No room in the inn

The Family Doctors Are Not In

No room in the inn
Sorry! We Aren’t Accepting New Patients

Family Doctors in Ohio Not Accepting New Patients

As I was seeing patients this afternoon, a young woman came in for refills on some of her meds. So what you say. I work in an urgent care. We don’t do primary care which means we don’t have patients that we follow for chronic illnesses. She told me that when she got her Blue Cross Blue Shield, they gave her a list of 100 family doctors in the area (family practice) who were accepting new patients.
She has her name on a waiting list for a provider that a family member sees.

The Small Family Practice Doctor is gone.

When I was a kid, we had a family doctor. He delivered me and my brother.  He knew my mom and dad well enough that we would have dinner with them once in awhile. My dad taught two of his sons piano. I believe one of his sons was my brother’s confirmation sponsor.

Office hours were 10-12 and 2-4. You just showed up and waited your turn.

He made house calls early in his career.

His wife was his nurse.

No secretary.  No biller coder.

I don’t think we had health insurance until the mid to late 50s.  It was just cash.

Now, you can’t give away your small family practice let alone sell it.

No one wants it.  You can’t make enough money to meet expenses. You need a coder/biller and office staff ……………

Anyone going into family practice works for an organization.

This puts all of the administrative work on the shoulders of the corporation.

But, If you aren’t bringing in enough revenue, in the form of patient visits and procedures, you will lose your job.

The more “evolved” our health care system becomes, the more pressure is placed on physicians to leverage technology and see more patients, the more bad professional habits are being developed. Retrieved from

This will only get worse as the number of family practice doctors slowly disappear. 

The answer is here. But, the AMA and Ohio Board of Nursing will not follow the lead of 24 other states that allow private practice by nurse practitioners.
We have the solution to the shortage. 

The American Association of Medical Colleges estimates that by 2030, the United States will be lacking nearly 105,000 physicians, with roughly 41% of the shortcoming falling in primary care. Meanwhile, the number of graduating NPs entering the workforce each year continues to grow. In 2007, there were an estimated 120,000 practicing NPs in the US. In just 10 years, that number has nearly doubled to 234,000.

Family Nurse Practitioners can do MUCH of what a family practice doctor does. AND, we are very willing to get consultations and do referrals for things out of our scope of practice.
For most things like high blood pressure, noncomplicated type 2 diabetes, asthma and so on, nurse practitioners do a fine job. We take more time with our patients and are cost savings to insurance companies. 

If you think this is a viable solution to the primary care physician shortage in Ohio, write to your representative. Check out for more information. Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses.  

Polite Comments welcomed.

Terri DNP, FNP-BC, CNM(ret), CAA, BC-NC


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