Wal-Mart and Healthcare

I’ve been hearing a lot about these quick-stop clinics staffed by nurse practitioners. I hear about them in the news or read about them online. They seem to be on the east coast or midwest. Or maybe I’m just not paying any attention to them here locally.

As someone going into a medical career, this is somewhat discouraging. I don’t see how a family physician can compete against an NP based solely on costs. It seems like the scope of nursing just keeps getting expanded more and more. I’m sure the nurses are elated about this. And their paychecks continue to rise as they get more specialized.

I don’t think we need to go back to the days were the doctors were kings of their wards and nurses stood whenever one came in the room. But I do think that scope of practice of nurses and doctors cannot overlap too much. Because let’s face it, the nurses will always be able to offer their services at lower costs. And, more often than not, they (nurses) have less debt coming out of school.

Amy from sent me this post titled 20 Surprising Ways Wal-Mart Clinics Will Affect US Healthcare. It’s a good read discussing the pros and cons of Wal-Mart entering the health service industry by opening up clinics at their stores.