I am a primary care provider. I am the one patients come to see when they or their families are sick. I treat acute and chronic illnesses and provide counseling in mental health. I should be the one listed on my patients medicine bottles, not my collaborating MD. The quote below is my response to "The Nurse Practitioner Will See You Now" by Susan Yox Editorial Director, Medscape Nurses.
"I have worked in a rural health community for the last two and half years in Family practice as a nurse practitioner. For the first year, I was the only medical provider in the branch and it grew by leaps and bounds. I had telephone contact with my collaborating MD and he would come to the office if I needed to have him cosign a chart. One of the M.D.s in the company started working with me one day a week in order to facilitate the controlled substance needs. It was almost a year before we could find a full time D.O. to come work in the rural setting. It was difficult to recruit even though we are not far from one of the biggest medical schools in Florida (University of Florida). The only reason I needed a medical physician was the shear volume of patient numbers as the practice grew, not because I needed someone to "supervise" me as a medical provider. We have a great working relationship and we collaborate with each other. That's the way it's supposed to work. I really get tired of the turf wars that are happening on the state legislative level. I think that most doctors and NPs/PAs work well together through close contact and mutual respect. Our company employs physicians, NPs and PAs to care for our local communities and we do an awesome job, in my opinion, without the bickering between the disciplines. I wish more physician students would come to the office to see how it's done out here so that they would feel more comfortable with the "other medical providers". As more and more new MDs/DOs realize what quality care we provide, the current American Medical Association's attitudes against nurse practitioners providing primary medical care will diminish as they get older and are replaced by the younger doctors. We must remain active in our contacts with the next set of congressmen and senators that are going to be elected and find out early what their opinions are before they are jaded against us. I have already spoken with two runners in my area and plan to make a trip to Tallahassee to speak with a few in person with data in hand to show that we are competent and that patients trust us to take care of them and their families."