I am so tired of reading about the fuss that doctors, the AMA, American Association of Family Practitioners and other medical associations are making in regards to Nurse Practitioners and their ability to practice. It is so annoying and I am getting bored with the arguments because it all seems more emotional than fact based. I find it to be so irrational.
It has become like a school yard fight with the medical profession trying to bully nurse practitioners into conceding their superiority in care and knowledge. If I agree, will you go away and not bother me so I can actually care for my patients? After all these years of nurse practitioners being part of the medical landscape, why now is there such animosity and disparaging comments of the role?
I have tried to argue, talk sense and present research but the response continues to elicit the same old tunes. The same boring retorts. One of my favorites is, if you wanted to be a doctor why didn’t you go to medical school? The implication there is,that just perhaps, I wasn’t smart enough to get in. Oh yawn.
I have said over and over again, as an NP, I know my role, I know my limitations and I know what I offer patients. I also know the need in many communities for more primary care providers. And still, the medical profession has blinders on as to the potential of supporting NPs in practice.
I want to let you in on a secret; I am not planning on doing heart or brain surgery.
What exactly would happen if doctors accepted NPs? Would healthcare cease to exist as we know it? Would the sun not rise? Would patients start dying in record numbers from misdiagnosis and treatment? These questions are no more absurd than arguments the AMA and other organizations are using to discredit the NP profession.
The harshness of the arguments have made me conclude that the driving force has to be about money and the distribution of the healthcare reimbursement pie. No sharing allowed. Everything else is a smoke screen.
There actually is room and need on the playground for all of us to practice. Emotional outbursts and indignation aren’t going to solve the problem of the inadequate number of PCPs available. The more the old arguments are rehashed, the harder it is to evolve a working relationship and create viable future models of practice.
NPs are driving down the healthcare highway at 65mph looking out the windshield while the AMA is sitting there looking out the rear view mirror. NPs are moving forward into the future of healthcare, would doctors care to join us?