Why do NPs call associate MD their "Boss"

  1. 0
    Hello all,

    Just curious to all you NPs out there - why do you call your MD colleague your "boss"? I understand in most instances, you are an employee of a medical practice owned by this MD, but wouldn't colleague or something similar be a better term?

    I come from a medical family - I have MDs in my family who work in clinics "owned" by another MD. They call this MD their colleague, their chief, etc. I have never one heard anyone call their practice manager/owner their "boss."

    It's another minor belittling term that helps MDs keep their power over NPs. No one is your "boss" whether they own the practice or not.

    I'll step off my soap box now.

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 1
    My collaborating MD owns the practice. I call him my colleague even though he is (simply) my boss. If clarification is necessary I call him my "collaborating MD". The other MDs at the practice or in our provider group I call colleagues. The PA at our office call him boss, but they have a different dynamic, despite the fact we both practice the same and are both largely independent.

    I hope it's not an NP that refers to his/her doc as "boss" to shirk responsibility. I hate that. I have an NP in our group that "feels uncomfortable" refusing to write scripts when people push for them and instead refers to his "boss". I end up stuck with seeing these patients back in sick call and breaking the news to them that I do not write scripts for 360 oxycodones for back aches.
    NPAlby likes this.
  4. 0
    I've never called any physician I worked with "boss". In the hospital setting, there's a division chief, an attending, and at times, a practice manager none of whom is really a boss in its strict sense. There is a lead NP in our case but even that person doesn't get addressed as "boss".

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  5. 6
    You gotta choose your battles. This is just semantics in my book.

    By the way, once you are a practicing APN I think you will see what I mean.
  6. 2
    I interviewed for a job in a nurse-led clinic... if I had taken that one an RN would have been my boss.

    I don't see what's the big deal. As long as there's cooperation and mutual respect.

    Actually in healthcare the real boss is the insurance company... they dictate more decision making than anyone else in the practice.
    NPAlby and applewhitern like this.
  7. 1
    I don't. Our "boss" is the practice manager, hired by the umbrella corporation we all work inside. I believe she has an associates degree in communications, lol. But make no mistake, she is the boss and we all (MD and NP alike) toe her line. The providers in the clinic refer to each other as colleagues.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  8. 0
    I work in a private practice owned by an MD. He hired me, he sets my pay, he signs my paycheck, he decides whether I stay or go. I call him my boss because he is my boss. I call the other providers (MD, PA) colleagues. They also call the owner "boss". It's not a big deal.
  9. 0
    I don't use the term "boss" often, but I do let patients know that I appreciate and respect our physicians, even though we practice autonomously most of the time. Everyone in our group has a little bit different specialty, so I will often say to a patient, "In this case I am going to run this by Dr. N. I am sure we will agree, but I would like his opinion." Most patients will respond "oh, you know I trust you, but I would appreciate that". I think it shows the patient that we are a group, but that I am willing to consider the opinion of one of the physicians to give them the best care.
  10. 0
    I guess I just have issue with calling someone a "boss" any time. I don't consider someone who pays your salary or hired you the "boss" of you, as anyone can just leave their workplace. Boss, to me, would be a slave-master relationship.

    But it's just semantics I suppose.
  11. 0
    I call the Chief of Medicine (a DO) my boss, because he is my boss. NP/PAs at our hospital are all under the chief of medicine, not the DON. Do other people do this differently?

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