While some reports are fairly accurate, others show the ignorance of the reporter (I’m thinking of a certain Fox interview recently where it was clear the folks interviewing Dee Swanson, president of AANP, really didn’t understand the role, depth and breadth of our practice). And of course, some reports seem to be just plain hysterics.
The two most balanced pieces I’ve read are Maggie Mahar’s, The Battle for Nurse Practitioners Providing Primary Care and Dr. Bernadine Healy’s piece on “The New Doctors in the House“. Both articles put forth faces and evidence and are well worth the read.
Of course, as a Nurse Practitioner, I am biased in this whole debate. But what I don’t understand is this…don’t people realize that there is not a provider in the world (and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration), who practices in isolation. Health care providers (including Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Physicians) get consults, both formally and informally (in the hall, on the phone, via email and text) when they are unsure of something. Everyone wants to provide excellent care and have good patient outcomes.
The bottom line is this. People need access to health care. There are providers who are educated to give excellent health care. Removal of the barriers to practice, allowing providers to do what they do best can only be good for everyone…patient and provider alike.