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Starfish31415

Can nurse practitioners call themselves doctors?

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Background: looked everywhere for a family doctor, eventually signed up with a clinic 30 min away saying docs were accepting patients. Was contacted a month later and told I am placed with the nurse practioner. But when I arrived today, the appointment sticker they gave me said "your appointment is with Dr. (Name of NP)."

While I love working with NPs and think they're a wealth of knowledge, this just doesn't feel right :/ they did tell me she was an NP so it's not strictly false advertising to patients, but why even have her as a doctor on the calling card?? I looked online, she has a master's but not a PhD or equivalent.

 

What are everyone's thoughts?

And if any NPs on this forum have feedback i would love to hear:) I agree were all on the same team, and apologize if I was ignorant of any new rules regarding use of the title "Dr."

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4 hours ago, Starfish31415 said:

Background: looked everywhere for a family doctor, eventually signed up with a clinic 30 min away saying docs were accepting patients. Was contacted a month later and told I am placed with the nurse practioner. But when I arrived today, the appointment sticker they gave me said "your appointment is with Dr. (Name of NP)."

While I love working with NPs and think they're a wealth of knowledge, this just doesn't feel right :/ they did tell me she was an NP so it's not strictly false advertising to patients, but why even have her as a doctor on the calling card?? I looked online, she has a master's but not a PhD or equivalent.

 

What are everyone's thoughts?

And if any NPs on this forum have feedback i would love to hear:) I agree were all on the same team, and apologize if I was ignorant of any new rules regarding use of the title "Dr."

This is definitely fraud. The College of Family Physicians of Family Canada has been fighting to keep the title "Family Physicians" to MDs who have completed 2 years of Family Medicine residency. 

Also, if you can, I would get a family physician as your primary care health provider. 

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I think this is the clinic mistake. I dont see why an NP would call herself himself a Dr... It might be their app that does this. There might no be an option on the sticker to write NP? 

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39 minutes ago, Lilirose said:

I think this is the clinic mistake. I dont see why an NP would call herself himself a Dr... It might be their app that does this. There might no be an option on the sticker to write NP? 

Maybe, although I dont see why the label maker would be unable to take off the "Dr" :p 

 

I think it may be a clinic policy thing. When I asked if I could have a doctor possibly, I was told that "(NPs name) is your doctor. Although dr so-and-so is the supervising physician". Sounds like their clinic is working hard to promote their NPs as doctors. Which I understand but you cant really say "the nurse practioner is your doctor", when those two things aren't the same ;)

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2 minutes ago, Starfish31415 said:

Maybe, although I dont see why the label maker would be unable to take off the "Dr" :p 

 

I think it may be a clinic policy thing. When I asked if I could have a doctor possibly, I was told that "(NPs name) is your doctor. Although dr so-and-so is the supervising physician". Sounds like their clinic is working hard to promote their NPs as doctors. Which I understand but you cant really say "the nurse practioner is your doctor", when those two things aren't the same ;)

The NPs work independently usually at FHT, as they are paid by the government. Unless, in this case, the NPs are hired by the GPs, and the GPs have to be physically present to bill the encounters. 
I personally advocate that you get a family physician for primary care provider :) 

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1 minute ago, LittleDaisy said:

The NPs work independently usually at FHT, as they are paid by the government. Unless, in this case, the NPs are hired by the GPs, and the GPs have to be physically present to bill the encounters. 
I personally advocate that you get a family physician for primary care provider :) 

Yep after this encounter I'm definitely going to. Although it's going to take awhile :(

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On 4/17/2019 at 2:20 PM, Starfish31415 said:

Background: looked everywhere for a family doctor, eventually signed up with a clinic 30 min away saying docs were accepting patients. Was contacted a month later and told I am placed with the nurse practioner. But when I arrived today, the appointment sticker they gave me said "your appointment is with Dr. (Name of NP)."

While I love working with NPs and think they're a wealth of knowledge, this just doesn't feel right :/ they did tell me she was an NP so it's not strictly false advertising to patients, but why even have her as a doctor on the calling card?? I looked online, she has a master's but not a PhD or equivalent.

 

What are everyone's thoughts?

And if any NPs on this forum have feedback i would love to hear:) I agree were all on the same team, and apologize if I was ignorant of any new rules regarding use of the title "Dr."

Are you a resident? Why see someone who you know more medicine than?

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1 hour ago, medigeek said:

Are you a resident? Why see someone who you know more medicine than?

That's pretty uncalled for. First of all, unless you're in a generalist residency, after a while, I'd probably trust a primary care NP over myself. Secondly, you can't order labs or prescribe for yourself so you definitely need someone to do that. 

Back to the main point, yeah that should not be allowed, and I'd try to get a family doctor. 

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10 minutes ago, Thunderbirds said:

That's pretty uncalled for. First of all, unless you're in a generalist residency, after a while, I'd probably trust a primary care NP over myself. Secondly, you can't order labs or prescribe for yourself so you definitely need someone to do that. 

Back to the main point, yeah that should not be allowed, and I'd try to get a family doctor. 

I think that kind of approach and attitude from doctors is what lets midlevels rise and walk all over us. 

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2 hours ago, bearded frog said:

Maybe the NP has a phd, in that case they can call herself Dr. X, as long as they also say they're an NP up front.

It still is unethical to call yourself Dr in a clinical setting if you're not an MD/DMD (or arguably a PharmD). It's actually illegal in Quebec to call yourself Dr without any other descriptive unless you're an MD/DMD/DMV. Hell, I find it unethical as a clerk when attendings or residents present me to patients as "Dr Snowmen" so they don't have to explain what a clerk is.

If a doctoral degree is required to practice the profession (psychologists or optometrists, for instance), you can call youself "Dr John Doe, psychologist/optometrist". If it isn't required (PT with a PhD in rehabilitation science for instance), you have to call yourself "John Doe, PT, PhD".

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On 5/7/2019 at 2:18 PM, bearded frog said:

Maybe the NP has a phd, in that case they can call herself Dr. X, as long as they also say they're an NP up front.

OP said they looked online and the NP had a Masters listed on their bio/profile, but not a PhD. Possible that the PhD is recent and their online profile hasn't been updated yet, but even then, I think it's pretty deceiving and misleading in this context. If you're going to a medical clinic, and someone is being introduced as Dr. so and so, then I think the natural conclusion for most people in the situation is to think they have a medical degree. 

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On 4/22/2019 at 9:33 PM, medigeek said:

I think that kind of approach and attitude from doctors is what lets midlevels rise and walk all over us. 

I agree.

I would also report to the CPSO or whoever if you believe someone is passing themselves off fraudulently as an MD. 

As for knowing more than an NP as a resident, I am also in agreement with that. I'm a FRCSC surgical specialist and I still know more about general medicine than most, if not all, of the NPs who work with me.* Most lack a shocking amount of medical knowledge. When I was a resident, I knew even more general medicine. In my experience, NPs are like early to mid year R1's with an independent practice licenses. 

* Alternative explanation: I work with idiots....

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5 hours ago, NLengr said:

I agree.

I would also report to the CPSO or whoever if you believe someone is passing themselves off fraudulently as an MD. 

As for knowing more than an NP as a resident, I am also in agreement with that. I'm a FRCSC surgical specialist and I still know more about general medicine than most, if not all, of the NPs who work with me.* Most lack a shocking amount of medical knowledge. When I was a resident, I knew even more general medicine. In my experience, NPs are like early to mid year R1's with an independent practice licenses. 

* Alternative explanation: I work with idiots....

And those are the ones who have a good amount of experience. The new ones or ones with <2 years exp I won't even discuss. 

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