Wednesday, October 19, 2011
"Patients are no longer patients, but rather “customers” or “consumers.” Doctors and nurses have been transmuted into “providers.” These descriptors have been widely adopted in the media, medical journals, and even on clinical rounds. Yet the terms are not synonymous. The word “patient” comes from patiens, meaning suffering or bearing an affliction. Doctor is derived from docere, meaning to teach, and nurse from nutrire, to nurture. These terms have been used for more than three centuries."The terms "providers" and "consumers" do strike me as "health care industry"-centered terms which have served to frame the discussion in a way that is favorable to said industry. Hopefully, the terms (especially "consumers") don't advance any further in the lexicon and maybe more feedback needs to be given to media sources regarding better terms to use.
"The words “consumer” and “provider” are reductionist; they ignore the essential psychological, spiritual, and humanistic dimensions of the relationship — the aspects that traditionally made medicine a “calling,” in which altruism overshadowed personal gain."