Call me doctor, please


Fam Pract Manag. 2001 Jun;8(6):13.

To the Editor:

Family Practice Management (FPM) would be greatly enhanced if the word “provider” was banned from print and replaced with the title of the medical professional the article is discussing. I am a physician, I did not graduate from provider school, I do not have a provider license and the American Association of Providership does not certify me.

Will my fellow colleagues join me in not only displaying a high degree of professionalism in their conversation and writings, but also in insisting we be addressed as physicians or doctors?

Editor’s response:

FPM uses “provider” to refer to non-physician health care providers – for instance, in the phrase “midlevel providers” – and to groups of (pardon the expression) health care providers that include individuals from more than one profession, as in the sentence, “Our clinic has 20 providers, 15 of whom are family physicians.” It is our policy not to use the term as a synonym for “physician.”


Send your comments to fpmedit@aafp.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.


Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact fpmserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

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