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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/6/2009 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
As many of you know I got dumped by my PCP a few months ago and have been having a nightmare finding anyone to see me. Well that nightmare may be over. My wife heard about a new doctor who just started at a local clinic so she decided to call and see if I could get in, and sure enough I now have an appointment for next Tuesday. The clinic is only 4 miles away instead of the 50 miles I was expecting to have to drive to see anyone.

As it turns out the new doctor is not really a doctor at all but a nurse practitioner. What is ironic however, in a totally positive way, is this NP "specializes" in diabetic care, nueropathy, and back pain.

With my long and somewhat complicated medical history I am sure we will have a lot to talk about when my appointment arrives.

Thanks everyone for listening to me vent. I hope that as time goes by I can give back some of the positive that I have received here.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 7/6/2009 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm so happy you found a doctor closer then having to expand your search as you stated in another thread. Hopefully the NP can help you find some sanity. I acually like NP's better so far in my medical history the NP's have been so much more caring and understanding.

I wish you luck and please keep us updated

39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD
Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea
Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all

Tony McGuire
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 7/6/2009 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
What is the practical difference between doctor and nurse practitioner?

The PA to the Pain Manager I go to is an NP I think. And she prescribes narcotics, and takes over for the PM pretty much if he isn't there. But I don't think that she operates.

What is a practical nurse in practical terms?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/6/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
There really is not much difference between an MD who is a GP and a NP/PA. The MD has a little more schooling and goes through a more varied residency program, but in practical terms there really is not much one can do and the other can't. Technically a NP/PA has to work under the supervision of an MD but that supervision can be done "remotely", meaning the MD does not even have to practice in the same office, only has to be available for consultations if needed. At the start of a practice a new MD has a little more knowledge than a new NP/PA in theory, but since many NP/PA's spend some time working as nurses or were corpsman/medics in the military the real difference in knowledge and experience may be minute.

I don't have any qualms about seeing a NP/PA. I have dealt with many in the past when I was in social services and helping mentally retarded adults achieve their highest levels of independence as possible. The NP's/PA's that I dealt with then were always down to earth and seemed a lot more understanding and compassionate than many of the doctors I dealt with on the behalf of my clients.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/6/2009 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
That's great news. But I know here in Pennsylvania NP's (CRNP - Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner) have to have doctors on site. And they can't write for narcotics. I hope it's different where you are.

Good luck!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 7/6/2009 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes it is different here. In IL NP/PA's can practice off site from their supervising doctor and they can also write prescriptions for narcotics, assuming they have passed the licensing requirements to do so, and I have not met one yet that hasn't.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 7/6/2009 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Here in Ohio NP's also have to have a doctor on site and they can write for Vicodin but nothing stronger than that, I am sure it has to do with the level of narcotics it (i.s schedule I,schedule II) is at. Anyway, good luck to you, I hope it all works out well and what a great thing that it is only 4 miles from home. Take Care.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 7/6/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
In Washington State, I know NPs can prescribe narcotics but only up to scheadule 3 narcotics, not scheadule 2 like oxycontin, morphine, fentanyl, anything really strong, about the strongest they can prescribe is for the 10mg hydrocodones. I know it's diffrent in every state. When I moved to Utah for a short while, my ex took me to his family doctor that was actually a NP with his own office, and I told him I was very very ill but had no money. Well he got me in RIGHT away, I walked in the door, asked about an appointment and prices and they gave me an info sheet to fil out and saw me 5 minutes later. HE waved his charges since he knew my ex's family and they where wonderful people, AND gave me a free coupon for an antibiotic, so all in all, I got everything for free with absoutly no waiting. And he told me that I if I got even more sicker (I had a ear, sinus and a viral infection all at once) that I could call him any time of day or night and on weekends and not to hisitate. And he explained to me that drinking a tablespoon of water every ten nimutes for 6 hours (or something like that) equaled one bag of IV fluid, since I could hardly keep anything down. He was wonderful, too bad he doesnt work where I live now in Washington state. I even had a Midwife that is a certified nurse and she would take care of migraines and depression many many years after she delivered my daughter. And she didnt mind me coming in for stuff that wasnt related to pregnancy, she knew I only trusted her, and we could talk for hours as she understood alot of what I was dealing with and she also was allowed to prescribe up to scheadule 3 pain meds, but she moved to arizona. So all in all, some of the best medical professionals I've been to are nurses.


Chronic Pain Moderator

Dx-Gallstones at age 14 that caused Fibromyalgia in 1998. Chronic Pancreatitis at age 15 from Pancreatic Divisum. Fell down cement basement stairs on my bottom in 2001. Got severe migraines after the epidural from my 2nd childbirth in 2002. Was rear-ended by a lady doing 55mph in 2004 then 2 months later rolled my car down a hill and did even more damage to my back. Depression caused by having chronic pain. Asthma from allergies.

meds- Suboxone for pain, Cymbalta for pain and depression, Lyrica for pain and migraines, Imitrex for migraines, Ibprofen for migraines, Ventolin Albuterol inhaler for asthma. Phenergan for nausea, Seroquel for sleep.

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."         -Mother Teresa

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 536
   Posted 7/6/2009 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jim, I am really happy your wife found a NP for you. That is great. And it being in close proximity to you is even better. I know you feel a big relief already just having the appt. Good luck to you on next Tues. I hope you have a good visit with him/her. Keep us posted on how it turns out for you.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 7/6/2009 11:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jim,

Thats awesome news! That has to make you feel so much better knowing this is is someone local. We all of course hope everything goes well at the appt.It will be interesting to see who this NP is operating under dr wise. This is the break you have been waiting for. Keep us posted how the visit goes.
Moderator Chronic Pain
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Swveral other health issues just not enough roo to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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