Physician-led, team-based care has proven effective in delivering safe, quality, accessible health care, leading to better health outcomes for all Kentucky patients. This approach ensures that three very important elements of care are always at the forefront.

Access to the care we need for ourselves and our families is a critical part of living a healthy life. And all Kentuckians stand to benefit from the access afforded to them by physician-led, team-based care in their communities. But provider shortages are making it difficult for many patients to access quality care close to home. In fact, 94% of Kentucky’s 120 counties currently face a primary care shortage. By investing in programs to help recruit and retain more physicians, such as graduate medical education (GME) funding and loan repayment programs, we can develop the physician-led care teams we need for a healthier Kentucky.

Quality care makes a difference when it comes to health outcomes—and physicians can help lead the way. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that patient referrals from physicians ranked higher in quality than referrals from other providers because physicians were able to better articulate clear questions, provide clinical information and help patients understand and feel confident in their health. 

Physician-led, team-based care can help control costs within our health care system. Recent studies from a health care clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Stanford University found that care delivered under the guidance and oversight of a highly trained physician led to fewer emergency room visits, fewer hospital admissions and readmissions, shorter hospital stays, higher vaccination rates and overall lower health care costs.

With more than a decade of rigorous education, clinical training and hands-on experience, physicians are uniquely trained and qualified to lead your health care journey with the support of your full care team. Physicians and non-physicians bring different skills, experience and training to the field, which is why it’s important they play as a team.

While patients strongly support a physician-led health care team, 35% of patients don’t know the qualifications of their health care providers. 

When it comes to your health, it’s important to know a physician is leading your care.

Experience


  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    4 years (90 credit hours)

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    3-7 years

  • Total Patient Care
    Hours Required Through Training

    12,000-16,000 hours or considerably more for subspecialists.

Physician (M.D./D.O)

Physician

  • 2 - 2.5 Years

  • None

  • 2,500 hours

Physician Assistant

Non-Physician

  • 2 - 2.5 Years

  • None

  • 2,500 hours

Physician Assistant

Non-Physician

  • 2 - 2.5 Years

  • None

  • 2,500 hours

Nurse Practitioner

Non-Physician

  • 2 - 4 Years

  • None

  • 500 - 720 hours

Psychologists

Non-Physician

  • 3 Years + 1 Year Internship

  • 1 Year

  • 1 - 2 Years

Physician (MD)

Physician MDs are “Doctors of Medicine.”

  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    4 years (90 credit hours)

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    3-7 years

  • Total Patient Care
    Hours Required Through Training

    12,000-16,000 hours or considerably more for subspecialists.
Physician

Physician (DO)

Physician DOs are “Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.”

  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    4 years (90 credit hours)

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    3-7 years

  • Total Patient Care Hours
    Required Through Training

    12,000-16,000 hours
Physician

Physician Assistant

Non-Physician

  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    2 - 2.5 Years

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    None

  • Total Patient Care Hours
    Required Through Training

    2,500 hours

Physician Assistant

Non-Physician

  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    2 - 2.5 Years

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    None

  • Total Patient Care Hours
    Required Through Training

    2,500 hours

Nurse Practitioner

Non-Physician

  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    2 - 4 Years

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    None

  • Total Patient Care Hours
    Required Through Training

    500 - 720 hours

Psychologists

Non-Physician

  • Length of Graduate Level Education

    3 Years + 1 Year Internship

  • Years in Residency/Fellowship

    1 Year

  • Total Patient Care Hours
    Required Through Training

    1 - 2 Years

Patients want a physician involved in their health care. Findings from a national survey of U.S. voters regarding their sentiments on scope of practice show that patients trust and want physician-led, team-based care.

(Source: AMA Survey, Jan. 27 – Feb. 1, 2021)

The numbers show that patients trust physician-led, team-based care.

(Source: AMA Survey, Jan. 27 – Feb. 1, 2021)