For this panel discussion, moderator Raoul S. Concepcion, MD, defines the physician extender as either a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, resident, or fellow. Based on state laws, the roles and scope of practice that physician extenders play is complicated and variable; however, the utilization of physician extenders in a urology practice is an area that is generating a great deal of discussion in many of the large urological associations.
In the first of this two part series, panelist E. David Crawford, MD, addresses how physician extenders are being used in the academic setting.
Crawford describes that the urologist cannot be everywhere and do everything, which creates a definite need for an extender. In the last three years, Crawford's practice has added four nurse practitioners. With more nurse practitioners acting as physician extenders, Crawford believes the most pressing need is for these nurses to receive adequate training.