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  1. #1
    RAMAIR57 is offline Member
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    Honestly, what is the difference between a NP and an MD??

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    After working with both of them, I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference from their day to day jobs. Am I a sucker for devoting 4 years of my life to med school and god knows how many more for residency?? Seriously, does anyone know the real concrete differences?

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    digitalising is offline Moderator 6117 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMAIR57 View Post
    Am I a sucker for devoting 4 years of my life to med school and god knows how many more for residency?
    Yes. Yes you are.
    SGU Forum Moderator - "I wouldn't do that if I were you."

    "I got a letter last year asking me if I would donate my brain to a medical school in Grenada. I'll tell you, there are days where I think, yeah, why not just get it over with." ~ Sam Seaborn, The West Wing

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    basupran is offline Member
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    A NP gets more respect, gets more $/hr worked, gets called Dr, and has a better life overall. Hmmmmm....
    Washington Times - STANGLER: Doctor nurse will see you now

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    FloridaDoc is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMAIR57 View Post
    After working with both of them, I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference from their day to day jobs. Am I a sucker for devoting 4 years of my life to med school and god knows how many more for residency?? Seriously, does anyone know the real concrete differences?
    Nurse practitioners are employed as replacements for many functions of primary care physicians. The reasons behind this are numerous though most prominent would be the fact that nurse practitioners are more cost-effective and deliver comparable quality of care. They can even prescribe drugs in many states.

    Physicians still fill the primary care role but they are mostly needed in specialty cases. Since medical students are actively avoiding primary care, I would not be surprised to see nurse practitioners taking a more active role and acting in part as the gatekeeper to specialty care.
    SGU c/o 2011

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    aust0042 is offline Member 510 points
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    I have also seen NPs working in specialty areas, including many in cardiology, both inpatient and outpatient.

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    Microscp is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMAIR57 View Post
    After working with both of them, I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference from their day to day jobs. Am I a sucker for devoting 4 years of my life to med school and god knows how many more for residency?? Seriously, does anyone know the real concrete differences?
    I just had a big fight with my husband last week because he wanted to hire a nurse practitioner (mental health) and was offering him 100,000 which made me so upset, I am a third year medical student , I have been hearing the 3rd year residents in family practice about how much they are being hired(150,000) and comes this nurses demanding this high salaries which a lot of doctors that are desesperate since are so busy, are willing to pay, but are damaging us, the new doctors .

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    bigtymer is offline Newbie 510 points
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    First, if you work with an NP ask them what the differences are. A much better resource than an internet forum filled with medical students, no?
    Second, you may be a sucker for spending 4 years in medical school but an NP has a lot of education too. They have to be RNs, which means a BSN. Then get a master's and some sort of post grad training. While none of that is medical school and its hardships, I am sure your colleague will attest, it is difficult.

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    FloridaDoc is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Microscp View Post
    I just had a big fight with my husband last week because he wanted to hire a nurse practitioner (mental health) and was offering him 100,000 which made me so upset, I am a third year medical student , I have been hearing the 3rd year residents in family practice about how much they are being hired(150,000) and comes this nurses demanding this high salaries which a lot of doctors that are desesperate since are so busy, are willing to pay, but are damaging us, the new doctors .
    Incoherency aside, welcome to the free market. Nurse practitioners are highly qualified and can thus command a high salary. When you also consider that nurse practitioners deliver more cost effective care, it makes perfect sense for your husband to want to hire a NP.
    SGU c/o 2011

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    FloridaDoc's Avatar
    FloridaDoc is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by aust0042 View Post
    I have also seen NPs working in specialty areas, including many in cardiology, both inpatient and outpatient.
    True but a lot of health economists are seeing a role for NPs as physician extenders and in some cases replacements due to cost:benefit ratios. Why pay a doctor $150,000 when a NP can do just as good a job for 2/3 of what the doctor costs?
    Last edited by FloridaDoc; 02-07-2009 at 09:57 AM.
    SGU c/o 2011

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    aust0042 is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMAIR57 View Post
    After working with both of them, I am having a hard time distinguishing the difference from their day to day jobs. Am I a sucker for devoting 4 years of my life to med school and god knows how many more for residency?? Seriously, does anyone know the real concrete differences?
    Differences vary from state to state. In some places a NP is required to have a collaborative practice agreement with a physician (some states won't allow a DO to do this, only a MD - not sure why) while in other states a NP/APN (advanced practice nurse) can hang their own shingle.
    As far as the day-to-day is concerned, in a group practice setting the physician is more likely to see consults while the NP will see follow-ups, although NPs can perform inpatient and outpatient consults. I think the NP might bill at 85% of the MD rate. In the acute care realm the NP does lots of admissions, especially for frequently flier patients and also many pre-op or pre-procedure work-ups. Hospital discharge is typically done by the NP. Every system is a little different, but I would say that PAs have similar job descriptions although I think they are a more dependent practitioner.

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