Why would there be anything disrespectful about asking if your family's doctor is a physician? With all the noctors going around these days calling themselves "doctors" and masquerading as pseudo-physicians, you never really know unless you ask. Patients have every right to be seen by a board-eligible/board-certified attending physician who has completed years of rigorous education and training through medical school, residency, and possibly fellowship, not a wannabe with a "Doctor of Nursing Practice" who purchased said "doctorate" from a for-profit online diploma mill that treats tuition like a car lease ("Pay Only $375 per Month"!). You know what's actually disrespectful? The AANP's junk claim that "NP care is comparable in quality to that of their physician colleagues". They cite a multitude of studies to "support" this claim, but a closer reading of the studies and papers in question reveals that none of the nurse practitioner cohorts were practicing independently without physician oversight and supervision. How many of those "comparable outcomes" were actually driven by MDs and DOs behind the scenes? To our knowledge, there has yet to be a head-to-head study comparing and contrasting care provided by completely unsupervised midlevel providers (MLPs) and physicians. To implement and run such a study would likely be unethical given the huge aforementioned educational and training gaps between midlevels (especially nurse practitioners) and physicians. That's not a problem with physicians, of course, since they have been providing quality patient care for centuries and have nothing to prove. Indeed, there's no need to prove that more education and training is always better than less education and training. So wen you and your family's lives are potentially on the line, why wouldn't you want the best-qualified healthcare professional around? It's OK to ask...for a physician.