A comparison of the diagnostic abilities of physicians and nurse practitioners in New Zealand found that the latter were almost as good in diagnosis as the doctors in a complex inpatient case of a seriously ill man.
The correct diagnosis was made by 61.9 percent of physicians and 54.7 percent of NPs. The correct problem was identified by 56.3 percent of physicians and 53.3 percent of NPs. The correct actions were identified by 34.4 percent of the physicians and 35.8 percent of the NPs.
The study concluded that NP diagnostic reasoning in a complex-case scenario compared favorably with that of physicians.
Such studies, of course, give more firepower to U.S. hospital C-suites seeking to use more NPs and fewer physicians because the former, while well paid, aren’t anywhere nearly as well compensated as physicians. The latter are by far the highest paid doctors in the world.