Cathy Giorgio wears a traditional white lab coat when she takes patient histories, performs physical exams, diagnoses health problems, reads lab reports and X-rays, writes prescriptions, and authorizes advanced medical tests.

She performs almost every task a family doctor does, though she isn’t one.

A growing number of healthcare experts believe nurse practitioners like Giorgio are the cure for an ailing U.S. health system faced with a growing number of patients and a looming shortage of general doctors, especially ones willing to treat poor patients.

They cite statistics such as lower malpractice rates, lower care-related costs, and higher rates of patient compliance with treatment recommendations associated with these advanced-care nurses compared with their doctor cousins.

Source: Is the new family doctor a nurse? ( | Health, medical


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