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Nurse Practitioner vs. Medical Doctor

The nurse shortage and the doctor shortage have caused an evolution in the medical profession. Many states now permit nurse practitioners to function independently of physicians. They are permitted to practice on their own.

The nurse shortage and the doctor shortage have caused an evolution in the medical profession.

Nurse Practitioner vs. Medical Doctor

The decline in primary care MD’s has caused the increase in nurse practitioners in underserved areas. Today’s medical students are opting to specialize at a greater rate. There are higher profits in specialties such as dermatology, oncology and other specialties than in the traditional fields such as family practice or pediatrics. With this shortage of primary care physicians, nurses have taken the reigns and become the primary care givers in many areas.

Nurse practitioners are permitted to prescribe medications, order tests and perform other tasks that have been designated to physicians in the past. They are also expected to consult with a health care provider if the patient’s condition is beyond their personal expertise. Many have private practices in rural communities.

Nurse practitioners have at least a Masters degree. It is projected that in time, they will be required to hold a doctorate before being accepted into a nurse practitioner program. They have also followed the path of many physicians and have chosen to specialize in a specific area of medicine. Some are practicing women’s health, psychology, pediatrics or other areas of the field.

Nurse practitioners receive lower fees than medical doctors. Insurance companies will reimburse between sixty and eighty-five percent of the doctors fee for exactly the same care. Rarely will they receive one hundred percent reimbursement.

This however, does not stop the trend to further education and receive the degree of NP. They serve their purpose in many different areas. Patients often prefer the NP because they are not as rushed as doctors and have the time to give the attention that used to be given in the general practitioners office.

With the medical field specializing in many shortages, it should be obvious that the NP is serving a need that doctors may not be able to fulfill in their areas.

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