Here is a study that many will not want you to see. It seems that primary care doctors provide superior care for patients with diabetes. Here are some highlights from the study in the journal Diabetes Care:
- “We found that primary care physicians provide better care to diabetes patients when compared to other providers in a primary care setting because they were more likely to alter medications and consistently provide lifestyle counseling,” said study senior author Dr. Alexander Turchin, a physician and researcher in the division of endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital,.
- The study assessed primary care received by more than 27,000 diabetes patients at two academic medical centers. In total, the patients had nearly 585,000 primary care appointments over an average of five years and five months, and 83 percent of those visits were with a primary care doctor. The rest of the visits were with a covering physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
- Overall, medication intensification (either having a new medication prescribed or the dose of a current medication increased) occurred in 10 percent of the visits and lifestyle counseling occurred in 40 percent of the visits.
- But the researchers found that the likelihood of medication intensification and lifestyle counseling were much higher when patients saw a primary care doctor than when they saw another health care provider.
To summarize, training and education DO mean something! This does NOT mean we can’t work together with midlevels but it shows who should be in charge especially in complicated cases.