Because doctors make a lot more money when they go into specialties, such as proctology, urology or even plastic surgery, there are fewer and fewer general practitioners, which means more wait times, and less attention when you do finally get in to see the doctor. And the net result of most visits is a prescription for a certain medication to try, or a referral to see a specialist.
This is why you should consider switching to a nurse practitioner; which is a nurse that has completed the required coursework that allows him or her to prescribe medications and/or referrals. Because general practitioner doctors are overwhelmed and underpaid, it’s become much easier to get in to see a nurse practitioner, and the care you receive will be at or better than you are likely to get with a doctor, because the NP doesn’t have such a crowed schedule.
A lot of people worry that their insurance won’t cover care by an NP, but they shouldn’t. NPs are licensed in most states to work with a doctor, not alone. Thus, when the paperwork is submitted it is submitted as from Dr. So and So’s office, not as from the doctor him or herself or the NP.
It’s also important to note that licensed NP’s are licensed by the same governing boards that license doctors and the schools they attend are accredited in the same way as well. Thus, they are certified to do the things they do by certified professionals in their field, just as doctor’s are, which means that the medical field believes that they are qualified to do the work they do, so long as there is a physician in attendance at the facility that the NP can turn to whenever in doubt, or when something comes up that is beyond their training or skill level.
In short, nurse practitioners serve as the first line of defense at a doctor’s office. They can sew people up if they need it, take samples when there are problems and have them sent to the lab for tests, write prescriptions, referrals and diagnose minor problems such as flu. They can also serve as the main person in charge of ongoing situations such as those that suffer from chronic diseases such as heart, lung or high blood pressure. They do their job well and thus far, there doesn’t seem to be any problems or legal issues regarding their practice of medicine.
Thus, nurse practitioners are able to provide a more intimate level of care in a more timely fashion. And, if you don’t have insurance, they are generally much cheaper to visit as well.