Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Can nurse practitioners call themselves doctors?


Recommended Posts

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."

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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 ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
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 :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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 :(

Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
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".

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
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....

Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

As a NP who is now a M3, I can comment that it's almost always the EMR that simply labels all providers using it as MD (even SW for example). If you don't go in manually and change the settings for that person, it stays as MD. Alternatively, this NP could have completed her DNP (doctor of nursing practice) which is offered in the USA. It doesn't sound to me as if she were representing herself as an MD, it sounds like a clerical error or misunderstanding at the admin level.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...