Doctor Curmudgeon: Doctors Yes! Providers No!

doctor curmudgeonI am beginning to hate many words beginning with “P”.  This may become my least favorite letter of the alphabet.

Among the exceptions to Doctor Curmudgeon’s P hate list are Physician and Parfaits (preferably chocolate)

Just look at these:

P- Pimple


P-Parsimonious (when it’s stingy, not frugal)



And, please refrain from peppering your pithy comments with all the good P words out there, let’s just focus on Provider.


I did not receive a degree in providing. A provider is someone who makes things available, or makes arrangements or supports…or stuff like that.

I am proud to have earned an M.D.  Doctor of Medicine.

Others are equally proud to have earned a D.O.  Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

And so we are Doctors. We are Physicians. We are M.Ds and D.Os.  We are not Providers.

We know that calling us providers is a way of lumping us with others … making us all the same.  Just a bunch of providers.

I have my own little private insurgency going.

When I am on the phone calling in a prescription and, if asked for the “provider’s name,” I say, loudly and clearly,  “I am NOT a provider.  I am a physician.  I am Doctor Curmudgeon.”

When some stupid form (by definition, all forms are stupid, to me) asks for the provider’s signature, I cross it out and write “physician” or “doctor,” depending on my mood.

I do not recall when first I heard the dreaded term “provider” – but I do not like it.

I survived medical school

I survived my training

I am now joyously practicing as a doctor


Diane Batshaw EismanDoctor Curmudgeon is Diane Batshaw Eisman MD, FAAFP, a Family Physician, writer, voiceover artist, and medical educator. It was in the Neolithic Era that the doctor became renowned for expertise in Trephination. After so much time in practice, Doctor Curmudgeon is now cranky and has rightfully earned the honorific of “Curmudgeon.”

Doctor Curmudgeon has no idea of what will appear in this space. It depends on the Good Doctor’s mood and whatever shamans and doctors are channeled at the moment.

As a curmudgeon, I may stray from what I observe happening in medicine and slink into other areas. But that is the prerogative of a Curmudgeon