About the Clinician Directory
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) clinician directory provides information about our medical staff. Use the directory to learn information about primary physicians in Northern California. We update the directory regularly and make every effort to provide accurate information.
Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the PAMF clinician directory.
- How often is the status of a physician's availability to new patients updated?
- Who is listed in the directory?
- Is a physician's HMO plan number included in the directory?
- Do you list additional languages spoken?
- Terms used in the clinician directory
- Dictionary of medical titles
How often is the status of a physician's availability to new patients updated?
PAMF primary care physicians (PCPs) availability to new patients is updated regularly on the site. PCPs include pediatricians, family medicine and internal medicine doctors. Most PCPs are listed as open or closed to new patients but some are open only to certain types of new patients, such as newborns or siblings of existing patients. Specialists are usually always open and can be seen either by referral or by calling their office for an appointment, depending on the type of a person's insurance.
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Who is listed in the directory?
The PAMF directory lists permanent medical staff members; information is included about primary care physicians in Northern California and other providers such as nutritionists and optometrists. PAMF also employs a number of temporary physicians for short-term coverage. These physicians are not listed in the directory.
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Is a physician's HMO plan number included in the directory?
No. Each health plan that contracts with PAMF assigns an individual identification number to a physician that is unique to that plan. These numbers often change and are not common across plans. It is impossible for PAMF to track every number for each health plan and therefore we do not include this information in our directory.
You should contact your health plan if you are having problems finding a physician's plan number. Many health plan Web sites now have search features for looking up a physician identification number.
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Do you list additional languages spoken?
Yes. In the directory you may search for a clinician by language. A physician's fluency in a language is noted in his/her profile. Terms used are:
Excellent -- Speaks proficiently, equivalent to that of an educated speaker, and is skilled at incorporating appropriate medical terminology and concepts into communication. Has complete fluency in the language such that speech in all levels is fully accepted by educated native speakers in all its features, including breadth of vocabulary and idioms, colloquialisms, and pertinent cultural references.
Very Good -- Able to use the language fluently and accurately on all levels related to work needs in a healthcare setting. Can understand and participate in any conversation within the range of his/her experience with a high degree of fluency and precision of vocabulary. Unaffected by rate of speech. Language ability only rarely hinders him/her in performing any task requiring language; yet, the individual would seldom be perceived as a native.
Good -- Able to speak the language with sufficient accuracy and vocabulary to have effective formal and informal conversations on most familiar topics. Although cultural references, proverbs and the implications of nuances and idiom may not be fully understood, the individual can easily repair the conversation. May have some difficulty communicating necessary health concepts.
Fair -- Meets basic conversational needs. Able to understand and respond to simple questions. Can handle casual conversation about work, school, and family. Has difficulty with vocabulary and grammar. The individual can get the gist of most everyday conversations but has difficulty communicating about healthcare concepts.
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Terms used in the clinician directory
A board-certified physician has completed an approved educational training program and an evaluation process including an examination designed to assess the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to provide quality patient care in a particular area of medicine.
Usually refers to a period of postgraduate medical education during which a physician gains the experience necessary to assume responsibility for the care of patients.
The first year of training after medical school is sometimes called an internship. It is also referred to as the first year of residency or PGY-1 (Post-Graduate Year-1). There are many different residency programs, but generally the first year of residency (internship or PGY-1) is spent either rotating through different specialties or rotating to different areas within one specialty.
A period of advanced medical training and education that normally follows graduation from medical school and licensing to practice medicine. It consists of supervised practice of a specialty in hospital and outpatient settings and instruction from specialists on the hospital and clinic staff.
A period of training that occurs after completion of a residency program. Its goal is to provide advanced training in a sub-specialty field of medicine. Not all physicians will complete a fellowship.
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Dictionary of medical titles
There are many medical titles listed in the directory. Some are common, while others are not seen often and may relate to individual sub-specialties. Here is a list of titles you might see in our directory:
B.C.-ADM -- Board Certified, American Diabetic Association: Advanced Management of Diabetes Care and Education as a part of disease clinical management
CCC-A -- Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology
CDE -- Certified Diabetes Educator
CFNP -- Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
CPM -- Certified Professional Midwife
D.O. -- Doctor of Osteopathy
DPM -- Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. A podiatrist is a physician who specializes in the medical care and treatment of the foot.
Ed.D. -- Doctorate of Education
FAAP -- Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
FACC -- Fellow, American College of Cardiology
FACOG -- Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
FCCP -- Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians
IBCLC -- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
LCSW -- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
M.A. -- Medical Assistant: Medical assistants perform basic clinical and administrative functions such as height and weight measurements and blood pressure checks. They are distinct from physician assistants, who examine, diagnose and treat patients under the direct supervision of a physician.
M.D. -- Medical Doctor
MFT -- Marriage and Family Therapist
MPH -- Master of Public Health. A master's degree in Public Health is a professional degree designed to provide health care and other professionals with an understanding of the public health sciences, knowledge and skills that can be used in health care management, population-based research and the community practice of public health.
M.S. -- Master of Science
MSW -- Master of Social Work
N.P. -- Nurse Practitioner. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has obtained a master's degree in a nursing field and has obtained additional clinical training.
O.D. -- Doctor of Optometry. An optometrist can examine, diagnose and treat the eyes and correct vision problems using lenses and other optical aids.
P.A. and P.A.-C. -- Physician Assistant and Physician Assistant-Certified. A physician assistant is a licensed health professional who practices medicine under the supervision of a physician. A P.A. provides a broad range of health care services including diagnosis and treatment of illness. A P.A.-C. has met the defined course of study for physician assistants and has passed a certification exam of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
Ph.D. -- Doctor of Philosophy
R.D. -- Registered Dietitian. An R.D. is a health care professional educated in nutrition and foods who is able to translate scientific information into appropriate food choices. Specific education and training prepare registered dietitians to provide medical nutrition therapy when prescribed by a physician; they are also trained to provide nutrition counseling to promote optimal health.
R.N. -- Registered Nurse. To become a registered nurse (R.N.), an individual can complete a diploma program offered by a hospital nursing school, an associate degree in nursing (ADN) at a community college, or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) at a college or university. Graduates of any of the programs must pass a state licensing exam before they are qualified for a staff position as a registered nurse.
RNC -- Registered Nurse – Certified
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