“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Every year I receive an invitation from a local hospital to attend a social gathering. This gathering of highly talented health care professionals is the New Provider Social. It is a lovely event, hosted by the hospital, to welcome and introduce new physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The gathering is fun, interactive, with good food and camaraderie. However, every year that I decide to go, I end up regretting it.
I come home feeling a little upset at myself for watching he whole rigmarole once again. I watch the introduction of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants on the stage with the label of “New Provider”. I have seen highly trained trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, internists and many physicians of all specialties introduced on stage with that same label.
There are so many reasons why physicians should not be labeled as providers. For a primer, read this article.
Labels and names do make a big difference. It has been shown that the word provider devalues doctors and contributes to physician burnout. Therefore, when a healthcare system prides itself on trying to reduce physician burnout, it needs to abandon this label. It’s not too lengthy or too difficult to say New Physician/Clinician Social. Or just pick another name.
The worst part is that I have brought this up to my fellow physicians, some of whom have sat at the same table with me, and none of them seemed to care. Or last least not care enough to say anything. They either don’t want to disturb the status quo or are part of the machinery that runs the system. The amount of apathy and lack of unity is disconcerting.
I have decided that I will not be going to the hospital’s New Provider Social again unless the name of the event is changed appropriately. I don’t think anyone will really notice or care, but at least I made a stand.
In as much as I love Shakespeare, I refuse to go by the name of Provider.