Nurse practitioners have nearly tripled in Illinois, where they can now practice independently. Some even use the title doctor. Should you be worried?

Elizabeth Hug had a choice: wait months to see a doctor to treat her fibromyalgia or visit a nurse practitioner in the same office immediately.She decided sooner was better than later. She liked the nurse practitioner, Christopher Galloway, so much that she continued to see him, even when he went into private practice in Crest Hill, Ill. He was caring, accessible and a good listener, she said.Hug, her husband and two teenage children now visit Galloway regularly — instead of a primary care doctor.“It’s kind of a different experience,” Hug said. “They just seem to know how to talk to people dif…

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