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Nursing education is vastly different from medical education so even the most experienced nurse cannot replace a physician and vice versa. Non-physicians with advanced degrees rely on physician contact to receive their certificates. As few as 500 hours of clinic time (mostly as an observer) may be all that is required. The requirements are highly variable and there is little oversight.
So why are states granting non-physicians like nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) the privilege to fill gaps in patient access to medical care with very little to no restriction or oversight? Why are health systems replacing physicians with NPs and PAs?
It’s because the very same middlemen along with large medical and nursing organization lobbyIsts behind the skyrocketing health costs want to pay less and make more. They are asking politicians to rapidly fill physician vacancies with non-physicians. These clinicians are cheaper to hire and can be produced rapidly. Doing so puts vulnerable patients in harms way, does nothing to lower the costs of medical care, and does not improve access to medical appointments or other care.
Although the AMA has policy against expanded scope of practice, the organization has done next to nothing to help stop this trend. The state boards of medicine and nursing have little to no oversight over non-physicians with expanding scopes of practice. Employed physicians face retribution from calling out unsafe medical care and are being forced to ”train” non-physicians only to later be replaced. You are not alone if you have concerns about patient safety. We took an oath to keep our patients safe.
Any US medical student, medical school graduate, or physician who supports our mission can join. Members must show proof of their credentials to join. Join us by sending a private message to our Public Facebook page or by clicking the Contact Us link above.
Most elected officials know nothing about medical education or the effects of health policy decisions they make. You are a valuable resource. Set up an appointment to meet with your state legislators to become a resource for them.
Grassroots organizations like ours are joining forces with one another to help educate the public about dangerous scope of practice legislation. Check out our resources for links to articles, health policy, legislation, and position statements.
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