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ADVANCE Voice: NP

Did You Go to Provider School?

Published January 16, 2008 8:03 AM by Jill Rollet
An article in the Jan. 6 New York Times Fashion and Style section highlights the rising cachet of the creative professions and the loss of prestige among lawyers and physicians. Physicians interviewed for the article lament know-it-all patients and the new demands to see more patients and to fill out more paperwork. But here's a more interesting complaint:
Even the language of contemporary medicine has eroded the physician's sense of majesty.

"What irritates me the most is the use of the term ‘provider,'" said Dr. Brian A. Meltzer, an internist in Pennington, N.J., who now practices pro bono on the side, but works full time for Johnson & Johnson's venture capital division. "We didn't go to provider school."

If anyone tells you that physician-only language is just a habit, it's not. Some physicians, at least, actively resist "provider."

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