More Discussion on PAs and the Physician Shortage
And so the health care reform debate continues... A recent article at Examiner.com champions PAs and NPs as a possible solution to the physician shortage. "Primary physician shortage spurs search for alternatives," by DC public policy examiner Alan Portner, identifies PAs and NPs as the product of "shorter, more intensive, educational subspecialties."
Into this void created by shortages and increasing population may fit relatively new categories of providers with expanded training, but not quite to the level of an M.D. or D.O. These new primary clinical providers are the Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner. Both the P.A. and N.P. are educated to the Master's degree level or higher. Their presence may ease the load on remaining primary doctors.
Next time, Portner will answer this question (and the answer should be interesting): What kinds of work can PAs and NPs lift from the shoulders of overburdened doctors? How will your health care access be affected?