I've always thought that physicians felt that the initials MD stood for "minor deity." After reading the news today, I think I should change that. They think MD stands for "Major Deity." It seems that many states want to 1) expand the scope of practice for nurses, especially Nurse Practitioners, and 2) allow them to be called "Doctor," if they have earned the degree. The AMA, according to my source, opposes both ideas.
I really don't see why they should oppose the first of the proposals. After all, if the NP's can dispense medicine and make other decisions, then the MD's can spend more time on the golf course. And everyone will be happier, including the patients, since studies show that NP's listen to patients better than MD's and the quality of care is identical.
I've long thought that, for the overwhelming number of cases where a patient comes to see a MD, the MD is woefully overeducated. Most cases are a such that an intelligent person with a semester or two of training could diagnose and treat. MD's will moan that this is not so, but it is. The best health care I ever had was from a physician's assistant.
A good NP will listen, prescribe, treat, and if the case is serious or troublesome, kick it up to a MD.
In fact, I'd suggest that, instead of more MD's, we need fewer. There should be a cadre of highly trained MD's who deal with the tough cases. The rest of the time, NP's could do the work, do it at least as well, and for a lot less money.