Blizzard points out that in a doctor-scarce town like Sudbury, even a "standalone" nurse practitioner would be "better than nothing" if you can't find a doctor.
Faint praise indeed! The truth is, however, that the nurse practitioner does not stand alone in her clinic. She becomes your primary, certainly not your only, health care provider. She works with a team of general practitioners, specialists and even pharmacists, co-ordinating whatever medical services you may need at a specific moment.
In the past few months, this reader has visited a nurse practitioner twice, has talked to her on the phone twice, has seen a doctor at the nurse practitioner clinic and has been interviewed by a visiting pharmacist at the clinic. He has also been referred to two specialists by the nurse practitioner and is currently under treatment by both of them.
I'd really think twice about giving up this level of service should I ever find a doctor in Sudbury who is not too busy to see me. Just for fun, ask your doctor if he/she would mind you phoning one day to discuss your medical problems. Then watch the whole system go on auto-pilot.
Bob Yates Sudbury