Advanced Practice Providers Offer High-Level Medical Care

Female patient speaking to her provider

Choosing a health care provider is a big decision. After all, you are placing your health in another person’s hands, depending on them to help keep you healthy and get you well when you are sick. You need expertise and experience. Compassion and strong communication skills. You want the whole package — and you might be surprised to learn that doctors aren’t the only people you can turn to for this high-level of medical care. Advanced practice providers (APPs) offer it too, and they’re playing a growing role in today’s health care system.

What is an advanced practice provider? 

APPs are highly educated medical professionals. They include advanced practice nurses — such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists — and physician assistants.

All have six or more years of college education and typically hold at least a master’s degree. During their training, they also get a minimum of 1,000 (and in many cases, significantly more) hours of supervised clinical experience.

APPs are required to show proficiency in their practice area to become certified. And all must be licensed to practice. APPs typically also receive continuing education throughout their career.

Expertise that meets your needs

Often, APPs serve as primary care providers. And in Maryland, nurse practitioners can provide care independently. Depending on their area of expertise, APPs may:

  • Administer anesthesia
  • Advise patients on preventive care
  • Assist in surgery
  • Conduct physical exams
  • Deliver babies
  • Diagnose and treat medical conditions
  • Educate patients
  • Make referrals to other specialists
  • Manage patient care
  • Order medical tests and imaging studies
  • Perform procedures
  • Prescribe medications
  • Take patient histories

The benefits of advanced practice providers

The benefits of seeing an AAP may be considerable. For instance, years of studies show that:

  • APPs provide quality care. Research has shown that care provided by nurse practioners is equivalent to care provided by doctors.
  • Working with an APP is cost-effective. Care provided by nurse practitioners can be less expensive than care provided by a physician in many settings, including primary care, acute care and long-term care.

Similarly, there are proven benefits associated with physician assistants (PAs). For example, a survey  of people who’ve visited a physician assistant or had a family member who has, found that PAs:

  • Gain patient trust. About 93% of respondents considered PAs trusted health care providers.
  • Increase access to care. About 92% of respondents said having a PA made getting a medical appointment easier.
  • Improve the healthcare experience. About 91% of respondents believed PAs improved the quality of healthcare.

A team of experts ready to help

You can count on advanced practice providers to give you the best possible care. They’ll be at your side, ready to offer the latest treatment and lend a friendly ear or hand to hold, as well. And if you require additional expertise, they’ll make sure you get that, too. With the strength of the entire Luminis Health team behind them, they’re ready to meet you wherever you are on your health journey, ensuring you have access to all the care you need to live your best life.


Dr. Tormeika S. Sanford, DNP, MSN, CRNP is an internal medicine provider with Luminis Health Primary Care. Make an appointment by calling 240-241-7474..