Wednesday, June 05, 2013 Study: Patients Prefer Nonphysician to Waiting Given certain scenarios, consumers surveyed by the Association of American Medical Colleges preferred to see a physician assistant or nurse practitioner over a physician if their visit could be as little as 1 day sooner. The survey report was published in the June issue of Health Affairs and reported by ModernPhysician.com. When simply asked who they would rather see in a practice with a physician, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner, 50.4% preferred the physician, 29.9% had no preference, and 22.8% preferred a nonphysician. But when 2 scenarios were presented, the responses changed: Patients could see a physician tomorrow or see a nonphysician today for a worsening cough—59.6% preferred a same-day visit with a nonphysician; 15.1% had no preference or were unsure. Patients could see a physician in 3 days or see a nonphysician in 1 day for frequent headaches—66.6% preferred the next-day visit with a nonphysician; 11.3% had no preference or were unsure. The report was based on a survey of 2,053 adults who indicated that they or a physician believed that they needed medical care at least once in the past 12 months.