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Study: Nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs) provide equal care to MDs

May 4, 2017            

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Does the caregiver actually need to have an “M.D.” after her name to be just as good as a doctor? 

No, a new study all but says.

George Washington University researchers recently reviewed five years of data on community health centers, a rapidly growing venue for primary care nationwide.

The study found that that in seven of nine quality-of-care measures, primary medical care provided by NPs or PAs employed at said community health centers was equal to that provided by standard physicians, or MDs.  Researchers found no statistically significant difference in those between NP or PA care compared to MD care.

The study, published recently in Medical Care, also found that patients seen by NPs were actually likelier to be counseled on quitting smoking, and get more health education and counseling, than those seen by MDs.