In reply: I welcome the comments of Murphy and of Shaban and colleagues on my recent editorial,1 which explored, as Shaban et al say, the “displacement of doctors in modern health care by nurse practitioners and physician assistants”. The main focus of the editorial was on the current philosophical relativism muddying the definition of what a doctor is and the academic qualifications underpinning all professional training. It calls for equally rigorous criteria to be applied to non-doctor practitioners and their scope for independent practice.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.