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In the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, your care is provided by an integrated, multidisciplinary team.
We strive to organize all patient care through a team approach that is comprehensive, accessible and personalized. You may receive care from any number of infectious disease specialists, including doctors, nurses, social workers and other health care professionals.
Although there may be many on your care team, be assured that they communicate regularly with each other so you receive coordinated care. You will be given a card with the names and contact information for your team at your visit.
Your primary care provider will be a physician who has received specialized training in the field of infectious disease. As Massachusetts General Hospital is a teaching hospital affiliated with the Harvard Medical School, doctors receiving advanced subspecialty medical training, such as residents and fellows, may also work with your physician.
A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who is certified to practice in an advanced role. NPs receive training in medicine and infectious diseases. You may see a nurse practitioner for a physical exam, a routine visit, diagnosis and care of treatment-related problems, education, symptom management, counseling, and referrals to hospital and community services.
The nursing staff is adept at caring for patients with infectious diseases. Your nurse works closely with all members of the team to help you to understand your diagnosis and treatment, manage medication side effects, effectively care for yourself and prevent medical problems. Also, they act as case managers, helping you navigate the various services here at Mass General, as well as beyond.
A social worker provides support for the many issues that may affect you and your family during your illness and recovery. The social workers have specialized knowledge and experience in the emotional and social aspects involved in your care. Counseling is available as well as assistance with problem solving and linkage to hospital and community resources. You may wish to join one of the several support groups they offer.
New medical treatments for HIV disease and related problems are developed through clinical trials. Clinical trials are an important way to determine a treatment’s safety and effectiveness. If you wish to take part in a clinical trial or your care team recommends taking part in a study, a member of the research team will go over the details of the study with you. These individuals will join your health care team to coordinate and manage your care. Some studies provide compensation for your time and effort.
There are many other individuals who help support you and your treatment team including medical assistants, receptionists and administrative assistants. The support staff is a collaborative team dedicated to ensuring that you receive the best care possible.
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