Posts Tagged ‘PA’
Orthopedic Surgeons treat fractures. Now Orthopods are joining the fight to Prevent Fractures.
At the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) 2015 meeting, Orthopedic Surgeons were the most numerous specialty among docs (MD and DO) . This is huge! In 2007 we were above 1% for the first time. Now we are 17%. What has happened?
Orthopods can easily identify persons with bone health issues, because a fracture is the clearest clue that there may be a bone health problem. Often patients see orthopedics for a fracture and do not see their regular primary care doc until their next annual check-up.
The idea that bone health (including osteoporosis) could and should be identified and treated in an orthopedic office was very unusual when I started in 2007. It is still not common, but it is spreading rapidly. We have directly helped a dozen other offices start treating bone health.
The latest trend is for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) to do most of the bone health assessment and treatment within an orthopedic, or other, office. That was evident at the meeting. Over 1/3 of the attendees were NPs or PAs – many of them working in orthopedic offices.
Family Medicine docs, NPs, and PAs also attended in record numbers. This is a growing trend. Proactively addressing bone health, before a fracture, is taking its rightful place in primary care.
Orthopedic, Family Medicine, and Geriatric practices are increasingly offering bone health evaluation and treatment.
Take Control of Your Bone Health. Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
Jay Ginther, MD
Katie Bries, ARNP, taught the Bone Health section for the Nurse Practitioner students at Allen College this year. She did a great job covering the basics. Unfortunately, she had time only for the basics. This is true in teaching NPs everywhere. It is true of all aspects of medicine when teaching MDs, DOs, PAs, and all others. There is only time for the basics.
Any Healthcare Provider who wants to fully master a subject must take “Electives” for additional training in the field they plan to focus on in practice. With MDs and DOs there are formal “Residencies” lasting 3 or more years after graduation. NP and PA students take “Clinicals” in various fields before, and sometimes after, graduation. Cedar Valley Bone Health has hosted clinicals for local and out-of-state Providers.
Access to medical insurance is not the same as access to medical care. Access to medical insurance was the objective of “Obamacare”. The second issue, access to medical care, has not been addressed at all.
Here in Iowa, access to medical care is getting tougher to find. Primary Care Physicians are retiring faster than they are being replaced. Nurse Practicioners and Physician Assistants are increasing, but nowhere near fast enough to fill the vacancies. Nearly 40% of the MD and DO docs are over 60. We are slowing down and many will soon retire. We are decreasing the number of healthcare providers while adding access to insurance to another 40,000,000 people. How will this help access to medical care?