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October 14, 1996

Why 'Providers' Instead of Physicians?

Author Affiliations

Houston, Tex

Arch Intern Med. 1996;156(18):2148. doi:10.1001/archinte.1996.00440170168021

Powerful market forces that have significantly changed the practice of medicine in this country were the first to begin describing physicians as providers. In the April 8, 1996, issue of the ARCHIVES, Burns et al1 published an article entitled "As Mammography Use Increases, Are Some Providers Omitting Clinical Breast Examination?" According to the new business terminology used by Burns and colleagues, the very next original investigation, published in the same issue by Linder et al,2 should have been entitled "Psychosocial Interventions for Consumers (instead of "Patients," as they correctly wrote) with Coronary Artery Disease." At least among physicians and in medical publications, we should avoid the provider/consumer business terminology popularized by those in managed care and maintain the physician/patient status that we all deserve.

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