Questions for the Experts: Why do I sometimes see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor at my appointment?

Feb 15, 2019

We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they hear from their patients. Read Dr. Attila Barabas' answer to: Why do I sometimes see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor at my appointment?

A: Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, called Advanced Practice Providers (APP), are becoming more and more common in clinics and hospitals throughout the country, including Campbell County Health.

I work with Nurse Practitioner Lori McInerney in my clinic and she is a part of our team that also includes the nursing staff. Having another provider helps us to see more patients, and see those patients more quickly.

Medicine is moving to more of a team approach to take advantage of everyone’s unique talents and use our collective understanding in enhancing patient care.

It’s all about collaboration. Lori’s training complements mine, and it’s a big advantage to have two different perspectives when it comes to developing a care plan for a patient.

In addition to seeing patients in the clinic, I perform all surgical procedures, either in the clinic or in the operating room. Lori sees her own panel of patients under my supervision, and brings any concerns forward for discussion.

Our approach is similar to a racing team. Even though the driver is in the spotlight, there is no success without the efforts of the whole team. In my view, the patient is the driver.

Wouldn’t you rather have more people with different areas of expertise working to help you get better?

Advanced Practice Providers, like Lori McInerney, APRN, can:

  • Order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments
  • Manage patients’ overall care
  • Counsel and educate patients on disease prevention and positive health and lifestyle choices

Attila Barabas, MD, and Lori McInerney, APRN, practice at Campbell County Medical Group Urology in the Main Clinic. The Urology Clinic provides complete urological care for men and women in Gillette, Wyoming. Learn more at