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With the right working relationship, advanced practice providers can be a boon to practices and patients.

Fam Pract Manag. 2024;31(3):5

It always amazes me how much we do in medicine that we often have very little training for — i.e., the “see one, do one, teach one” mentality. Even with simulation labs and artificial intelligence, we are still, to a degree, doing things to our patients with relatively little experience and oversight. To those not in health care that might sound scary, but those of us who've gone through it understand.

I felt this way when I first graduated from residency many years ago and joined a practice where I was expected to supervise two physician assistants (PAs). I had never worked with advanced practice providers (APPs) before, and it was intimidating. The nature of residency is that there's always some degree of built-in supervision: The intern supervises the medical student, the resident supervises the intern, and so forth. However, there are quite a few other supervisors in the chain of command, so I never felt the same sense of personal responsibility.

Then there I was, not even 30 years old and suddenly legally responsible for the medical decision making of someone I just met. Thankfully, the APPs I worked with were seasoned and conservative. They had no problem coming to me with concerns, they discussed cases with me, and they expected feedback. Fast-forward 20-plus years and I'm still working with APPs and find it very enriching.

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