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The Insulting Term “Physician Extender”

“Physician Extender.” It sounds like the name of a male enhancement product. It’s a term often used to describe a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant. I hate it. It’s insulting.

A nurse practitioner is not an adjunct physician. They do not supplement the care of a physician. They provide essential advance-practice nursing services, services that include diagnosis and provision of medical care.

While some of these services overlap those of medicine, nurse practitioners are not extensions of another profession, they provide care in their own right — as educated, licensed practitioners. Sometimes the only care provider for a community is a nurse practitioner. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

Non-Endorsement Of The National Nurse Act: A Letter To The ANA

Office of the National NurseTo the American Nurses Association,

I am a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and a dedicated supporter of HR 4601 The National Nurse Act. For the life of me, I cannot understand ANA’s reluctance to endorse the National Nurse Act. The infrastructure already exists, in fact the position already exists. The Act seeks to have the Chief Nursing Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service designated as the National Nurse.

There is nothing political about this –- the nominating procedure for the position does not change. It is not a presidential appointment, nor is it a Cabinet position. And it costs nothing to implement -– it’s already funded. It takes no resources away from other nursing initiatives and competes with no other nursing organization. But more importantly, it gives the public a visible nurse leader as our healthcare delivery system transitions to one that focuses on health and the prevention of disease.

And yet, the ANA doesn’t endorse the Chief Nurse Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service being known as the National Nurse. Why? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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