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Unread 07-30-2009, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Broward County
2,515 posts, read 6,438,866 times
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Default Nurse practicioners taking the rold of primary care physicians

What are your views on nurse practicioners and physician assistants taking over the role of primary care physicians since there is a shortage of them in the U.S. ?? Why become a PCP and make 130k a year when you can specialize and make 300K a year ?
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Unread 07-30-2009, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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When the doctor I grew up with was unavailable on short notice, I would see the Nurse Practitioner in his office. She was awesome. I would have no problem seeing one as my PCP. And I know a lot of people that use nurse practitioners and physician assistants as their PCPs. Many are just as knowledgeable as people who went to med schools, and often are a little more down to earth than your average doctor.

There are many reasons why becoming a GP is less inviting to new doctors now. When I was in college I was a pre-professional health student (pre-pharm) so I had a lot of friends who were pre-med, and a very common reason for them not wanting to become a GP was that they didn't want to have to deal with insurance companies. Dealing with insurance companies is both time consuming and can be restrictive as to they type of care you can provide. Specialists don't have to deal with this to the massive extent that GPs do. So that is another reason many new doctors decide to become specialists.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
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I don't know that I have a problem with someone well-trained - however, don't you think the rate should be less than for a licensed physician?
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Unread 07-30-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
3,196 posts, read 5,495,633 times
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Nurse Practitioners, as a rule, do not earn as much as physicians. Salaries vary across the country and depend on what area of practice the NP is affiliated with as well as area of the country. Specialties, such as GI, oncology, cardiology etc usually pay more than primary care. Salaries can be as low as 60K to a high of approx 120K with the average NP salary around 86K (most recent data 7/09).

To the above posters, thanks for your confidence in NPs!! I've been an NP for over 11 years and love what I do.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 08:01 PM
 
2,742 posts, read 4,549,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heydade View Post
What are your views on nurse practicioners and physician assistants taking over the role of primary care physicians since there is a shortage of them in the U.S. ?? Why become a PCP and make 130k a year when you can specialize and make 300K a year ?
Not every doctor can be a specialist, not enough spots for everybody.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: fla
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some np's pay attention to the pt more closely than the physician--used a np most of my and my daughter's life
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Unread 07-30-2009, 09:41 PM
f_m
 
2,290 posts, read 4,674,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heydade View Post
What are your views on nurse practicioners and physician assistants taking over the role of primary care physicians since there is a shortage of them in the U.S. ?? Why become a PCP and make 130k a year when you can specialize and make 300K a year ?
I think it makes sense, since most of the time the PCP will send you to a specialist if there are any issues, and they rarely spend much time with you anyway. Generally tests, cuts, broken bones, antibiotic prescriptions, etc.. can be handled by experienced physican assistant or nurse practitioner. In fact, I would say that hospitals might do well to have satellite care centers for minor emergency care and general checkups which have mainly these people with some senior doctors to head the staff. That way people wouldn't have to crowd hospital emergency rooms.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Florida
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my 2 biggest issues with them is (1) they charge toooooo much,seeing as how they are NOT doctors. At least the one I saw did. She charged more than it ended up costing me to see a Primary Care Physician.
and (2) why get established with one knowing they can't perform surgical procedures? I mean, can they even stitch you up should you need it?
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Unread 07-30-2009, 10:25 PM
 
6,214 posts, read 7,066,393 times
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Our family doctor has two nurse practitioners working with him. When I call for an appointment, I always request to see one of them. In my experience, they keep to a schedule better, so I have no wait time, and they spend more time with me. If there has been any question about a symptom or treatment, they have been quick to check with the MD.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 10:41 PM
 
2,141 posts, read 4,947,593 times
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For general check ups, colds, flu, sprains, etc. nurse practitioners are fine. They know their boundaries. Medical school is a huge commitment and costs a lot of money. Our country just isn't producing enough doctors. And even with liability insurance running up to $200k, it's a well paying profession. I never met a middle class doctor. Upper middle class maybe at the very least. Some doctors are attracted to being GPs. It's challenging and more diverse then specializing. Plus not all doctors want to or can perform surgery. You have to have good eye sight, steady hands and be able to stand for long periods of time. The liability is much higher too. I know a doctor who wanted to be a surgeon but his own knee problems inhibited him from standing still for hours. So he became a psychiatrist. No surgeries.
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