What does this term mean? Many NPs and PAs are referred by this but there is no real definition as to what it means. It most likely came from the DEA, referring to someone that may prescribe controlled substances. But many providers do not like this term and find it somewhat derogatory. Here is why:
No one who goes to graduate school for 2+ years wants to be known as “mid.” This implies that they provide sub-par or “middle of the road” care. In addition, it assumes that nurses are lower level providers, which I think we can all agree is not true. As a current nurse and future NP, I can add that I find this is very offensive. Everyone in the health care field is skilled and has played an important role in the care of the patient. No one should be labeled based on an assumed amount of care that they can provide. Instead, they should be referred by the actual degree they obtained and worked incredibly hard to achieve.
This term may also mean that the practitioner is the “middleman,” meaning they only take orders from “upper level” providers and do not put in any actual orders for themselves. To clarify, this is not true. NPs and PAs have the education and training so that they can make autonomous decisions concerning patient’s health and are going to spend a great amount time with their patients so that they can provide the best care to them. Just like in any profession, it is important to give credit where credit is due and to be as respectful as possible to those that have committed their time and energy to provide a higher level of care to those in need.