"Being able to utilize advanced practice providers to extend us, to take care of our patients, [and] to treat them in a way that is beneficial and satisfying for them as a job is really important," says Neal Patel, MD.
In this video, Neal Patel, MD, highlights key take-home messages from a session at the 2023 LUGPA Annual Meeting titled, “The APP’s role in optimizing urologic care: Ask the experts”. Patel is the chief technology officer, the director of robotics, and a practicing urologist at Advanced Urology Institute of Georgia.
The biggest thing is that as the population continues to grow, we are seeing a shrinkage in the number of practicing urologists. There's a growing gap in care and coverage for these patients that we, as physicians alone, cannot handle. What we have realized very quickly is the only way to do this is to extend ourselves in the right manner. As we see more and more patient volumes, a growing elderly population, [and an] extending lifespan, urologic conditions tend to be at the forefront of a lot of medical comorbidities. Being able to utilize advanced practice providers to extend us, to take care of our patients, [and] to treat them in a way that is beneficial and satisfying for them as a job is really important. We're here talking at this conference about the benefits of it and how to properly utilize them to truly improve patient outcomes, but also improve your quality of life as a physician.
The APP can be used in many different ways. One of the things that we wanted to make sure about is that there is an optimal way to use [them]. A lot of groups have tried many different ways to utilize APPs and many different models, [and] some fail and you reiterate and you find the right balance. What we have found is that APPs work really well in close relationships with their docs. Having a personal 1 to 1 or close to 3 or 2 to 1 relationship is really important to help train them and have them having a sense of belonging. Respecting and treating them as an equal is very important. Traditional hierarchy of medicine is not so much like that, but you want to train and retain a very good APP that has your institutional knowledge so that your patients can get the best care. We really wanted to highlight how we optimize that, where we put them in clinics, creating a sense of autonomy and independence, finding ways for them to practice at the top of their licenses and not as an administrative assistant. So, really providing that patient interaction, the clinical aspect of the of the job is really satisfying for them. We want to show that there are programs across the country that are all working towards the same goal of creating these extension clinics that can do many different specialties, can help with hospitals, with rounding, with call, and surgical procedures. We're here to talk about all those aspects and collaborate on what's working and what's not working.
This transcription has been edited for clarity.