February 20, 2012
The use of Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) as a possible antidote to the shortage of primary care physicians was not mentioned in your February 19 article “Medical
profession diagnosed with shortage of doctors”.
Although physicians have been against APNs working independently, those APNs that are practicing in primary care under a physician’s supervision are doing a good job.
A call for physicians and APNs to overlook their differences and work together for the benefit of all was discussed by a professor of nursing from Yale in the February issue of Connecticut Medicine, the journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society.
Finding common ground should begin with educational programs in primary care which may give APNs some of the independence that they are looking for.
Of course this will take time and understanding on all sides. But it could work simply because there are not enough primary care doctors to do the job.
Edward J. Volpintesta MD