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Fam Pract Manag. 1999;6(2):17

To the Editor:

The presence of a nurse practitioner in our practice has improved our ability to provide care to all our patients, especially those most in need, in a cost-effective manner.

However, I think it would be unfortunate if any population, especially our most needy, had to have their care primarily supervised by nurses. The scope of training between nurse practitioners and family physicians is widely disparate. While experienced nurse practitioners may be better able to approach the clinical and diagnostic expertise of physicians, even they should not be ultimately responsible for the care provided to patients.

We must oppose independent clinical practice and prescribing for nurse practitioners. Physicians must remain united behind the idea that if someone wants to undertake the practice of medicine independently, he or she must be expected to graduate from medical school.

Editor's note: This letter is a response to “Nurse Practitioners: Growing Competition for Family Physicians?” in our October 1998 issue.


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