Physicians and Advanced Practice Clinicians – What’s the Difference

Here at Community Neuroscience Services, you may see either a physician or an advanced practice clinician (APC), such as a Physician Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner (NP).  So, what’s the difference between them?

Physicians are licensed medical doctors who have completed medical school and a residency program. They are trained to diagnose and treat illnesses, perform surgeries, and prescribe medication. There are two main types of physicians: Medical Doctors (M.D.s) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.s).

Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs), on the other hand, are health professionals who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree program in a specific area of healthcare, such as nursing or physician assistant studies. APCs can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication, and perform certain medical procedures.

One important difference between Physicians and APCs is their scope of practice, which is determined by the laws in each state. In some states, APCs have more limited practice authority and must work under the supervision of a physician. In other states, APCs have more autonomy and can practice independently.  At Community Neuroscience Services, our APCs collaborate closely with our physicians in a team-based model to care for all of your neurologic needs. 

In conclusion, both Physicians and APCs are trained healthcare professionals who can provide quality medical care. The main difference between the two is the type and level of education they received and the scope of their practice authority. If you have any questions about your healthcare provider’s qualifications or the type of care they can provide, don’t hesitate to ask!



The Newest Blogs