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MDs/DOs work as PAs?

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by nev, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. nev

    nev Senior Member
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    Hi ...I guess this is a stupid question but what the heck...I'll ask anyway. Can an MD/DO decide to work as a PA? They almost have the same qualifications, right?

    Thanks
    Nev
     
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  3. OSUdoc08

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    Why? Would an MD work as an RN? No.

    It doesn't matter if an MD knows when at RN can do. They aren't licensed as an RN, and it wouldn't make any sense to do it anyway.
     
  4. DropkickMurphy

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    Yes, it's called "family practice" or "primary care". It's when a medical doctor does the work that could just as well be handled by an allied health provider such as a PA or FNP. :laugh:
     
  5. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    the answer is no. all states require that to practice as a pa you graduate from an approved pa program and pass the national pa boards. a pa who became an md could work as a pa but they would be held to the standard of their md training
     
  6. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I ve heard stories of foreign doctors who couldnt pass exams or couldnt pass exams right away working as PAs for some time.
     
  7. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    there used to be a loophole in the state of florida laws that allowed this but it no longer exists.no other state has ever allowed this to the best of my knowledge.
     
  8. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    And BTW, they couldn't do it. Anyone who has ever worked in a hospital can tell you that if you replaced all the nurses with doctors, half the patients would be dead within the week.
     
  9. LooKing4Ward

    LooKing4Ward Member
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    You're thread title had me wondering, what if it could be possible, say if there was a bubble burst in the doctor field.
     
  10. emedpa

    emedpa GlobalDoc
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    see my post #4....must be a grad of a pa program and pass natl boards. could most docs do it(pass boards)? yes
    will it ever happen? no
    just like medics will never be able to challenge the rn boards. many/most of them would pass but it's just not done.....
     
  11. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    WHy is that?
     
  12. DropkickMurphy

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    Because most doctors have far less of a clue as to what is really going on than most decent nurses. But you should also keep in mind that it was probably meant as a tongue in cheek comment.
     
  13. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I really highly doubt that.
     
  14. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    Which part?

    Half the patients are not going to die; most of them are not mortally ill to begin with. But all the critical elements to making a hospital run -- managing flow, staffing, starting IVs, wound management, obtaining and pushing meds, dealing with monitors, pumps, and other equipment, and handling patients -- are done by CNAs and RNs. It is the exceptional doctor who has a clue how to deal with these issues.

    If I had to chose, I'd far rather run a hospital without doctors, rather than one without nurses.
     
  15. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I think most doctors could start an IV and manage wounds. It is the doctor who gives the order and decides the course of treatment. Nurses follow orders.
     
  16. OSUdoc08

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    It has nothing to do with skills.

    Put a bunch of supervisors alone in a factory, and nothing will be manufactured.
     
  17. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    Of course nurses are important, but to say that nurses know more about medicine than a Medical Doctorate is dumb. Most doctors wouldnt be happy doing some of the work that nurses do, but to say that they would be clueless on how to start IVs and read monitors is also dumb.
     
  18. OSUdoc08

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    Think about what the word "nurse" means. It is alot more than starting IV's and reading monitors.

    Have some respect for those that help you do your job.
     
  19. DropkickMurphy

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    You've obviously never spent a large amount of time on the wards. Most of the time the docs (at least the ones I would want treating me) look at the nurses and go "What's up with Mr. -----? What do you think we should do?". Either that or the nurses (or RT's ;) ) call the doc, tell them what's up, what they want to do and the doc goes "OK, write the order and I'll sign it later."
     
  20. DropkickMurphy

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    Experience with some education trumps education alone any day of the week. So I guess you're going into medicine at least partly for the "prestige"? :smuggrin:
     
  21. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    Who says doctors dont have experience. Of course a new med student or resident will probably know less than an experienced nurse. But most fully trained docs will have a lot of experience and a lot of education also.
     
  22. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I am just responding to this statement

    "And BTW, they couldn't do it. Anyone who has ever worked in a hospital can tell you that if you replaced all the nurses with doctors, half the patients would be dead within the week."

    Just bc you administer the treatment doesnt mean that you would know what treatment to give at what times. It is easy to take orders, but to be a leader takes more skill and experience.

    The nurses vs doctors debate is a useless debate bc they both need eachother.
     
  23. MacGyver

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    Uhh all that stuff is EASY to do..... you do know that you can get an LPN straight out of high school right?

    Doctors could handle that stuff fine, its just they prefer not to deal with the more trivial issues.
     
  24. OSUdoc08

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    Why not just fire the janitors at the hospital, since it is easy to clean up blood? Doctors can do it, right?
     
  25. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Health care is a team effort now, I think everyone plays a part.

    However, I would have to disagree with the poster who said they'd rather have a hospital filled with nurses rather than with doctors. I think a hospital w/o nurses would be very poorly run, but a hospital without doctors would mean many patients would have diseases go undiagnosed and many procedures would go unperformed. I think it would be easier to retrain physicians to do nurses' jobs than the other way around simply because the training of a physician takes longer than the training of a nurse. It's just simple math (3-4 yrs for RN, 6 yrs for NP vs. 11+ yrs for physician).

    That said, when my grandfather got sick in China and had to go to the hospital, family members had to do much of what the nurses do, such as looking after the patients, feeding them, keeping watch, it was a nightmare.

    So I don't think what the nurses do are necessarily 'easier' in the sense that it takes less effort, but I think it would take few years of training than what physicians (typically) do.

    To the OP, I'm not sure why a physician would want to work as a PA unless the PA position pays more, otherwise, from what I understand, a physician requires less oversight than a PA (PA in many places still needs physician signatures). Personally, I'd go with whatever degree I was trained in. Also, there may be licensing issues. So it seems an extra hassle if you are already a physician to go through a separate licensing issue to perform something that your degree already allows you to do.

    Anyway, why do you ask this question?
     
  26. QuikClot

    QuikClot Senior Member
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    Precisely.

    Let my just say I had no idea that saying that a doctor can't do a nurse's job would be so controversial. It doesn't take anything away from either one to say that they are not interchangable. A systems engineer may be more educated and higher-paid than a dentist, but that doesn't mean he can clean my teeth.

    I'm not going to get into to arguing with a bunch of other pre-meds about how things work in hospitals, and what doctors do, and what nurses do. God willing, we'll all have ample opportunity to learn the inside of a hospital better. I would just encourage everyone to keep an open mind, and cast a skeptical eye on the idea that doctors are an intellectual, vocational, or managerial elite. It's really not that simple.
     
  27. Gut Shot

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    Depends on where you are. If you're in, say, an ICU at a wealthy private hospital surrounded by nurses who have been on the job for 5+ years, then your MD is going to mean squat. Until you're a seasoned attending they will run circles around you, because they have about 70,000 times more ICU experience than you do. The same will be true for most of the other wards in such a hospital, since they can afford to hire and retain the cream of the nursing crop.

    That said, there was a certain floor in a certain wing of the hospital where I trained where the nurses could barely dress themselves, much less function without supervision. "There's your nurse call button, Mr. Smith, but if you really get into trouble you may just want to start shouting 'Code Blue!' on your own..."
     
  28. schutzhund

    schutzhund Member
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    This has to be one of the dumbest posts ever on SDN.

    For the record, I am an RN that's now finishing medical school. Even the most seasoned nurse cannot really manage a patient like a physician. The very notion is laughable. Nurses may know a lot about their area but most of it is a cursory understanding that comes with seeing it a thousand times.

    Nurses are great at what they do and a hospital cannot survive without them. Physicians are also great at their role but neither can substitute for each other. You are really foolish (and insulting) to think that a physician's 7-12 years of education can be matched by a nurses training or experience. I don’t care what you’ve “seen” in the hospital, been there, done that, the difference is like night and day.
     
  29. theresa83

    theresa83 Member
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    I agree that health care is a TEAM EFFORT.

    It is ridiculous that we are even trying to compare doctors versus nurses. I think that they each have their own specialty, their own skills that they are trained to do. We can't possible say who is better, it's not fair. WIthout nurses, hospitals would fall apart. Without doctors, hospitals would fall apart. It's a team effort!
     

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