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During your stay at Barton Memorial Hospital, you may encounter several different titles that are used for physicians. This guide will help clarify the roles and education levels of the different students and physicians you may see during your stay. Please do not hesitate to ask if you are unclear as to who is taking care of your medical needs.

Barton's Graduate Medical Education is proudly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The ACGME employs best practices, research and advancements across the continuum of medical education to demonstrate its dedication to enhancing health care and graduate medical education. The ACGME is committed to improving patient care delivered by resident and fellow physicians and encourages a clinical learning environment characterized by excellence in care, safety, and professionalism.

Medical Students: Individuals who are in medical school are referred to as medical students.They are not referred to as a doctor or physician until they graduate from medical school. Once they graduate, they are a physician even though their training is not complete.

Physician or Doctor:
A physician is a medical doctor, either an M.D. or D.O., who has completed graduate training to provide health care. A physician may be referred to as a doctor.

Resident Physicians (Residents): After graduating from medical school or a school of osteopathy, physicians must complete further training referred to as residency training. The first year of residency is called the internship year. One year of residency training is required to obtain a state medical license allowing the physician to practice medicine independently. Most physicians continue on in further specialty residency training for another 2 to 6 years depending on the specialty. After successful completion of a residency, the physician is qualified to practice medicine in their specialty.

Fellows: A fellow is a physician who has completed their residency and elects to complete further training in a sub-specialty. For example, an orthopedic surgeon completes 5 years of graduate medical training in orthopedic surgery. If he or she wishes to obtain more specific sub-specialty training in a particular area, such as sports medicine, they would then complete a yearlong fellowship training in orthopedic sports medicine.

The fellow is a fully credentialed, licensed physician choosing to pursue additional training. The fellowship is optional and is not required to practice medicine in a particular specialty. The fellowship year of training allows the physician to gain experience and expertise in a specific area of their specialty. Barton is home to the Lake Tahoe Sports Medicine Fellowship program which is also accredited by the ACGME.

Attending Physician (Attending): An attending physician is a physician who has completed their training and is working independently in their specialty. They are typically board certified in their area of expertise. In a teaching facility, such as a university hospital, the attending is often directing the education of medical students, interns, residents, and fellows. They typically play an active role as a teacher to those who have not completed their education.

Medical education and training is an integral part of our medical system. It is acknowledged that the presence of graduate medical education improves the quality of care for all patients in that institution. Barton Health is proud to be an accredited teaching institution and actively participates in all phases of medical education.