In recognition of the likelihood that primary care physicians will be in increasingly short supply over years to come, a primary care chain in Minnesota has taken the extraordinary step of staffing its six locations exclusively with nurse practitioners. As reported in Becker’s Hospital Review, The Good Clinic may even be taking a page from the urgent care playbook by promising to see patients sooner than a traditional primary care practice can these days—though their 1-day wait falls short of being able to advertise immediate care. And then there’s the question of scope of practice; allowing that some services and procedures may be beyond an NP’s training, The Good Clinic maintains referral partnerships with a radiology group and various specialty practices near their locations. Still, for many visits no referral would be necessary and some patients may find the label “primary care” comforting when they’re deciding where to go for episodic care. And, of course, NPs and physician assistants already play an essential role in urgent care, as well. JUCM actually published research on the viability of tasking NPs with specific responsibilities when working with patients who need imaging. For more on that, read The Implementation of Nurse-Initiated Ankle and Foot X-Rays in an Urgent Care Setting.

Ready or Not, the Impending Physician Shortage May Make Greater Use of APPs Inevitable
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