How to be an Authentic Doctor #13: You Have to be a Physician


This probably should have been the first tip in this series but there really is no cohesive order to this.  I am sure, once again, that I will be attacked by the militant LELTs (overwhelming minority) for saying this but it doesn’t matter.  They can be an authentic PAs or an authentic NPs.  There is nothing wrong with that nor is there anything wrong with their role in healthcare as long as it is in a collaborative and not competitive manner.  That being said, by definition, you cannot be an authentic doctor if you are not a doctor.   You can call yourself whatever you want.  You can even get a DNP.  It doesn’t matter.  If you want to take this personally, like every militant LELT does, then so be it.  We physicians have had so much stripped from us over the years that we seem to have learned helplessness.  This website, however, is different and doesn’t believe in giving up.  What we went through, the years of training and education, truly matters and I am proud of that.  And why shouldn’t we all be?  With that pride should come caring and integrity and many of the other things I have mentioned or will mention in these tips.  So, stand tall.  Those four grueling years in medical school meant something.  And those three, four or more brutal years in residency meant something as well.

  9 comments for “How to be an Authentic Doctor #13: You Have to be a Physician

  1. Dr Bonz
    May 6, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Doug: Why do you delete the PA/NP comments? To allow the ones who agree with you and delete the ones who do not, isn’t really fair is it? We are all big boys and girls. We can handle it. Bring em on!

    • Doug Farrago
      May 6, 2014 at 9:31 am

      I did for a while. Years in fact. The problem was that the militants NEVER stop. They repeat the same stuff over and over and then it becomes insane. Read the NYT op-ed Nurses are not Doctors and the same comments by the militant LELTs are there. So they are doctors? Nope, I will NOT give them a forum.

  2. Ray
    May 2, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Really? Are you kidding me? Suffer through years of premed, med school, loans (250,000 for me), residency (3 years, doesn’t sound like much? Try not sleeping for 3 years).
    Then, have someone tell you ( after practicing in the trenches for 20 years) that they have your credentials. But………..they don’t. Not sorry, guys. Walk the the talk…otherwise..shut up. What a stupid argument. Get real with yourself. Peace.

  3. Mandi
    April 30, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I am an RN and will start PA school in June. I just don’t get the militant LELTs (I think that acronym is funny, btw). I respect each member of the healthcare team’s credentials and role in taking care of our patients. I like the collaborative aspect of being a PA working with an MD and would never presume that I had the same educational background and experience of someone who went through 8+ years of medical training. Doug, your story a few weeks ago about the NP who wouldn’t deign to compare herself to a nurse but wanted to compare herself to a doctor was spot on. I have told that story several times since then.

  4. DrHockey
    April 26, 2014 at 10:09 am

    If you want to be a dentist, go to dental school.
    If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school.
    If you want to be a doctor, go to medical school.
    If you want to fly a plane, go to flying school.
    If you want to be a nurse, go to nursing school.
    If you want to be an engineer, go to engineering school,
    If you want to be an architect, go to architectural school.
    If you want to be a …

  5. Doug Farrago
    April 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

    As expected, the hate mail from the militant LELTs are coming. They are being deleted. How you can take this personal is beyond me? It has gotten so politically correct out there that we docs can not even be proud that we ARE docs without others taking offense.

    • Rc davis
      April 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      I am a PA.
      I think that you are right… A doctor is a doctor, and I am not one.

      We can get along.. Each has a role.

      Love your postings


      • Doug Farrago
        April 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm

        Thank you. And thank you for your response on the PA Forum as well.

  6. Sir Lance-a-lot
    April 25, 2014 at 8:14 am

    You know how many patients I see who, when I ask, “So, who’s your regular doctor?” say, “Oh, I see Dr. _______,” who is actually a PA or an NP?

    Burns me up, because if I correct them, then I’m the jerk.

    Of course, if pushed, a linguist would probably say they were using the word “doctor” in its original sense of “teacher,” as a term of respect, but, *really?*

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