Summers says the AAFP paints the picture that because APRNs didn't go to medical school, they'd miss something. But what if the opposite were true? Nurses are "so well-versed in the normal and evaluate so thoroughly" that they may be especially attuned to atypical symptoms, Summers says.
And they're so used to being part of a team that they don't hesitate to refer care to a specialist. Moreover, I have yet to hear about epidemics of patients who have been harmed by second-rate care by APRNs.
But ultimately, making arguments about "who does it better" is also counterproductive. That's because with the move toward ACOs and patient-centered medical homes, team-based care is fast becoming a way of life. And although the AAFP report ostensibly calls for team-based care (with physicians in the lead, of course), it doesn't seem very useful to suggest that some members of that team aren't up to snuff.
"If we're really going to shift to this team-based care," Summers says, "it's unfair to the public to write these sorts of things that call into question the skills and capabilities of any member of the healthcare team."