Difference Between NP and MD (With Table)

In the world of medicines, there exist several posts and designations on which people work. Some are the experts. On the other hand, some are beginners. Whatsoever the post might be, the primary motto of those working in the medical field is to diagnose, prevent and heal a patient suffering through a certain disorder or disease. Two of those posts or designations or degrees of work are 1. MD (doctor of medicine) 2. NP (nurse practitioner).

NP vs MD

The difference between MD (Doctor of medicine) and NP (Nurse practitioner) is the board by which they are licensed. An MD (doctor of medicine) gets his/her license from the Medical’s Doctor Board. On the contrary, an NP (nurse practitioner) gets his/her license from the Nursing Board.

An NP or a Nurse Practitioner is a form of a mid-level practitioner. Nurse practitioners are given training on subjects like examination of the needs of the patients, run analytical tests, prescribe a treatment plan etc. Their training also encompasses basic prevention of disease, health care promotion of health but does not indulge in the expertise of deeper complexities of a particular condition. A nurse practitioner can either work independently or work under the supervision of a physician. It was conceptualized in the mid-1960s due to the shortage of physicians back then.

The Doctor of medicine or MD is a type of medical degree. Various countries insinuate different interpretations regarding this degree. For instance, in the USA, this degree indicates a professional graduate degree. On the other hand, in the United Kindom, this degree is a research doctorate or applied clinical degree. It is known that the first degree in the medical field was awarded around the year 1000 by Schola Medica Salernitana. However, this degree was legally sanctioned in the year 1173 by Roger II of Sicily. It indicated that only those physicians who bore a degree are allowed to perform the activities of a physician.

Comparison Table Between NP and MD

Parameters of Comparison NPMD
Full-form Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Medicine
Licensed ByThe Nursing BoardThe Medical Doctor’s Board
Education RequiredMaster Of Science in NursingM.B.B.S Degree
First founded/awarded in19651000
Initiated byLoretta Ford and Dr. Henry Silver Schola Medica Salernitana
Subtypes Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (primary or acute care), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
General Physician, Pediatrician, General Surgeon, Cardiologist, Dentist, Dermstologists, Gynecologist, ENT Specialist, Allergist/Immunologists, Anesthesiologists, Colon or Rectal Surgeon, Critical Care Medicine Specialists, Endocrinologist, Emergency Medical Specialist, Family Physician, Gastroenterologist, Geriatric Medicine Specialist, Hematologist, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Specialist, Infectious Disease Specialist, Internists, Medical Geneticist, Neurologist, Nephrologist, Obstetrician, Oncologist, Ophthalmologist, Pathologist, Osteopath, Podiatrist, Psychiatrist, Preventive Medicine Specialist, Pulmonologist, Radiologist, Rheumatologist, General Surgeon, Urologist, Sports Medicine Specialist, Sleep Medicine Specialist

What is NP?

An NP or a Nurse Practitioner is a form of the mid-level practitioner. The first program regarding this degree was launched by Loretta Ford and Dr Henry Silver in the year 1965. One must have a Master of Science in Nursing degree to pursue this profession. Examination of the needs of the patients, run analytical tests, prescribe a treatment plan etc., are the topics on which training is given to the nurse practitioners. Apart from that, they are given training on topics such as basic prevention of disease, health care promotion of health but does not indulge in the expertise of deeper complexities of a particular condition.

The scope of practice in this field differs from state to state and country to country. In some states of the USA, nurse practitioners can work independently. On the other hand, in some places, they have to work under the supervision of a physician. The national shortage of physicians in the mid-1960s led to the creation of the concept of advanced nurse practice. After Dr Henry Silver and Loretta Ford created the first formal graduate certificate program for nurse practitioners in the year 1965, the US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Elliot Richardson, recommended the development of nursing practice.

The initiation of the nursing program took place at different times in different countries. In Canada, the initiation of the nursing program took place in the 1990s in Ontario. The nurses collaborated with Physicians and Pediatricians and practised in the neonatal intensive care unit. The licensing and board certification system for the program varies from country to country. Likewise, the criteria for opting for a job in this field is also different in different countries.

What is MD?

The Doctor of medicine or MD is a type of medical degree. Different countries have conceptualized different interpretations of this degree. The first degree in this category was awarded in the year 1000 by Schola Medica Salernitana. After that, it was first sanctioned in the year 1173 by Roger II of Sicily and then by Emperor Federico II in the year 1231. The initial sanctioning and awarding was done in the Constitution of Melfi. After that, the physicians who were the awardees of this degree were only allowed to practice the activities of a physician.

In the year 1703, the University of Glasgow awarded this degree to their first recipient Samuel Benion. Columbia, Penn, Harvard, Maryland and McGill were some early North American schools that granted the doctor of medicine degree. Surgeons and Physicians who studied in England and Scotland were the founders of these schools. The foundations of these schools are responsible for the exceptional evolution that escalated in the medical field.

As mentioned earlier, different countries interpret differently to the degree of MD. In Argentina, the First degree of Physician Diplomate is equivalent to the MD degree in North America. In Afghanistan, no prior degree of medicine is required, and students can pursue a medical degree directly after high school. Australian medical schools show traces of British tradition in the medical field.

The students are free to do higher research after their MD degree. In Canada, students must give an entrance exam after their bachelor’s degree in order to pursue an MD degree. These different systems in different countries help to construct a strong medical background of a certain country.

Main Differences Between NP and MD

  1. An MD gets his/her license from the Medical’s Doctor Board. On the contrary, an NP gets his/her license from the Nursing Board.
  2. The educational qualifications required to become an MD is that a candidate must pursue an MBBS Degree. On the other hand, the educational qualifications required to become an NP is that a candidate must pursue a Master Of Science in Nursing degree.
  3. The initiation of an MD degree took place in the year 1000. On the other hand, the initiation of an NP degree took place in the year 1965.
  4. The work that an MD must do includes complex cases and difficult areas to cover. On the other hand, a nurse practitioner’s job includes a patient’s health care and running analytical tests and assessment of patient’s need.
  5. The first MD degree was awarded by Schola Medica Salernitana. On the other hand, the first NP degree was awarded by Loretta Ford and Dr Henry Silver.

Conclusion

Both degrees/posts have equal significance in the world of medicine, and people working at both posts are responsible for a country’s robust medical backbone. No work done by people working at these posts is less or easier than one another.

An excellent example of the greatness of all the people working in the medical field is the work done by all the doctors and nurses in the Covid-19 pandemic. It is because of their efforts and persistence that people can sustain themselves in such a difficult situation.

Medical milestones and progress in the medical field are possible only because of all the doctors and nurses who burn the midnight oil to keep a patient healthy and safe, and by keeping a patient safe indirectly, they keep an entire country safe.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/857d64d8a4b3c6e5c03baadfff4f4fbb/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1056336
  2. https://journals.healio.com/doi/abs/10.3928/0148-4834-20010401-05
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