04 October 2009

Call them doctors, not "providers"

It can't be just me that thinks this, but I'm surprised that there hasn't been an uprising from an all too nonchalant citizenry, and from doctors themselves, over the term "provider."
I once read an article by a doctor with maybe the semblance of heartburn over this issue, gone, buried, as we accept another doublespeak, neutered term into the lexicon. The creep of lazy language - why does it take root, and why no resistance?

Doctors go to school for years and years to earn their credentials and a title to boot. Somewhere I have a USA Today poll clipped that listed America's top five professions: doctor, firefighter, teacher, clergy, military officer. (Note: lawyer didn't make the cut.) My father grew up in the medical "old school," a harsher time unknown to you and me. He made housecalls, travelled by foot, performed emergency and routine surgeries, was the doctor to five railroads, and served as a medical officer to the Coast Guard.

So today, we have large-scale health organizations that train every schlub or policy wonk answering phones to lump everyone as a "provider." Nameless, faceless, provider.

Doctors are entitled to better and should insist on being called "Doctor."

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