Doctors not providers. Why is that?

Why the shift from being called the time honored 'Doctor' to 'Provider.'

Part of it is the entry of other 'clinicians' like nurses, optometrists, therapists, physician assistants who are part of the team and getting reimbursed also by insurers. As marketing pros will tell you, there is a  lot to the name. Any way you look at the name 'provider' it is a huge step down for physicians. Makes you feel like you are lumped with providers of utilities, lumber and the like. I do not recall organized medicine or almost any specialty society seriously objecting to the term 'provider' when it was first used. You snooze, you lose, right?

Our physician leaders are now also using the dreaded 'P' title for their colleagues!

How about a little push back? Maybe it is a little late but try anyway.

Don't look up, respond or acknowledge the term when it is mentioned and pretend they are talking about someone else down the hall.

If it is written in a document such as a contract or even an email, cross it out and use 'physician' instead. A fall back position is the descriptor 'clinician' although nurses and physician assistants love to be called clinician.

If you are called upon such as 'Providers please raise your hand' don't. If questioned, say you are a physician.

In one on one conversations  correct the other person to use the right term.

If something requires your signature under the name 'Provider' cross it out and replace with 'Physician'

Suneel Dhand on his blog site ( remarks that almost no where else in the world is a physician called a 'Provider.'

If I was a conspiracy nut, I would probably say that this is a deliberate move to take down the physician ego down a bit more.


Common on, let us all do this minor passive aggressive act!