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  • IntroductionIntroduction to Interdisciplinary Care

  • Advanced Practice Providers (APP)

  • Entry-Level Nursing Providers

  • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Professionals

  • Rehabilitation Professionals

  • Pharmacy Professionals

  • Additional Allied Health Professionals

The complexity involved with providing healthcare continues to increase. In order to reduce the intricacy of healthcare delivery, an improved model of patient care has evolved that involves an interdisciplinary team working collaboratively to set goals, make decisions, share resources, and distribute responsibilities. The expansion of scope of practice and the increased options for sub-specializations within the various healthcare fields lend themselves to increased need and opportunity for collaboration. Increased engagement with the patient and their family, enhanced patient experiences and outcomes, increased efficiency, and better utilization of resources are benefits of this approach. The sharing of expertise and workload among care team members increases professional satisfaction, encourages innovation, and enriches the learning environment by enabling practitioners to learn new skills and approaches with the ultimate goal to improve patient care.

During training and beyond you will likely interact with a variety of healthcare professionals who will address a variety of the physical, emotional, psychological, and social needs of the patient. In order to optimize the team-based approach, it is crucial that all members have a thorough understanding of the credentials, education, role, and scope of practice of each healthcare professional.

In most clinical settings the term healthcare “providers” or “practitioners” includes individuals who are trained as Doctors of Medicine or Osteopathy (MD or DO), Doctors of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), and Doctors of Optometry (OD). In addition, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, midwives, physician assistants, clinical psychologists, and clinical social workers who are given authority by the state in which they practice may be classified as providers. Any other healthcare professionals from whom an employee’s group plan accepts claims for insurance payments may also qualify as healthcare providers. Additional interdisciplinary healthcare professionals include a broad group: athletic trainers, audiologists, clinical nurse specialists, community health workers, dietitians, dental hygienists, nutritionists, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, healthcare administrators, medical assistants, medical coders, medical laboratory scientists, medical prosthetic technicians, medical transcriptionists, nurses, nurse anesthetists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, paramedics, traditional registered pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, physical therapists, radiographers, medical radiation dosimetrists, medical physicists, radiation therapists, recreational therapists, respiratory therapists, speech-language pathologists, surgical assistants, surgical technologists, and others.

Traditional naturopaths and licensed naturopathic doctors (ND/NMD) work to heal through natural substances (food, herbs, water) and are uncommon in academic medical centers. The education of these two providers is very different with their scope of practice and status varying from state to state. In some states there are no regulations regarding naturopathic practice. A state-licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine is a primary care provider who is trained to diagnose and prescribe, while a traditional naturopath is not able to do either.

A larger number of ...

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