I received an anonymous comment from an anesthesiol0gist today. I'm not going to post it because this is my WLS blog, not a public referendum on anesthesiol0gists vs. nurse anesthetists. The comment was longer than most of my posts on this blog, and essentially consisted of a laundry list of all the inc0mpetent CRNAs he has worked with, and how he will never work with a CRNA again.
Anonymous, if you wanted a dialogue about the qualifications and competency of nurse anesthetists vs. anesthesiol0gists, the honest thing would have been to include a name or an email address. I have it all hanging out here--my name, my pictures, my city, all the details of my bariatric surgery and my schooling-- even my weight is posted on this blog. And you don't have the courage to include your name to make this an actual discussion.
Furthermore, you detail the ways in which the CRNAs in your (former) practice were unpr0fessional and unsafe. Yet your practice didn't do the obvious things, which would be to report the practitioners to their state licensing board, or fire their asses. Rather than go after unsafe practitioners, your organization would rather simply hold these people up as representative examples of the profession to the public, as a reason why the public should only accept MDs for their anesthesia. Yet, you continue to hire CRNAs in your practices, because you can "supervise" 4 of them at a time, and bill at 50% for supervising them. (Yes, folks, that's 200% billing at one time.) All this, and you earn at least 4x the salary of a CRNA.
If your complaint is accurate (and I've only heard your obviously biased side of the story), your practice hired some incredibly unpr0fessional nurse anesthetists. The practice shares the blame in allowing them to continue to work. We all know that your professional organization would rather replace all CRNAs with anesthesia ass1stants, who are under your complete control. However, unless you are going to make your salaries affordable for rural hospitals, there would be no anesthesia providers for most hospitals in the country, because they can't afford an anesthesiol0gist, let alone one plus an anesthesia ass1stant. CRNAs will always be around because a, you guys make money off us, and b, you aren't willing to work in Backwater Oregon's 100 bed Level 4 hospital for half of what you make in Seattle or San Diego.
That's great that you're moving on to an all MD practice--but if you feel so great about that, why do you feel the need to Google "crnas+inferi0r" and leave anonymous comments on some student nurse anesthetist's bariatric surgery blog?
That's all the space you get here. Back to my regularly scheduled WLS content.