Who is on your care team?
Una enfermera de atención primaria de Arizona habla con una paciente
Health care is a team effort, and you are the most important member of your team. We'll work to understand your needs and goals, and partner with you to achieve them.
Physicians lead the care team. They guide your care, diagnose and treat complex health problems, create plans of care, and support other members of your team.
Our physicians have expertise in family medicine and internal medicine. Some of them are in our residency program. You may hear them referred to as residents. Residents are medical doctors who have entered the phase of their extensive training that includes caring for patients in clinical practices. Staff physicians partner with and guide the residents who provide your care.
Your physicians also have access to Mayo Clinic's many medical specialists, such as heart doctors (cardiologists) and cancer experts (oncologists).
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants
These primary care providers diagnose and treat complex and acute health concerns and work collaboratively with physicians to identify the best plan of care for you.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced academic and clinical education at the graduate level. A master's degree in nursing along with specialty education enables nurse practitioners to diagnose and manage many common illnesses, both acute and chronic.
Physician assistants are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. Each has graduated from an accredited physician assistant program and completes extensive continuing medical education throughout their careers.
If your physician or nurse practitioner has designed a customized plan of care for you, a registered nurse will coordinate the plan. She or he will provide education when you're diagnosed with a new condition, as well as provide blood pressure checks, some well-child assessments and adult wellness screenings. Your nurse can also diagnose and offer treatment options for common complaints — often over the phone.
Licensed practical nurses, medical assistants and clinical assistants
These providers will prepare you for your appointment, coordinate your preventive screenings and give vaccinations.
The clinic pharmacist is a key member of the care team. He or she is in close communication with your care team and helps you manage medications, identify and resolve safety issues, and make cost-effective decisions.
Social workers are trained to assist with a large number of problems, including counseling people on stress-related concerns and connecting them with the right social service.
Appointment line and customer service staff
When you call or request an appointment online, these dedicated employees help connect you with the right care team member or service to meet your needs.
The nurse line is a convenient way to access round-the-clock advice, helping you get the right care for your needs, often without ever having to leave your home.
The nurse line offers you:
- 24/7 access by calling your primary care provider's office
- Help to quickly determine if your condition can be cared for at home or through a scheduled office visit, or if it requires immediate medical attention
- Prescriptions for some conditions assessed during the phone call, which can be filled at the pharmacy of your choice
Your primary care team will bring onto the team pharmacists, mental health specialists and other health professionals to support you when needed. Additional experts are available to you through electronic, virtual or in-person consultations organized by your primary care provider. This will help you avoid extra appointments.
The providers you see at an appointment will depend on the needs you have that day. Your team is committed to giving you exactly the care you need, in the most supportive and convenient way possible.