What Twilight Zone do we live in where a practicing physician has a complaint filed against him because he asked, respectfully, that he and his colleagues be referred by their appropriate profession rather than by the degrading term “providers”? Well, this absurdity actually happened folks. Right here on Earth. The statement:
This is it. The ENTIRE statement. And the controversy on Twitter was still going strong–FOUR DAYS LATER.
The “offending” physician was accused of being arrogant, derogatory, egotistical, disrespectful, maintaining a patriarchal hierarchy and whatever other made-up transgressions imaginable by an enormous pack of pearl-clutching, overly-dramatic, pre-syncopal, Academy award-winning, Twitter trolls. To simply respect the physician’s wishes was apparently more than that particular RN’s sensibilities could bear. So much so that she performed astounding contortions to avoid doing so by complaining to the administration who, filled with their own sense of pompous self-importance, confronted the physician’s chairman, demanding due justice for the asinine crime of the doctor, under his authority, daring to ask to be referred by his correct title. By golly, that physician will damn well be identified as we see fit–they thought. The chairman informed them otherwise. My hats off to the chairman for recognizing the ludicrousy of the administration’s inappropriate response and standing by the physicians in his department.🎩
Folks, this is really what the issue is about. We reside in a healthcare system that resents physicians for our accomplishments, our inherent authority, and our commitment to our oath. Especially when the enactment of that oath interferes with the C-suite’s potential to increase revenue. In addition, the medical climate is a microcosm of some aspects of society. A society that loves to build people up then knock them down. Professional athletes, famous entertainers, self-made billionaires, noted academic scholars, political pundits, etc., all of whom have attained incredible success, largely through their own efforts, are idolized. Yet, they may also be accused of being arrogant, privileged, egotistical, and self-serving–subsequently becoming targets of acrimony. So it is in medicine. Physicians, in general, are respected throughout the world. Why? Primarily because most laypeople recognize that it takes a tremendous amount of time to become a physician. They understand that a significant commitment is required to reach this place called physicianhood. I daresay, most of us admire anyone who achieves success, particularly when that success was hard-earned. The achievers did not necessarily alter their behavior as they attained their goals, they just had the unmitigated gall to go beyond what others, brewing with resentment and unhappy with their own lot in life, decided was no longer well-deserved.
It takes physicians a minimum of 11 years to be able to practice independently. As one who traversed that arduous path, I can guarantee you that prestige and money were not at the forefront of my mind. It was being triumphant at completing that grueling educational process. It was a profoundly humbling experience. I accepted that the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of my labor would be delayed. I stand by the mantra that nothing worth having ever comes easy, otherwise one cannot truly appreciate his or her accomplishment. From a personal standpoint, as both a Black woman and the first medical doctor in my family, the title “Dr.” is more than just a label. When I carry that title, I carry the spirits of my ancestors who made unimaginable sacrifices, enabling me to be where I am today. I make no apologies for insisting on its use when I work. I represent them.
In general, I’ve noticed a disheartening transformation in the U.S. of an acceptance of mediocrity as the new standard of success. The embracing of this “standard” normalizes what should be undesirable. I believe this is subtly acknowledged by most as unacceptable. To circumvent that minor ethical inconvenience, terminology is manipulated to falsely elevate the status of an individual and imply one is more qualified than they are. Individuals who engage in this morally reprehensible behavior manage to deceive even themselves. One example of this is in education when a teacher’s aide, who may have a high school education, is referred to as a paraprofessional educator. Titles matter. In medicine, the purposeful avoidance of using appropriate designations to identify physicians is pernicious and malevolent, as it is predicated upon the diminution of physicians. If one finds it necessary to orchestrate one’s title or role to the point of deception in order to boost one’s credibility, is that not indicative of a profound sense of insecurity? The onus should not be on physicians to relinquish our professional label to accommodate others who may feel devalued by its perceived status.
Physicians represent the face of medicine–the reasons should be apparent. We are the experts in the practice of medicine and the only ones with a license to engage in that practice. Medicine has existed for centuries, as have medical doctors. To ensure profits, the current “healthcare” system is heavily reliant upon the deception of the public, perpetrated by those who masquerade as physicians and those who represent the business of medicine. We are in the midst of a transformation in medicine–a mutation of sorts. Seedy, slimy, barely-human entities seek to unseat physicians from our ineradicable roles. And that includes undermining our authority, refusing to address us by our professional titles, and being dismissive of our concerns regarding patient care. Unfortunately, they are, in some cases, assisted by useless medical organizations and slobbering, slack-jawed, sycophantic, virtue-signaling traitor trash physicians who suffer from a warped type of Stockholm Syndrome. The only viable way for such creatures to execute this attempted professional hijacking is by deluding the public. Their immorality is ingrained; thus their conscience remains undisturbed by such acts. They plot, they plan and they pass legislation that should be illegal. They demean, degrade, devalue and demoralize physicians in their effort to disintegrate our psyche. At times the demoralization is so abusive and complete that we lose a colleague to suicide. One less physician, one less competitor, one less opposer. The abusers step over that carcass and continue their agenda. Nevertheless, we physicians remain, en masse, and have no intention of relinquishing our positions or titles without a fight.
How does one separate a physician from medicine? It would be easier to separate the Mother from her Earth.