Regarding the May 3 letter, "N.J. nurse practitioners can meet the need caused by shortage of primary-care doctors":
The writer, a former professor of nursing, tried to justify proposed legislation allowing advanced practice nurses to practice medicine independently. This idea is ludicrous and should be DOA in Trenton.
The advanced practice nurse has a nursing degree and two further years of schooling. Is this equivalent to a physician?
The physician has a bachelor's degree, four years of medical school and at least three years of intensive clinical residency. Allow me to offer an idea of what medical school is like.
As sophomores at Temple Medical School, we took two heavy courses in biochemistry and physiology concurrently. The graduate students from the university were allowed to take only one or the other and one course was considered a full graduate load. Medical school is "graduate school on steroids."
Those with lesser training can fulfill an important role in medical care. But to practice medicine independently and unsupervised? I shudder to think of it.
It is often said that the more you know, the less you think you know.
The reverse is true also.
DR. VINCENT R. MOLONEY
Egg Harbor Township