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June 2017

Shared Goals and Clear Roles for Cardiovascular Team-Based Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk
  • 2Sentara Healthcare, Norfolk, Virginia
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(6):591-592. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0556

In 1965, Eugene Stead, MD, created the first physician assistant training program at Duke University. That same year, Loretta Ford, NP, EdD, and Henry Silver, MD, initiated the first nurse practitioner training program at the University of Colorado.1 In the relatively short time since the start of these new professions, hundreds of programs have proliferated across the country and around the world to grant degrees to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other advanced practice professionals. The original idea was to provide fast-track training that was less costly and less arduous than the education and training required of physician specialists.1-3 Because of the streamlined training, early proponents argued that advanced practice professionals could be mobilized quickly to address looming physician shortages, particularly in primary care. Many cardiology practices have responded to the challenges of contemporary practice by recruiting and training advanced practice professionals, using team-based care to expand patient access, improve efficiency, and assure quality. In short order, advanced practice professionals have become firmly established in the practice of cardiology and other specialties.

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