PPP member, Dr. Christopher Garofalo is included in an article on Medical Economics that addresses the debate on whether or not NPs have received qualified training to practice independently.
Dr. Garofalo emphasizes that NPs and PAs are important to medicine but more transparency is needed, meaning that patients need to understand the type of medical professional they are seeing. For example, Dr. Garofalo notes how there are NPs who go out of their way to get their doctorate degrees so that they are able to call themselves doctors, but do not take into account how this can confuse patients. The piece also underscores how Dr. Garofalo applauds states that reserve titles such as anesthesiologist, ophthalmologists, and cardiologists for physicians only.
Dr. Garofalo says, “there are a lot of people who think there are shortcuts to being able to practice medicine, except that the model for practicing and training for medicine has been in place since the ‘Flexner Report,’ which has its own historical issues but has really guided us well for the last 100 years or so… It established there are four years of medical school and at least three years of residency, up to seven, depending on your subspecialty. There are a lot of nurse practitioners who feel that their experience as an RN actually somewhat qualifies them as being trained appropriately, despite the fact that they learn a nursing model. But that’s not medicine.”