An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (LA only)

Physician Opposing House Bill 495

770 so far! Let’s get to 1,000 signers!

As a Physician who has dedicated many years to be able to practice medicine, I am writing to oppose House Bill 495 (“HB495”), which would allow full practice authority for advanced practice registered nurses.  At a minimum, Physicians across the country have dedicated seven years of their lives to become a medical doctor. Despite earning a doctorate of medicine and successfully passing the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (Step 1, 2 and 3), medical doctors must complete an additional (minimum) three years of post-graduate medical training also known as residency. By the end of residency, we accumulate over 14,000 hours of supervised clinical training. That is the type of dedication it takes to become a Physician. On the contrary, Nurse Practitioners (“NP”) and Physician Assistants (“PA”)  complete and earn a two year Master's degree. Some of these Master's programs may now be completed solely online and, for NP programs, many do not require a nursing background as a prerequisite which was once the standard. Upon graduation, NPs have only 500 hours of clinical training compared to the 4000 hours that a new medical school graduate has. Despite all this training, these new Physicians are unable to practice medicine in any capacity. Yet, HB-494 would allow mid-level providers with far less training to practice independently without the supervision of a licensed Physician.  Allowing independent practice of mid-level providers is reckless; it would compromise patient's safety and result in less qualified practitioners for the people of Louisiana. Mid-levels have a place in medicine, however, for the safety of our patients, they must have Physician supervision. We must not replace or abandon Physician-led patient care for less qualified practitioners. The people of Louisiana deserve better. Understanding the physician shortage, I would like to bring your attention to Arizona's recent legislation. Senate Bill 1271 (“SB1271”) would grant medical doctors (“MD or DO”) who do not match into a residency position the ability to practice under direct supervision of a licensed Physician. Implementing a bill similar to SB1271 would expand healthcare access to the people of Louisiana and address the doctor shortage without compromising the level of care patients would receive. While the ultimate goal may be to improve patient's access to healthcare care, particularly in rural communities, expanding the scope of practice for mid-level practitioners should not be the way forward.  As a physician who has dedicated so much of my life to the betterment of my patients, I urge you to vote NO on HB-495.

First sent on May 2 by Physicians for Change · 5 signers in the past 24 hours

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