Tina Marie Evans


After reading this chapter you should be able to

• Understand the common categories of health care providers.

• Articulate the similarities and differences between a medical doctor and a doctor of osteopathic medicine.

• Explain the similarities and differences between a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

• Contrast the duties performed by the three levels of nurses.

• Summarize the various types of rehabilitation professionals and the duties of their specialties of care.

• Differentiate the responsibilities of radiologic and imaging professionals.

• Value the importance of collaboration among health care providers within or across specialties.

• Describe the projected job outlook for the various health care occupations.

Today s health care environment comprises a wide variety of educated individuals with many different skills who must work together to provide quality medical care services for the individuals who seek their care. Regardless of the particular setting, the provision of health care in the United States is a team effort, with each individual care provider contributing his or her own knowledge and skills toward the success of the team as a whole. To function well in either clinical medicine or administrative work, it is essential to have an understanding of the various categories of health care providers, their education and scope of practice, and the ways they interact as they work.

T o help you achieve that understanding, this chapter introduces some of the more prevalent categories of health care workers and offers foundational background information about the training, specialization, and duties of each group. It then explains the necessity of collaboration in the current health care environment in order to keep the critical patient-centered focus. Finally, this chapter discusses the job outlook for health care providers and health care managers, as this is a common question and concern for students studying in the allied health professions as well as health care administration.

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