(From my book):
Many years ago, I read the book Are You My Mother? to my children. Recently, I read the same book to my grandson. The simple line drawings inspired me to write this book to share an important message.
Most people are unaware of the changes happening in medicine in America these days. The numbers and types of non-physician medical providers have increased signiﬁcantly since I graduated medical school many years ago. People need to know that the doctors taking care of them in hospitals and clinics may not be physicians and do not have the same education and training as physicians.
In almost half of the states in the US, laws have been passed to allow nurse practitioners to practice medicine without physician supervision. Nurse practitioners who pass their licensing exams can claim they are board certiﬁed, but board certiﬁcation means something completely different for physicians - completion of three or more years of residency and fellowship and passing a rigorous board certiﬁcation examination, which must be retaken every ten years. Nurse practitioners can easily change their medical specialty, whereas physicians would need to complete an additional three or more years of full time residency or fellowship training and pass another board examination.
Despite the protests of nurse practitioners and physician assistants about being called mid-level providers and physician extenders, those titles clearly explain the original intent of these clinician positions. They were never meant to practice medicine independently like a physician, whose extensive education and training makes them uniquely qualiﬁed to diagnose and prescribe medical treatment.
Please know that I love nurses. Over the years, nurses have been my partners in caring for thousands of patients and I deeply respect their dedication to helping people. With the explosion of nurse practitioner degree program in recent years, including 100% online and part-time programs, many amazing nurses have left their jobs to become nurse practitioners. The nursing shortage in the US is becoming critical and many hospitals cannot ﬁnd nurses to cover their needs.
Please do not send me messages saying that you can’t verify my medical license online and therefore won’t believe anything I say in this book. Izzy Sensible is not my legal name. Recently, physicians who have spoken about their concerns regarding the practice of medicine by non-physicians have been attacked on social media, in the press, and some have even lost their jobs. Even though I have recently retired from the practice of medicine, I have decided to use a pen name.
Izzy Sensible, MD October 2018