Blog | Tuesday, August 31, 2010

QD: News Every Day--Patients prefer doctors, deserve to know who's treating them

Patients in the emergency room would rather wait for a doctor than be treated by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, a survey found. Patients would even rather see a resident.

Researchers administered surveys to a random sample of patients in three emergency departments and another survey to emergency department residents and physician assistants. They reported results in the American Journal of Bioethics Almost 80% of patients preferred to wait for the doctor.

Even for a cold, only 57% would want a nurse practitioner and 53% a physician assistant. Patients deserve to know who is treating them, the bioethicists said, and what level of training each type of provider has. Some nonphysicians may not properly identify themselves when busy, and patients may not understand the differences even when they do. (American Journal of Bioethics, American Medical News)