The nation’s primary care shortage is expected to worsen as more American’s acquire health insurance and become eligible for Medicare. But a report released today by the American Association of Family Practitioners (AAFP), “Primary Care for the 21st Century,” cautions against substituting nurse practitioners for doctors to alleviate this shortage.
“Wholesale substitution of non-physician health care providers for physicians is not the solution, especially at a time when primary care practices are being called upon to take on more complex care,” said Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, chair of the AAFP Board of Directors and Texas Medical Association (TMA) member. Nurse practitioners do not have the same education or clinical experience as a physician, he says. “Their levels of knowledge and skills are complementary, but they are not equivalent.”
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