MarketWatch: Doctor shortage is good news for nurses

From MarketWatch:

"It's probably time to reconsider the current medical-visit vernacular. These days, instead of "I'm going to the doctor for a checkup," it's more like: "I'm going to the nurse practitioner." Certainly, most of the doctor appointments I've had in recent years were with nurses. Not that I think that's a problem. I've never had an issue with nurse practitioners, or no more issues than I've had with doctors. (No matter the professional degree, you either have a great bedside manner or you don't.) And what's wrong with letting nurses deal with ear infections and the like, especially if they have more time than the doctor to sit down and listen?

Full disclosure: My daughter is studying to be a nurse, so I've got a lot to love about expanding professional opportunities for nurse practitioners.

-- Andrea Coombes, assistant Personal Finance editor"

This logic however is a bit flawed.

Primary-care doctor crunch offers no quick fix. MarketWatch.
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  1. I'm not sure in what way you think the logic is flawed? It's just a matter of opinion. Some patients prefer NPs and PAs and some will only see an MD. There's room for everyone to take care of our ever growing unhealthy population. Do you have a particular problem with NPs? I hope not. I work well with my fellow MDs in our practice and we all rely on each other to keep the process flowing well.

  2. If you are a patient, it's obvious why the logic is flawed. You often don't have an option to see and MD because you are directed to the NPs/PAs right away unless you insist. I am yet to see a patient who "prefers" to see NP instead of MD, by the way... :)

    You can't just replace MDs with NPs/PAs. See The Happy Hospitalist Blog for more details.