Physical examinations create a tangible connection
Various tasks previously done by physicians are now assigned to other caregivers. Nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants do annual physicals, hospital admissions, and preoperative medical clearances. Medical assistants take blood pressures. There are good reasons for a team approach, including current and projected physician shortages, and pressures on physicians to crowd many patients onto their schedules because of low Medicare and other reimbursements. But I sometimes worry that we could be losing something important.