A healthcare provider is any person or company who diagnoses, treats, or prevents illnesses and injuries. Healthcare providers help their patients manage and maintain their physical and mental health. General practitioners, surgeons, nurses, podiatrists, and psychologists are all examples of healthcare providers. Hospitals, pharmacies, and family planning clinics are also healthcare providers.
Health insurance companies are sometimes incorrectly called healthcare providers. While these businesses deal with health, they are not healthcare providers because they provide financial services, rather than direct healthcare.
The term healthcare professional is sometimes used in place of healthcare provider. However, this term refers only to the people who provide healthcare, not the companies.
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People use a variety of healthcare providers to stay in good physical, mental, and sexual health. General medicine doctors, nurses and doctors at family planning clinics, and gynecologists are examples of professionals who help people with general sexual health issues. When problems arise, these healthcare providers might refer people to urologists, sex therapists, and other healthcare providers for more specialized care. Obstetricians and midwives help people through pregnancy, family planning, and a host of other health issues associated with the female reproductive system, hormones, and female genitalia. Many people use a variety of these healthcare providers to improve their sexual health.
Look for healthcare providers that make you feel comfortable. Discussing health matters, especially sexual health matters, can be uncomfortable for many people. However, being honest about your health concerns and problems makes sure your healthcare providers have all the information they need to help you.
You should also feel like your healthcare provider understands you and does not judge you. While most modern healthcare providers understand a wide spectrum of gender and sexual identities, some don’t. A lack of education and understanding can be a barrier preventing minority patients from receiving the healthcare they need. Members of the LGBTQIA+ or kink communities may seek out healthcare providers who are allies for their communities. These healthcare providers deliver unbiased and professional help which gives their patients the best outcomes.