I was talking to a college student recently.  This student wants to become a physician or PA (Physician Assistant).

Said student reported to me that a nurse, in NP school, was talking with her and asked her about her career goals.

When she explained what she wanted to do, the NP student shared the following aphorisms:

‘Don’t be a doctor; the nurses do all the procedures anyway.’

‘Don’t be a PA, you won’t do any procedures like NPs do. You’ll just do paperwork.’

And of course, this perennial gem:

‘Don’t you know the old saying?  Nurses keep doctors from killing patients!’

This is tiresome.  I have known some wonderful Nurse Practitioners.  But I have also spent my career among well trained, skilled, technically excellent, compassionate physicians who don’t need any type of nurse to keep them from killing patients.  Do nurses help us? Do they remind us of potential errors? Absolutely.

Do we do the same for them?  Most assuredly.

As for the PAs I’ve known, most have been excellent and have also been deeply engaged in patient care.

And physicians, as well as PAs, do plenty of procedures.  That’s simply misinformation.

Let’s not mislead students, OK?



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