We would like to thank one of our readers who anonymously submitted the tip for this story.
It's always funny how triggered midlevel providers become whenever physicians attempt to distinguish themselves from nurse practitioners or physician assistants, or promote title-protection legislation that restricts the use of "Doctor" to physicians. At this point, we've pretty much heard every straw-man excuse in the book - us physicians only care about fame and prestige, midlevels are "just as good" as physicians (despite having only a fraction of the training), anyone who's earned a doctorate (even if it was 100% online) should have the right to call themselves a "Doctor" in a clinical setting, etc. Anecdotally speaking, we've even encountered midlevels trying to "victim-blame" patients by claiming that it should be the responsibility of patients to know who they're seeing and understand midlevels' scope of practice, when studies suggest that the general public is woefully uninformed about such matters.
Whether by sheer incompetence or malice, it doesn't help at all when the general public is being actively misled about who's a physician and who isn't. In the case of the Summerville Journal Scene, a local newspaper representing Summerville, SC, we can only hope it's the former when they named nurse practitioner Amanda Sanchez as the area's "best family physician".
While we might be able to give the bumpkin editors of the local town rag a pass for being medically uninformed, it's impossible to do the same when Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, the practice that employs NP Sanchez, is actively spreading this hogwash on their own Facebook page. It's inexcusably disgusting for a practice with the word "physicians" in its very name to try and pass off a midlevel nurse practitioner as a family medicine physician.
Do we need to remind everyone again that you could drive a truck through the enormous gap between a residency-trained MD/DO family medicine physician and a family nurse practitioner?
Unfortunately, we can't say we're too surprised. Per Palmetto Primary Care Physicians' online "provider directory", it's plainly obvious that they have enthusiastically employed an army of midlevels. Based on our rough count of the 109 "providers" listed, we counted a whopping 73 NPs or PAs! If two thirds of your staff consists of midlevels, perhaps you should consider changing your name to "Palmetto Primary Care Non-Physicians"?