Two (or three) heads are better than one

Washington University attracts some of the finest medical professionals in the entire country. When you select Washington University Medical Center for your health care, you not only receive treatment from one specialist, but have the benefit of collaboration by medical fellows, residents and medical students. The more brain power – the better for you.

To help understand the different medical professionals that may be involved in your treatment, the following are descriptions of their training and the level of participation in your care.

Attending Physicians are full-time physicians hired by the university and responsible for every patient’s care. They are board certified in their medical specialty. You will be seen by at least one attending physician, but you may also receive care from other members of the physician team.

Fellows are licensed physicians who have completed medical school and a three to seven year specialty residency program in an accredited hospital. They are now receiving an additional one to three years advanced specialty training in fields like anesthesiology, oncology, vascular surgery or neurosurgery.

Residents are licensed physicians who have completed medical school and are undergoing additional training to become board certified in a specialty (such as pediatrics, surgery, gynecology). If you are an inpatient, you will see resident physicians on daily rounds, checking your progress. The Barnes-Jewish Center for Outpatient Health is a resident clinic. Low-cost care is provided by residents, always supervised by an attending physician.

Medical Students have earned their bachelor’s degree and are working towards their medical degree. They learn the principles and practices of medicine in simulated labs and may participate in the team visits to your bedside.

Advanced Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants are nationally licensed health care providers, trained at the master’s degree level in their fields. They are authorized to perform certain treatments and patient education under the direction of the attending physician.

The staff of Washington University Medical Center appreciates your trust in selecting us for your care. Our team strives to provide high-quality treatment in an open and welcoming environment. Should you have specific concerns you would like to address with your doctor only, please let one of the staff know so they may accommodate your request.