Medicine has changed significantly in many ways in my 32 years in practice. One of the primary changes has been the advances of mid level practitioners throughout all fields of care. When I went to medical school at Ohio State, only we medical students were learning the appropriate way to do the proper physical exam, rectal exam included (there is a best way believe it or not!) Only doctors ordered your tests and prescribed your meds for you, we were special in that way…think Marcus Welby for my age group.
Today, however, with the advanced training available for nurses, which can result in full NP certification, as well as the full utilization of the capabilities and training of our Physicians Assistants, there are many who can be there to lead you through the health care system. As a career ER physician, I was proud to lead a great team which included fantastic PA’s and NP’s. No busy ER can function in today’s world without them. I applaud this advance in care, as in general they do a fantastic job, and can fill most roles within primary care! The well trained and caring NP or PA can be a fantastic augmentation to any health care team, and they can and do provide fantastic healthcare. However, there are still differences.
The physician continues to lead the way in didactic education, internship and residency training. Most physicians, as well, are Board Certified in a medical specialty, mine of course is Emergency Medicine; and we need to undergo re-certification every 10 years to maintain our certification! When you see a Board Certified doctor, there is a level of expertise that should not be ignored.
Training is one aspect, experience is just as important. Acute care, ER of course, is a head-to-toe, all body system practice. I like to call it the specialty of time. My training and experience will allow me to not only treat what needs to be treated, but further, to best discuss the timing of your problem!! If you have a 5 second issue (you are choking, your partner has passed out), c’mon man…you know better than that. However, the 5 minute (my left face numbness and slurred speech just started, I have chest pain, etc), to the 5 hour, 5 day, 5 week circumstances can be more subtle.
What I bring to the table for my patients that others don’t, is my combination of dedicated ER/urgent care training, along with 32 years of caring for and teaching patients the what to do’s, and when to do’s when you are sick or hurt! This is crucial in today’s medical world, as the technology can sometimes be confusing, and answers not always clear. The role of teaching becomes crucial, and as a lifelong communicator, I take pride in my ability to breakdown the issues of treatment and timing tailored to the education levels of my patients! I am thrilled to have found a new and innovative way of doing this: “SEE ME” thru my eVisit site and experience the difference!! I am here for you when you need me…