend a minimum of 11 years of education past high school. They spend four years studying at a college or university, usually with a strong emphasis on basic sciences such as biology, chemistry and physics. The next step is four years at one of 125 accredited U.S. medical schools or schools of osteopathic medicine.
    After medical school, students earn their doctor of medicine degrees (MD) or osteopathic medicine (DO), but must complete additional training before practicing entirely on their own. New MDs and DOs enter a residency program that is 3 to 6 years or more of professional training under the supervision of senior physicians. This may be followed by two or more years of additional training in a subspecialty. DOs receive essentially the same medical education as MDs, but they also learn therapeutic manipulation of the body. Some specialists become board certified by passing specific tests and requirements.
    Both MDs and DOs continue to receive credits for medical education throughout their careers.


    RN

    The largest group of all health occupations is the registered nurse, the RN. The RN provides direct care and assists the physician with examinations, charts the condition of patients, gives medications, and administers treatments as ordered by a physician. To be licensed, RNs must complete a course of study and examinations.
    RN training varies in length, and many RNs earn a 4-year bachelor of science degree. RNs may also complete a master's degree in nursing or a medical specialty. Continuing medical education is also a requirement.


    CRNP

    Certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP) are RNs with graduate level training in diagnostic and health assessment skills. They complete at least one additional year of training in a medical specialty. CRNPs may perform medical diagnosis and write prescriptions, but always in collaboration and under the direction of a supervising physician. To be able to write prescriptions, CRNPs must complete additional hours of training.


    LPN

    A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, works under the direction of an RN or physician, and administers medicine and carries out therapeutic treatment. LPNs complete a 1- or 2-year educational program, sometimes offered by a hospital or vocational school, and must pass a license examination.


    PA

    A physician assistant, or PA, completes five years of education beyond high school. A PA is licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision and is able to conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions.


    All of these medical professionals may have a role in your care. Your physician is the primary manager, and it is helpful for you when discussing your care to know as much as possible about the care team.
     
    [This Message was Edited on 11/05/2002]
  3. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    this is so helpful, especially for someone like me who recently moved to the US.
    Susanne
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    DO's are Doctors of Osteopathy. They can do everything MD's can do and actually have more education. Generally speaking, they are more apt to be open to alternative treatments, but not always. Some do spinal adjustments, but they are not chiropracters, and if you refer to one as such, be prepared for fireworks.

    CNA's are certified nursing assistants. They are typically the ones who come in when you are in the hospital and take your vitals and assist the docs and nurses with procedures.

    Love, Mikie
  5. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    I've had several orthopedists, a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, 3 chiropractors, my former PCP, my current PCP, and the Dr. I have been seeing for over a year now is my DO. My DO was a physical therapist previously, and he uses physical therapy, diet, some alternative methods and prescription meds to treat patients. He also has an open mind if I bring up a treatment method, or vitamin/mineral supplement, etc. that I've been told about, at least he has been so far. He's the first one that took me seriously about the constant pain and fatigue I've experienced the last few years.
  6. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    I think it is important for people to know what the difference is.............DJ