What role should nurse practitioners play in primary care?

One proposed way to control costs is to replace primary care doctors with mid-level providers, like nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Merely bringing up this idea brings out the worst in turf battles, with most discussions devolving into nurse versus doctor cat-fights.

The ACP comes up with their vision of how nurse practitioners fit within the primary care spectrum. It wisely takes a balanced approach, but, as Bob Doherty writes, will likely disappoint both doctors and nurses on their respective extremes.

For most reasonable people, it’s a good compromise, acknowledging the fact that nurse practitioners play a vital role in primary care delivery, while allowing that physicians are best equipped to lead teams that treat complex medical patients.

In the end, rather that arguing who works for the other, both doctors and nurses have to realize that it’s the patients who come first, and to care best for them, a team-based approach is needed.

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