• Nurse Practitioner Or Doctor - Does It Make A Difference?

    by Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD
    on Feb 28th, 2015

The scope of practice and the amount of autonomy for nurse practitioners varies from state to state. In Pennsylvania, nurse practitioners are currently required to establish a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to practice. The same is true in New York. However, in New Jersey and 30 other states, nurse practitioners can independently diagnose and treat patients without physician involvement.

There is currently legislation pending in Pennsylvania that would allow certified registered nurse practitioners to practice without a collaborating physician. The Pennsylvania Medical Society is opposed to this. The medical society posits that requiring a collaborative agreement with physician is a necessary patient safeguard. It ensures that a patient will have direct access to a physician when their care requires a more highly trained professional. Moreover the PA medical society maintains that this would effectively eliminate the valued team based approached to medical care and ultimately jeopardize patient safety.

As a physician, I support certified registered nurse practitioners having the option to diagnose and to treat patients independent of a collaborative agreement with a physician. With millions more people now insured as a result of the Affordable Care Act particularly in physician shortage areas, having health providers who can function independently is beneficial. If clinical practice continues to evolve into requiring health providers to follow predetermined health care algorithms, there should be minimal additional risk to patients.

I feel strongly that patients need to know the level of training of their health provider. Additionally, patients need to have the ability to choose whether they want to be seen by a physician or a mid-level provider.

Lastly, certified registered nurse practitioners do not complete 4-6 year residency programs in their specialty. If with less clinical training, a CRNP chooses to work independently their responsibility and liability should be reflective of their independent practitioner status.

If you feel strongly about the type of care you receive, let your state legislature know.

Author Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD

You Might Also Enjoy...

Ways to avoid vaginal dryness

POST MENOPAUSE VAGINAL DRYNESS. More common than you might think.. affecting many women who are too embarrassed to speak about it.

What’s a Phthalate?

Phthalates are endocrine disruptive chemicals. They are present in our food, our beauty, health and home products. They are ubiquitous. They can pose health risks.

Updates on Female Sexual Health

Acknowledging that there is a need for a solution is the first step in solving the problem. Female sexual health is important. The following is an update as to what is currently available and what is needed..

ABORTION 2019

Recent changes at the state level are making the availability of having an abortion increasingly more difficult. Collectively, we need to consider if this makes sense for the well being of our society and not get entrenched in ideological battles.

WITH EACH MENSTRUAL CYCLE -- ARE YOU BLEEDING TOO MUCH?

Besides being embarrassing, excessive menstrual bleeding can lead to serious medical problems. Many women are having excessive menstrual flow and are unaware that their health issues such as fatigue, anemia are related to their heavy cycles.