PPP member, Dr. Christopher Garofalo, provides in-depth expertise in a story on PhysiciansPractice.com discussing how quality of care can differ between NPs, PAs, and physicians. At the forefront of the piece, Dr. Garofalo says: “there are a lot of nurse practitioners who feel that their experience as a registered nurse qualifies them as being trained appropriately, despite the fact that they learn a nursing model and don’t learn medicine… In fact, there are some schools of nurse practitioners that allow them to get credit for having been a nurse on the floor for X number of years. So what they think is appropriate training, at least according to the criteria we have set out for medicine, is not.”
The article features Dr. Garofalo’s insight that literature advocating for independent NP-led care can be deceiving. For example, Dr. Garofalo notes that “most, if not all, of those studies are either process measures or patient satisfaction; they are not outcome studies. And one more thing to note about all those nurse practitioner studies: They have all been done while nurse practitioners have been supervised, not unsupervised. So you cannot make the leap that says, ‘We provide better care when we’re supervised, therefore, we provide better care when we are not supervised.’”
Other topics discussed include the inaccurate assumption that unsupervised NP-led care is cost effective, how this debate isn’t a fight over patients but a disagreement over who should be directing primary care for them, the broad definition of quality care, how the phrase “practice at the top of our license” is skewed, and much more.