It finally struck me. The AMA is a bully. They are the bully in the medical and healthcare arena towards nurse practitioners. They can’t play nice in the playground and they will do anything to intimidate, usurp and destroy the role of the nurse practitioner. Reason, kindness, artful communication and research have had no impact on changing behaviors. A bully is a bully.
For years I have participated in the debate about the role of the NP. I have worked in rural and urban settings, side by side with many doctors and health professionals. I have never tried to pass myself off as a doctor, been straight about my abilities and have sought advise at every turn. I have provided care for those who often didn’t have any and made sure I stayed current on medical changes and standards of care.
I have blogged about the role of NPs and the research. I have debated with MDs. I have watched as primary care providers have decreased and NPs have filled the need. I have supported the growth and training of NPs. When I became an NP, there was a collegial attitude about the role. Now, I am amazed at the changing of the tide by the AMA against NPs. The arguments are absurd. I have concluded as always it is about money and who is going to get the largest piece of the healthcare pie.
Suddenly NPs are a financial threat. Forget patient care, this is about money. Enter the bully. A bully’s behavior is abusive and destructive and that is the approach the AMA is taking towards the NP role. In your desire to contain or eliminate the NP role, I only ask that you stop pretending it is for clinical reasons and own up to the real motivator: healthcare dollars.
My mother told me that when I was five years old, my older brother used to boss and bully me. One day, she said, he was doing something to me and I turned around and swatted him. He was shocked and he left me alone after that. I’d had enough.
As I did with my brother and now as a nurse practitioner, I am swatting you. Stop bullying nurse practitioners and focus on the real issues. Why don’t you bully the insurance industry? Stop with the tunnel vision already! Please it is getting old, stale and destructive.
With all the healthcare problems and need for strong visionary voices and leaders, the AMA needs to turn its focus to the real issues of healthcare and provide guidance for change and stability. Eliminating nurse practitioners is not the answer to our healthcare woes.