Obviously, Health Care is an important concern for most Americans. Unfortunately, there is a certain amount of gridlock that is deterring the Country from solving one of the key dilemmas involved. The U.S. just does not have enough Primary-Care Physicians, especially in some of the more poor and rural sections of the Country.
Becoming a Physician in this Country involves a lot of time, hard work and is very, very expensive. Including college, medical school, internship and residency takes a long time. Long hours, crazy shifts and the hardships on both the doctor-to-be, as well as her or his Family. So, when the time comes to decide on a medcal specalty, some move toward where the money is. Can you blame them for entering the more lucrative specalties?
As the linked article, by Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, in the Washington Post’s Wonkbook Blog notes, https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=e43d3e59bc&view=pt&search=inbox&th=14081ee937a1749a, only 16 of the 58 counties in all of California have enough Primary-Care Physicians, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. So, something has to give.
There are various types of Health Care Providers; but, let’s focus on the Non-Physician Professionals–more specifically: Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and other Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). These nurses have Masters Degrees and have met clinical practice requirements. Some APRNs even have Ph.Ds. Surely these Professionals know their limits and when they need to consult with a MD or a Specialist.
So far, 17 states and the District of Columbia permit PNs and other APRNs to practice without consultation with a Physician, and without any evident fall-off in Patient Health Care. The rest of the states require PNs and APRNs to practice in collaboration with a Physician.
The various Physician Groups have lobbed against the expanded use of PNs and APRNs. Thinking in market terminology, doctors are against the greater capabilities of Nurses since it would take market share away from the Medical Profession. That’s because PNs and APNs charge less than Doctors do.
Now, the shortage of Physicians–especially in poor and rural areas–has been known for decades; however, the Medical Profession has apparently not done anything about it. Sure, they claim that Patient Healh Care would deteiorate; but, where’s the evdence of that? Meanwhile, the cost of Health Care has continued to rise. So, isn’t it about time that the Nation took action–since the Physician’s Lobby hasn’t?