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May 17, 2000

Health Outcomes Among Patients Treated by Nurse Practitioners or Physicians

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor


Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

JAMA. 2000;283(19):2521-2524. doi:10.1001/jama.283.19.2521

To the Editor: Dr Mundinger and colleagues1 state that their results support the "hypothesis" that there is no difference in patient outcomes between nurse practitioner and physician care. However, this is really the null hypothesis, and their study simply failed to find a difference. This seemingly semantic argument actually has an important basis—that of the difference between statistical and clinical significance. Current research methods may provide only a blunt tool with regard to dissecting what must predictably be small but nonetheless important shades of gray in primary care outcomes.

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