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Words Matter: I’m a Physician, and #NotAProvider!

Diana Londoño, MD writes about the importance of understanding what titles mean and why it is important to take a stance about their preservation.

Names are important.

Your parents likely spent months, searching through baby name books, polling the family, and looking through the photo albums of ancestors to pick the perfect name for you.

Maybe your parents had to see your face before they could pick the “perfect” name.

Names have history, they have power, and they embody your personality.

 

Names are important. Your parents likely spent months, searching through baby name books, polling the family, and looking through the photo albums of ancestors to pick the perfect name for you. Click To Tweet

 

My daughter was officially named Daniela, yet we have called her Bimbi months before she was born.

That is her true name, it fits her. She is spunky, she is bubbly, she is powerful, and she is beautiful. It was carefully chosen by my older daughter Paloma when I was 5 months pregnant when she declared proudly, “We should name her Bimbi.” We agreed and the rest is history.

 

Names have history, they have power, and they embody your personality.

 

As physicians, our title which has been taken under the Hippocratic oath is equally powerful.

It states how we will do no harm or injustice to patients and specifically “now if I carry out this oath, and break it now, may I gain forever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.”

Our title is powerful, it is important, it was given under an oath as we were cloaked in our ceremony to become physicians.

 

Yet our title has slowly been eroded throughout time.

We are no longer called physicians; we are now providers. This is a powerful tool to confuse and dehumanize a physician.

When you no longer know who you are, you will be lost. Think of someone with delirium, or psychosis, they can’t even tell you their own name. They are no longer oriented to names. THINK ABOUT THAT for a moment.

 

Yet our title has slowly been eroded throughout time. We are no longer called physicians; we are now providers. This is a powerful tool to confuse and dehumanize a physician. Click To Tweet

 

When we do not know who we are as physicians, when we do not know and use our own title that was anointed to us when we assumed this role, we will be left confused, delirious, and lost without a sense of purpose.

Psychological erosion is sneaky, it is insidious, and seems innocuous, yet it is powerful. When you are confused about who you are, how can you honor who you are? How can you be a healer, and advocate for your patient, a teacher? If you don’t know who you are and where you are going, how will you get there?

 

When you no longer know who you are, you will be lost. Think of someone with delirium, or psychosis, they can’t even tell you their own name. They are no longer oriented to names. THINK ABOUT THAT for a moment. Click To Tweet

 

This is an important time to rise up.

To come together. To understand it is our time to remove the confusing veil put on us. We are not delirious. We are not psychotic. We are PHYSICIANS. We are the ones who took an oath to benefit “patients according to my greatest ability and judgment… to keep pure and holy both my life and my art.”

 

Psychological erosion is sneaky, it is insidious, and seems innocuous, yet it is powerful. When you are confused about who you are, how can you honor who you are? Click To Tweet

 

It is time to take back what belongs to us. It is ours. It is time to rise and start the revolution. Our title will not be taken away. You would never accept being called Laura when your name is Sarah. Our title has power. It is our healer’s birthright. Start the revolution. It starts with your title. Reclaim your power.

Hi. My name is Diana Londoño, and I am a physician #NotAProvider.

Originally published on KevinMD.com on 7/27/22

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