Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Medicine Activist: Tim Tebow and Primary Care Nurse Practitioners are Winners

"No one has ever played quarterback in the NFL at a high level unconventionally.  You have to stand in the pocket and throw the football at some point."...Greg Cosell of ESPN in NYT March 24, 2012 from"Passing Flaws May Negate Tebow's Physical gifts" by Mike Tanier.

"For many years, nurse practitioners have been arguing that they can do almost anything that a primary-care physician can, and that they should be allowed to practice independent of a doctor's supervision. Twenty-eight states are now considering providing that authority, and more are likely to as the primary-care shortage worsens. But it's nonsense to say that NPs are as capable as physicians or that they should be addressed as "doctor,".

NPs are good at providing routine care, especially to chronic disease patients, and we need more of them as part of care teams in medical practices. But if I have symptoms that indicate I might have a serious problem, I want to see a physician. That's not to say that a doctor might not miss my abdominal aortic aneurysm or my incipient cancer. But I'd have a better chance of being correctly diagnosed if an experienced physician responded to my symptoms." Ken Terry, blogger March 2010 CBS

So, Tim Tebow isn't a "legitimate" quarterback, but he won several exciting, close NFL games in the waning seconds, including the exciting overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers with the more than 80 yard touchdown pass in the 2011 NFL Playoffs.  A dejected Ben Rothlesburger, the Steelers "legitimate" quarterback and two-time Superbowl Champion, walked off the field defeated.   Nurse Practitioners aren't seen as "legitimate" team leaders in primary care, but they are winning the day in hundreds of clinics, offices and community health centers by caring for thousands of patients.  Why are Tebow and Primary Care Nurse Practitioners winning?

They are team players.  They share and they care.  They know their strengths and they know their weaknesses.  That just may have to suffice.

What do you think?

P.S., I've worked with several Family Nurse Practitioners and I believe they can step up and be the extra Primary Care workforce needed by America.  (They won't being playing quarterback in the NFL, though)

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