NPs Bite Back at Physicians’ Call for Public Advocacy Campaign


An open letter penned by the President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP, PNP, FAANP, was posted to the AANP website this week, and in it, calls for the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and its Resident Student Association to retract their own open letter, which they released last week, asking “Where is the Public Campaign Advocating for Physicians?”

The AANP’s letter stated that the AAEM’s letter, which was written by Haig Aintablian, MD, President of the AAEM/RSA, and David A. Farcy, MD FAAEM FCCM, President of the AAEM, “was riddled with blatant inaccuracies and self-serving statements that seek to undermine the NP profession and devalue the health care needs of patients nationwide.”

One of the inaccuracies pointed out in the AANP’s letter is where the AAEM’s said, “the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) has put forth a significant public campaign challenging physician education and compassion with slogans such as “brain of a doctor, heart of a nurse” going so far as airing commercials recommending patients actively choose a nurse practitioner over a physician for one’s health care.”

Thomas said in the NP letter, “AANP is proud of its public awareness campaign that highlights the role of the NP as well as the patients who choose them as their primary care providers. Our goal is to expand public awareness of the NP role and to encourage more patients to consider an NP.”

She went on to explain, “To be clear, AANP never conceived of nor sponsored “brain of a doctor, heart of a nurse” as a tagline in any advertising campaign or as content in any official social post issued from our organizational social accounts. In fact, we find the entire premise insulting, as 50 years of research clearly demonstrate, the “brains” of NPs drive health care outcomes equivalent to physicians, year in and year out.”

The AANP letter closes by saying, “It is time for the American Medical Association (AMA), AAEM and AAEM/RSA to put patients first and let them choose their own provider. Only then can we make patient-centered, accessible health care available to all. AANP stands ready to work with medicine to find reasonable solutions to the issues where we differ and promote high-quality health care together for all of our nation’s citizens.”

The AAEM/RSA letter can be found here, and the AANP’s reply can be found here

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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