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Old 01-31-2011, 02:42 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,375,579 times
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So a couple years ago, I moved to a new location across country. One of the first things I tried to establish was a health care provider. I called around to several places and I was told the same thing over and over. Basically, it's very rare that you can see an actual medical doctor here. Apparently they are booked for months. Instead, you're usually seen by a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant. I'm not trying to put down those two professions, but dang I want to see a doctor haha. I mean, there's a reason why one is a doctor and one is a nurse practitioner, right? When I was back home, it just didn't seem to be a problem. I went to the same doctor's office for most of my life and I was always able to see an actual MD. And if I had to go somewhere else, I'd usually see a doctor as well. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone BUT a doctor when I had an health care appointment.

Is this a new practice, or do you think this may be a reflection of my new geographic location? I've never seen the health care field in such a bind where you can't even see an MD. I'm wondering if this is the new norm.

Last edited by Z3N1TH 0N3; 01-31-2011 at 02:51 PM..
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,451 posts, read 10,107,593 times
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It was new to me when I moved to North Carolina where it's quite common. I suspect it's a growing trend. With payments to doctors reduced by health insurance providers, I would imagine this is a more economical way for doctors to expand their practices without hiring more MD's. I've had some excellent Nurse Practitioners--and some not so great. But that's been my experience with doctors, too.

It would be interesting to have some docs weigh in on this as to why it's becoming more and more common. Until we hear from them, though, I'm going with the economics of it as the underlying reason.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,345 posts, read 84,190,567 times
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If you are a process oriented person and don't mind a little hassle, you can schedule a doctor appointment every week whether you need it or not so that way you'll always have an appointment with a doctor every week. If you don't need it (which will be the case most of the time), just cancel 24 hours prior.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Earth
24,629 posts, read 25,253,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
If you are a process oriented person and don't mind a little hassle, you can schedule a doctor appointment every week whether you need it or not so that way you'll always have an appointment with a doctor every week. If you don't need it (which will be the case most of the time), just cancel 24 hours prior.
Are you serious?
If I were a scheduler and encountered someone doing this, I would make it horribly difficult for them to get an appointment.
This practice would be unfair to everyone else trying to schedule an appointment.
Not everyone has enough time on their hands to hurt a doctor's practice or cause others problems just to be guaranteed an appointment that they may or may not need. Others have to schedule from work, etc.

Wow, would you really do that?
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,406 posts, read 7,071,280 times
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Why would you want to tie up someone's schedule like that and cause unnecessary hassle for the office, also taking away appointments for others who might truly need them? Seems rather inconsiderate on both ends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
If you are a process oriented person and don't mind a little hassle, you can schedule a doctor appointment every week whether you need it or not so that way you'll always have an appointment with a doctor every week. If you don't need it (which will be the case most of the time), just cancel 24 hours prior.
OP: It depends on the type of dr, condition, etc. For dermatologists, I've often seen a np, for the pediatrician, I typically saw my daughter's actual doctor, however for times when it was just a sports physical, I had seen the np as well. You can call around and find one where you see the actual physician if its important to you.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Owasso, OK
1,224 posts, read 3,575,900 times
Reputation: 1122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3N1TH 0N3 View Post
So a couple years ago, I moved to a new location across country. One of the first things I tried to establish was a health care provider. I called around to several places and I was told the same thing over and over. Basically, it's very rare that you can see an actual medical doctor here. Apparently they are booked for months. Instead, you're usually seen by a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant. I'm not trying to put down those two professions, but dang I want to see a doctor haha. I mean, there's a reason why one is a doctor and one is a nurse practitioner, right? When I was back home, it just didn't seem to be a problem. I went to the same doctor's office for most of my life and I was always able to see an actual MD. And if I had to go somewhere else, I'd usually see a doctor as well. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone BUT a doctor when I had an health care appointment.

Is this a new practice, or do you think this may be a reflection of my new geographic location? I've never seen the health care field in such a bind where you can't even see an MD. I'm wondering if this is the new norm.
You are going to see more and more of this as there are less and less new medical grads that are going into general practice. Also, insurance companies love them because they typically don't charge as much for an office visit. Nurse Practitioners have been around for almost 40 years.

There are advantages to seeing an NP or PA. They usually have a smaller patient load and can spend more time with you. Nurse Practitioners, especially, see their patients as people and tend to treat you as more than just a set of symptoms. There tends to be more of a personal relationship with these professionals.

NPs and PAs are an excellent healthcare resource and shouldn't be viewed as "sloppy seconds" compared to an MD or DO. If you need treatment for routine ailments such as strep throat, ear infections, flu, UTI's, etc. Then an NP is just for you!
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Owasso, OK
1,224 posts, read 3,575,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
If you are a process oriented person and don't mind a little hassle, you can schedule a doctor appointment every week whether you need it or not so that way you'll always have an appointment with a doctor every week. If you don't need it (which will be the case most of the time), just cancel 24 hours prior.
Boooo.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:24 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,375,579 times
Reputation: 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Are you serious?
Nah, this poster is routinely joking around on this forum, it seems. I don't think most of his posts are to be taken as literal advice. He just has a unique sense of humor it would seem.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:27 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,375,579 times
Reputation: 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milleka View Post
NPs and PAs are an excellent healthcare resource and shouldn't be viewed as "sloppy seconds" compared to an MD or DO. If you need treatment for routine ailments such as strep throat, ear infections, flu, UTI's, etc. Then an NP is just for you!
I certainly respect their profession, I've just never experienced this before. Maybe it's because of this reason that I just feel more comfortable seeing a doctor. I've only seen one PA here so far, and he seemed fairly knowledgeable. I guess I just saw a parallel to going to the dentist and never actually seeing the dentist. Or asking for a lawyer, but getting a paralegal to represent you.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Owasso, OK
1,224 posts, read 3,575,900 times
Reputation: 1122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3N1TH 0N3 View Post
I certainly respect their profession, I've just never experienced this before. Maybe it's because of this reason that I just feel more comfortable seeing a doctor. I've only seen one PA here so far, and he seemed fairly knowledgeable. I guess I just saw a parallel to going to the dentist and never actually seeing the dentist. Or asking for a lawyer, but getting a paralegal to represent you.
I'm kinda surprised you haven't experienced it up until now. I can see where you are coming from though. I'm a nurse, actually, and I'm very seriously thinking about getting my NP after my kids graduate and move out. It really is a growing and more widely accepted source of healthcare.
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