Why is the US healthcare system so full of "mini-doctors"?

  1. 0
    Hello. My name's Luis Angel, and I'm a clinical laboratory technician student here in Mexico.

    My question is: why is the US healthcare system full of "mini-doctors"? like nurse practitioners, physician assistants, I could even include EMT-Paramedics, and such. In Mexico, this is a foreign concept.

    As I said before, I'm a CLT student. Although we have reviewed what an arterial puncture is, we have been warned that that procedure is done usually by doctors. And although we review signs and symptoms of the diseases, the teacher has told us that they have removed treatment from the syllabus, because some started to treat people. We review signs and symptoms because the teachers keep in mind that most of us (not me) want to enter to medical school.

    And I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but, to me, the "mini-doctors" model looks like laziness, doing more studying less. But I'm unfamiliar with the system so I don't know.

    Your answers are appreciated
    Greetings.

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  2. 31 Comments...

  3. 14
    Nurse Practitioners and Physician's Assistants are not "mini doctors," (and by 'doctor' I presume you refer to physician) but Professionals in their own right. There is a lot of information about both available with a simple google. Paramedics are para-professionals with an extremely important niche role that no one else in health care is prepared to fill. In the United States arterial puncture is performed by RNs and Respiratory Therapists. In my career spanning more than 20 years now, I don't recall ever seeing a physician perform an arterial puncture; that task would be considered beneath their skill set for the most part. It sounds as though the scopes of practice in Mexico and the US are widely different. It is unfortunate that Mexico doesn't have Nurse Practitioners and Physician's Assistants.
    MBARNBSN, Marshall1, prnqday, and 11 others like this.
  4. 11
    I think calling them 'mini-doctors' could be pretty offensive to some... Nurse practitioners, physician assitants and paramedics are all educated professionals. A doctor would probably be pretty lost if ever thrown on the back of a bus, they just aren't trained to work in the field like medics are. These proffesionals spends years and tons of hard work preparing for their career, and deserve the respect they have earned.

    Maybe you should do a little more research before assuming NPs and PAs are just lazy.
    Marshall1, prnqday, Fiona59, and 8 others like this.
  5. 0
    @BlueDevil,DNP: In Europe, the role that paramedics fill in America is filled by physicians. Some of them have to take extra courses before entering to the emergency service, but they are far more prepared than a paramedic.

    @aachavez: I understand that all of them are prepared for their work. But, to me, some of those roles are disputable. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as far as I know, usually do what a doctor do. And I'm not sure about paramedics, but it is disputable if ALS is needed on the field.

    Don't get me wrong. I probably messed it up when I said that it just seems like laziness, but it looks like the US is focused in create healthcare professionals at a fast rate, even if they're not doctors. Of course, I think that some people may find the duration of the education (that is minor than the duration of med school) attractive...

    Greetings.
  6. 14
    I'm gonna go ahead and call trolling here. Why don't you go to medical school if you're so impressed with the role of an MD over anything else?
    MBARNBSN, twigszoo, Marshall1, and 11 others like this.
  7. 12
    Well, it sounds as though you must be very pleased not to live in the United States. We have quite a few people here, so I guess we won't miss one more.

    For the life of me, I can't imagine what good it would do to have a physician on an ambulance, sounds like a complete waste of resources to me, but if there are plenty of physicians to spare, I suppose one may as well. I also suspect that the caliber of training of our paramedics exceeds some other places :shrug:
    MBARNBSN, Marshall1, prnqday, and 9 others like this.
  8. 2
    Your use of the word laziness in regards to healthcare providers other than doctors pretty much discredits your inquiry.

    It may be a language translation issue but it comes across disrespectful.
    Marshall1 and blondy2061h like this.
  9. 10
    ALS is not needed in the field? That is a scary thought
    Marshall1, poppycat, aachavez, and 7 others like this.
  10. 5
    Quote from Ruas61
    Your use of the word laziness in regards to healthcare providers other than doctors pretty much discredits your inquiry.

    It may be a language translation issue but it comes across disrespectful.
    And he might have some credit to him if he were an MD, but a student lab tech? I guess I don't get how he feels entitled to insult people here with far more education than him.
    Marshall1, poppycat, Fiona59, and 2 others like this.
  11. 7
    Quote from Lvdovicvs.Angelvs
    @BlueDevil,DNP: In Europe, the role that paramedics fill in America is filled by physicians. Some of them have to take extra courses before entering to the emergency service, but they are far more prepared than a paramedic.
    Ambulances in Europe are not staffed by physicians. They are staffed with paramedics with very similar training (BS degree vs AS degree) as US paramedics. They do have Paramedic Practitioners, similar to a nurse practitioner in which they can provide care to people without transporting them to a hospital.

    Quote from Lvdovicvs.Angelvs
    but it is disputable if ALS is needed on the field.
    Are you serious??? You think if someone is having a heart attack that the best way to treat them is to put them in the back of an ambulance and drive them to a hospital without providing any ALS care? Even in an urban environment that takes 10-15 minutes to get to a hospital, those 10 minutes could mean the difference between life and death.
    Last edit by Don1984, RN on Jul 4, '13
    Marshall1, poppycat, Fiona59, and 4 others like this.


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