I realized today that I can’t remember the last time I’ve personally been seen by a doctor.
I went to a midwife for my annual exam in January. I had a routine surgical procedure done by a nurse practitioner also in January.
Two weeks ago when I thought I had strep I saw the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office and yesterday I saw a nurse practitioner at the Walgreens Take Care clinic. (I went to the Take Care clinic because they have rapid strep tests and my doctor’s office sends the test out for several days.)
The closest I am getting to an actual doctor these days is our dentist.
I haven’t seen an ob/gyn in seven years. I’ve seen only the midwives (other than one specialist with each baby) since I was pregnant with Walsh. I love the midwives. They take time with you. They listen. They are very reassuring. (One friend recently said she would stay pregnant all the time if she could hang out with midwife at our practice.)
The nurse practitioner who did my procedure was excellent — very on the ball and lots of experience. She answered all my questions and even took the time to call and check on me two days later.
The nurse practitioner I saw yesterday was very thorough. She did a history, a full exam, and did the strep test. Since nurse practitioners can write prescriptions, she then electronically forwarded it to the pharmacy to have it filled and I was in and out in 45 minutes. (That rocked!)
I know that in small towns or out of the way places nurse practitioners are used a lot but they definitely seem to be more common place here now.
I asked the nurse practitioner her thoughts on it yesterday and she said people are definitely realizing there are some things they don’t need to see a doctor for and there are many things the nurse practitioners can handle less expensively and efficiently.
I think everyone would agree sometimes you just have to see a doctor: something you have no clue what you have, something very serious or life threatening, and maybe even for children, especially babies. I do like seeing my pediatrician. I have confidence when I leave that my children have been diagnosed correctly.
But I am wondering what your comfort level is with nurse practitioners, midwives and other medical professionals other than doctors?
Are you noticing that you are seeing nurse practitioners more often – maybe even at your doctor’s office? Do you trust them? What level of care do you trust them with – strep throat, gall stones? Do you think this is the future of medical care, where patients only see doctors if the nurse practitioners can’t figure it out or think it’s too serious for them to handle? Would you trust them with your children? What about babies?