Monday, May 3, 2010

Bring It

An op-ed piece was recently written by the president of the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York, entitled, Take Advantage, New York, of our nurse practitioners. As if on cue, the medical society in New York played the same old card under the guise of "patient safety" and responded with their take on the issue, Rules exist to protect patients.

Any regular reader of this blog knows the countless times I have pointed out the bogus claims that organized medicine uses as scare tactics that ultimately translate into turf protection. In this article, the author claims a "maldistribution" of the physician and nurse practitioner workforce. See, we don't really have a problem, its just that patients are in the wrong areas of the state! Perhaps we can find some grant money to redistribute patients to where there are so many providers in the vast utopia where most of us in NY live. This of course is where no one needs to wait for an appointment and access to providers is instantaneous and efficient.

They seem to suggest that only physicians are "those best suited to render care to patients." How about that? I wonder how that one will work out. If you think there is a shortage of physicians now, its going to be real tough to find one when they will be staffing hospitals in place of nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, etc since supposedly they are the only ones best suited to "care" for patients.

The facts are that nurse practitioners have been and will continue providing high-quality, efficient and evidence-based care and this largely doesn't have anything to do with mandatory collaboration but with our experience, education and training. If that wasn't the case, we would not be granted licenses or certifications from the state that allow us to care for our patients albeit with an arbitrary restrictive barrier. (If my collaborating physician moves out of the state, retires, or one day simply decides to stop collaborating with me, my patients are left without a health care provider and I am left with patients whom I treated yesterday, but can't today).

To them, it's all about maintaining the status quo in a dysfunctional system fraught with disparities, inequalities, and waste. For anyone who can't blatantly see past that, I know a good primary doctor that I can get you to see on the same day who even accepts your health insurance.

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