Patients Want Docs, Not NPs or PAs, Leading Their ER Care

October 18, 2021


Everyone has an opinion about the ED — the wait time, the workflow, the resources, whatever. As a hospitalist, I talk to ED staff and to patients about the ED on every single shift. Patients tell me everything. They tell me about their ED experience, how long they must wait, and worries about the cost. And recently, some of them told me that they couldn't tell if they were being treated by a doctor or not.

On that note, let's take a look at a recent poll put on by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Morning Consult called "Public Opinion on the Value of Emergency Physicians." This was an online poll of 2200 Americans, and data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region so that the results would be more generalizable.

At the top of the poll results was that access to an ED is important for most Americans. That's reassuring. Nine out of 10 adults say that 24/7 access to an ED is essential — the highest priority, the highest of any utility or service that communities provide, and 4 in 5 adults were satisfied with the medical care they received.


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