Pediatrics professor talks about scope of practice, insurance
There are some key statewide and national health care issues Mobeen Rathore, MD, is addressing in his role as president of the Duval County Medical Society.
Rathore, professor and associate chair of pediatrics at UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, was installed in December as the society’s 127th president. He’s been a member of DCMS for 23 years.
“It is truly an honor,” Rathore said about the new role. “This gives me an opportunity to work in organized medicine and help my profession in a major way. The goal is to help physicians practice their art better and serve our patients as best as we can.”
Since becoming president, Rathore has weighed in on a hot topic in the medical community: expanding nurses’ scope of practice. The benefits and drawbacks of that continue to be discussed.
Rathore said he has great respect for nurses, but is concerned about expanding their scope without expanding their training. Nurses start practice immediately after graduating, often working in one field and learning from a supervising physician. Physicians, in comparison, complete extensive training, including residency and fellowship, before they practice independently.
“I consider nurse practitioners our partners,” Rathore wrote in a letter to fellow DCMS members. “However, until nurse practitioners have training programs that are rigorous and expansive as residency and fellowship programs, we need to be careful before we expand their scope of practice.”
However, Rathore said he acknowledges there is a workforce shortage, which will become more apparent as more Floridians are added to insurance rolls via the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. If the medical community can’t accommodate the influx of patients, Rathore believes state legislators may be forced to take actions that won’t be in the best interests of physicians or patients.
“Answers are not easy,” he said. “However, organized medicine must take effective steps to address this issue.”
Rathore said many physicians don’t serve patients on public insurance because of the lower payments that are associated. Though physicians and practices have the right to make that choice, Rathore said it leaves a gap that has to be filled.
“We need to address the access to health care issue lest someone else does it for us,” Rathore said. He added that providing outstanding health care to more people will mean increasing reimbursements and expanding training programs for physicians.
Rathore is chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases and immunology at UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. He is also director of the UF Center for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Service (UF CARES).
Last year, Rathore was appointed to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases. The committee is responsible for the publication of the Red Book, regarded worldwide as the most authoritative reference in the management of infectious diseases in children.
He had been a DCMS board member and served on many of its committees years prior to becoming president. Today, the organization has more than 2,000 members, making it one of the largest county-based medical societies in Florida.
Mobeen H. Rathore, MBBS (MD), CPE, FACPE, FIDSA, FAAP
Associate Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology; Director, UF Center for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Service (UF CARES)