What’s In A Name: Physicians Or Providers?

The term “provider” is vague and reflects what seems to be an increasing commoditization of medicine and health care. It’s used in reference to any number of licensed, non-physician healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists. In recent years, the term is also used in reference to physicians. Therein lies a very big concern. Words have meaning, weight, and consequences.

Healthcare is not a commodity and neither are doctors. In a 2016 Viewpoint article in JAMA, Allan Goroll, MD, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, wrote that “Assigning the ‘provider’ designation to primary care health professionals also risks deprofessionalizing them.” The word “provider” belies many of the reasons why doctors went into the profession in the first place. Goroll goes on to say “”Using the ‘provider’ designation in primary care also suggests that primary care is simple care that can be commoditized and delivered piecemeal in a variety of settings by less well-trained personnel operating interchangeably at low cost.”

In this episode of Inside The Doctor’s Lounge, the team the team welcomes Dr Edwin Leap, Emergency Medicine Physician and award-winning columnist and blogger who has written for the Huffington Post, Politico, and Focus on the Family Magazine. He also publishes monthly columns in the Emergency Medicine News, Medpage Today, Greenville News, and the South Carolina Baptist Courier. Together, they discuss in more detail how the generic use of the term “provider” is impacting today’s healthcare landscape. It’s a good conversation, grab a cup of coffee and join us!

Dr Allan Goroll’s JAMA article: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama…

Dr Edwin Leap’s website/blog: https://edwinleap.com/

Dr Edwin Leap’s Rx For Success podcast episode https://rxforsuccesspodcast.com/the-writer-edwin-leap-md/#more-1214

What’s In A Name: Physicians or Providers?