Can a Nurse Practitioner Replace a Physician?


Jul 22, 2016

A medical professional giving a patient an injection

Photo by Catherine Yeulet/iStock

This commentary originally appeared on Slate on July 22, 2016.

If you or your child were sick and were assigned to see a nurse practitioner instead of a physician, would you hesitate?

As a medical student in Cleveland, John was diagnosed with skin lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. He was terrified partly thanks to the word “cancer” but mainly by the uncertainty of his prognosis....

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John N. Mafi, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor of medicine at UCLA and a natural scientist at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

Bruce E. Landon, MD, MBA, MSc, is a professor of health policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School.