Paraprofessional The Business of Healthcare

Burgers Must Be Burgers, but Doctors Might Just Not Be Physicians


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” – From Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.


Let’s say you’re running a restaurant and because you’ll only pay your meat supplier $100 a week for hamburger, all he delivers is 50 lbs. of the stuff. But you need 100 lbs. to meet the demand of your customers. What do you do? Do you go out and buy 50 lbs. of textured soy protein and pass it off has hamburger? You’d be tossed in jail.

But recently, hardly anyone even yawned when the State of California announced that it was considering expanding the scope of paraprofessional practice because there weren’t enough physicians to go around. Perhaps, the bureaucrats floated, nurse practitioners could practice independently? Perhaps other healthcare licensees could also practice well beyond the scope currently permitted? And with a Ph.D. as the terminal degree in many of these fields, they’ll be doctors.

Not enough hamburger? Mix in soy. Not enough physicians? Let others perform many of the same services – we’ll just call them all providers, or better yet, doctors.

Look, I’m not belittling the role of non-physicians in healthcare professions, I’m just saying that they’re not physicians.

Was restricting to physicians certain areas of practice simply a scam? Were the years of training given to physicians simply a scam? Was patient health what was really being protected?

Was the State of California lying to its citizens before, or is it lying to them now?

One thing hasn’t change though: mix your hamburger with soy protein and you’re off to jail. After all, a burger must still be a burger.

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