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Crummy PR

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This. THIS is why we need OTP. I've written to them twice and the article is still incorrect. "Because physician assistants have to work in sync with a qualified physician, the number of hours they work is more closely related to that of their supervising physician." https://www.gapmedics.com/blog/2013/12/23/what-s-the-difference-between-a-physician-assistant-and-a-nurse-practitioner-and-what-should-you-choose/
That's not even the most offensive part about the article. Even worse is that there's a more recent article on nursejournal.org that cites the gapmedic article and perpetuates the idea that we've got a doc looking over our shoulders while NPs are running the show. https://nursejournal.org/nurse-practitioner/np-vs-physician-assistants/?fb_comment_id=fbc_753113418123707_1235453736556337_1235453736556337
**posting on multiple spots so we can hopefully get these things corrected
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The thing is... both these articles are written by a nursing organization, so there will obviously be bias there. I saw a few articles written by PA-run associations that talk PAs up really well and say the average salary is well above what it actually is, so I would take these articles advertising NPs with a grain of salt. 

I really do not see the need for this unnecessary PR competition between PAs and NPs. Many SPs and docs in general that I have worked with say that they would rather have a PA over NP any day. Obviously there are a few that would rather have an NP, but at the end of the day a majority prefer PAs. In specialities the docs usually call the major shots anyway, so NPs aren't "running the show."

In school I had a few NP preceptors, and they really had no idea what they were talking about. As a student I knew more than they did. They didn't know how to read the EKGs, interpret X-rays, or really know anything about the mechanism of drugs. The only thing they were really better in was bedside manner and patient interaction. This obviously is not the case with all NPs, but I've worked with a good amount and they were pretty dependent on the docs and PAs for help. 

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I honestly don't find these articles to be terribly offensive. The biggest error I see is they mention PAs began two decades ago when in fact PAs have just celebrated their 50 year anniversary. Of course they're going to have a nursing spin based on the source, but a lot of the information is pretty spot-on. PAs hours do generally mimic those of their SP. They've obviously high-lighted the 'PAs work under the supervision of SPs while NPs are independent' spiel, but it's not too far off from the truth. Some PAs practice more independently than others, myself included, but we're not independent practitioners. That may change in the future, but that's the way it is now.


I agree the PR of NP vs PA is unnecessary. All of the places I have worked prefer PAs over NPs based on how we're trained, our lack of bravado and our ability to learn to practice similar to that of our SPs and MD colleagues. I think the general public lumps PAs and NPs together as a group of "non-physician folks in white coats who can help me", and that thought process can be pretty accurate, all things considered.

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I read that article and there are several inaccuracies, all in favor of NPs and negative for PAs.  Some of these are subtle, some not-so-subtle.

If you believe that there does not need to be a PR conflict between PAs and NPs, then tell the NPs that!  They usually seem to be the ones that downplay PAs while elevating themselves.

BTW, I'm speaking for NPs as a group in this context.  I know some very dedicated and excellent NPs.

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I sent an email as well and actually received a response!  See below:


Dear ***,

Thanks for your email and bringing this issue to our attention.

At Gap Medics, we take our responsibility to helping pre-medical students with their journey to medical school very seriously and so have removed the page, pending a review into the factual errors that you refer to. 
We will aim to publish a new page soon, when we are certain that it satisfies the very high standards that we uphold across the rest of our website and our overseas programmes. 
I hope you accept our sincere apologies for this mistake.
Kind regards,
Rachel from Gap Medics. 
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