Physicians for Patient Protection is a grassroots organization. Our roster includes practicing and retired physicians, residents, medical students, and assistant physicians (a new designation for physicians who have finished medical school but haven’t yet matched in a residency).
Our mission is simple: to ensure physician-led care for all patients and to advocate for truth and transparency regarding healthcare providers.
We advance our mission by educating our colleagues, by influencing policy and legislation, and by educating our patients and the public.
Nurse practitioner programs are rapidly growing in number and not being reliably or uniformly accredited. Programs have varying lengths and some do not even require an undergraduate degree in nursing or clinical experience as an RN to enter. A growing number have 100% acceptance and graduation rates. Some of these programs are 100% online and others are hybrids of classroom and online learning. The minimum hours required for clinical work (i.e., patient contact) is 500 hours. These can be in various locations and are only observation hours. Furthermore, the patient contact requirement is not standardized to ensure exposure to a variety of states of health or disease. Some NPs recognize and acknowledge this varying quality of NP programs and desire improvements. We support regulation of this education system in a manner similar to physician graduate medical education.
There has been recently introduced legislation to grant Physician Assistants independent practice authority as well. Optometrists are able to do eye surgery in some states without being trained as a physician or surgeon. Pharmacists are lobbying for the right to diagnose and treat. This is a dangerous precedent to set for patient care.
The general population and legislators are not educated about the differences between the education and training of a doctor of medicine and a doctor of nursing. Many people do not know when they are seeing a physician or a non-physician. However, the vast majority of patients want transparency.
Respondents say that patients with one or more chronic diseases benefit when a physician leads the primary health care team.
Respondents said that they prefer a physician to have primary responsibility for the diagnosis and management of their healthcare team.
In states where nurse practitioners are granted full practice authority (FPA), they DO NOT practice in areas not already served by physicians.
NPs do not have to have supervision by or collaboration with a board certified physician in the field they are practicing. They are also able to change specialties without any additional mandated training or testing. For example, one can practice in the field of Cardiology one day and then change to Nephrology. Nursing is not medicine, so nurses cannot fill physician gaps. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) acknowledges this difference.