Specialty News & Articles

Nurse Practitioners – The Best Kept Secret in Healthcare

By: Sterling Medical Staff

As the Affordable Health Care Act kicks into gear, millions more Americans find themselves with health insurance, and health care providers are faced with the difficult task of accommodating an unprecedented influx of new patients. In the midst of this struggle to meet the needs of our nation’s ill and infirm, Nurse Practitioners may prove to be the single greatest asset in managing this monumental change.

Although Nurse Practitioners have operated in the United States for over 40 years, many people don’t know about them or what kind of services they offer. For this reason, Tay Kopanos, vice president of state government affairs for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners calls them “the best-kept secret in health care.”

Nurse Practitioners hold master’s degrees and perform many of the duties commonly associated with primary care or family practice physicians. The road to becoming a nurse practitioner begins in the field of nursing, where most candidates first obtain a bachelor of science in nursing. Experienced nurses who wish to move to the next step must then achieve a master’s of science in nursing, and finally pass a board certification test before officially becoming a nurse practitioner.

Though nurse practitioners are not a complete substitute for physicians—and laws in nearly every state require they practice under the supervision of an MD—there are areas in which a nurse practitioner may be better suited for care. Studies have shown high satisfaction rates among patients treated by nurse practitioners, perhaps in part because of the bedside manner they develop during their time as nurses. “Local nurse practitioner said their training as nurses follows a different philosophy from a doctor’s medical training, focusing more on the total patient than just the disease,” says Diane D’Amico, a staff writer for The Press of Atlantic City. Similarly Jettie Deden-Castillo, an obstetrics/gynecology nurse practitioner and contributor to the San Diego Union-Tribune, relates: “An NP can function much like a primary-care physician, but with the heart of a nurse.”

The need for highly trained physicians will not diminish with further implementation of nurse practitioners.  If anything, their workloads should be lightened by the additional coverage provided by nurse practitioners, as many serious health concerns can be avoided if patients receive necessary preventive care and education. “In 1979, the vision was for nurse practitioners to manage the care of routine, healthy patients and free up physicians to take more complicated cases,” Deden-Castillo remarks. This teamed approach may be the best method we have for facing the country’s growing healthcare needs.


  1. http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/absecon_galloway_port-republic/nurse-practitioners-play-integral-part-in-modern-medicine/article_aba779ec-6b19-11e3-9251-001a4bcf887a.html
  2. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Dec/25/nurse-practitioners-md-shortage/

Speech Language Pathologists Healing Through Horses

By Sterling Medical Staff

When people think of speech language pathology, they typically envision a sterile office environment where patients recite drill-like speech patterns. However, the increasing prevalence of a technique known as hippotherapy ought to change some conceptions of what speech language pathology entails.

Dean of UC College of Pharmacy Optimistic About Graduates’ Job Prospects

By Sterling Medical Staff

Despite the less-than-certain job prospects facing today’s college graduates, the new Dean of University of Cincinnati’s College of Pharmacy is confident his students will find jobs almost immediately out the door.  When asked in a recent interview how many upcoming College of Pharmacy graduates can expect to land jobs, Neil MacKinnon quickly responded: “Easy question, 100 percent.”*

Psychologist Uses Comics to Treat Patients

By Sterling Medical Staff

As comic books and graphic novels become increasingly popular source material for major motion pictures, they are also providing inspiration in a more unlikely realm: psychology.  Chicago Psychologist Dr. Patrick O’Connor, PsyD, who specializes in treating teens and young adults, has pioneered an effort to use comic books for therapy.

Demand for Physical Therapists Remains High Despite Threatened Medicare Cuts

By Sterling Medical Staff

Demand for Physical Therapists remains high across the US, despite calls in Congress for drastic cuts to Medicare.  Graduates from accredited Physical Therapy degree programs have their pick of locations whether applying for their first job, or changing positions.

Demand for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists Will Increase Due to Regulation and Demographic Changes

By Sterling Medical Staff

Three factors are changing the demand for physical therapists and occupational therapists:  changes in state/federal funding of health care, the modification of requirements in state acts for physician referrals of patients to receive therapy, and the reimbursement limitations of private insurers. Areas of physical therapy that have appeared to have the greatest likelihood of increase are services for youth, older adults, and wellness programs.

Physician Assistant Positions Increasing in Numbers and Significance

By Sterling Medical Staff

The rise in Physician Assistant positions is a consistent trend. The levels of PA education have increased from less than 21% of PA’s with four or more years of college in 1980, to more than 65% in 2007. Percentage of minority and age of the PA workforce have increased over time.

Contact Us