Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Primary Care"

This is classic. On his blog, DB's Medical Rants, Dr. Bob, writes the following about the term 'primary care' and why it's a poor descriptor:

"When suits, politicians, Wal-Mart and mid-level providers see the phrase primary care, they think “simple care.” They think of patients with one problem, like hypertension or even diabetes. They think of urinary tract infections, sore throats and upper respiratory infections. They think of ear aches and knee pain."

See folks, us lowly "mid-levels" are grouped together with suits, politicians and Wal-Mart executives - quite the grouping! Second, Dr. Bob seems to think that we are incapable of treating anything that's not simple. Apparently, we focus on one thing only. We don't perform screenings, immunizations, mental health evaluations, make appropriate referrals, etc. Please.

Why are you so sour Dr. Bob? Maybe you haven't had the opportunity to work with Nurse Practitioners and/or Physician Assistants and know that as long as they aren't physicians, they must be bad! Maybe you don't know that studies have shown that nurse practitioners render care that is equal to (or better than) physicians. Maybe you could care less. Well, that's why I'm here to help defend the work that nurse practitioners do and maybe, just maybe, open a healthy dialogue to better understand our respective roles.

1 comment:

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I agree with your assessment of the situation. They seem to think that we just look at one problem. Seems like that has been the issue with many of the docs I've worked with. NPs are more inclined to ask about the entire situation and not just focus on the sore throat. We do differential diagnoses just like the docs. If you don't, it will come back to bite you and may kill a patient. Give us a break!