When you are looking for a health care professional to tend to your physical needs, you may be interested to learn that there are more than just doctors for you to choose from. This means there are more opportunities for you to find a health care professional that you feel is a good choice for you do to the level of confidence and trust you feel you can give that particular practitioner. Here are some of the different health care providers that you can choose and explanations of what they each have to offer as far as their degrees and qualifications go.

A DO—Generally referred to as a "DO", an osteopathic physician is a physician who will see patients in the same way an MD would, only the DO will approach things from a different perspective. A patient may not even be able to notice the difference between a DO and an MD. However, a DO will put more of an emphasis on learning about a patient's lifestyle and habits. They will use this information in conjunction with things like lab results and exam results in order to make a diagnosis and to come up with a course of treatment.

A Physician Assistant—You may run across a physician assistant that you really like. A physician assistant is a practitioner who will see you in the same way a doctor would, but they work with or under a medical doctor. While the doctor does not need to be on the premises in order for the NP to examine you, treat you, or prescribe you medications, there must be a doctor the NP can refer to should the need arise for them to do so.

A Nurse Practitioner—A nurse practitioner is a mid-level health care practitioner who is technically a registered nurse with advanced practice classifications that allows them to treat patients in much the same way as an MD would. An NP will give patient exams, make a diagnosis, prescribe medications, order labs and other tests, and do many other things an MD would do. An NP will work under a doctor, but the doctor does not have to be there for the NP to examine and treat patients. The MD just needs to be available to provide any guidance the NP may need.

If you are looking for a new health care practitioner, you may want to consider looking for a nurse practitioner like Carli Larson. Nurse practitioners can be easier to get an appointment with and you can still get the same great care you are looking for.