December 6, 2015

Open Letter to Suneel Dhand, MD

Suneel Dhand, MD has become a regular at complaining about the use of providers in referring to doctors. With all the terms that doctors invent for their lack of communications with patients and the terms they hang on patients, the term providers fits quite well. This is the third blog by him, complaining about the term “provider.”

Dear Suneel Dhand, MD,

I don't think your complaining about the term “provider” is justified. Doctors label patients everyday and many show us disrespect everyday.
  • They talk at us instead of with us.
  • They use other terms to label communication with patient, such as – patient engagement and many wanted extra money to do this.
  • They try to put labels on us – consumers – and this continues even today.
  • Many label us as non-compliant and other names, mainly because they don't communicate.
  • Many bully patients, especially the elderly.
  • Many make assumptions about patients and cause harm.
  • Many hand patients a fist full of prescription without any explanations.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Until doctors use communication with patients and learn what Dr. Rob Lamberts has to say about communications, Communication isn’t important to health care, communication is health care.”  (Bold is my emphasis), many doctors will not get the respect they deserve and the media and patients will continue to use the term providers. And, don't forget that most in the media become patients and don't like the disrespect you show them. Remember, Suneel Dhand, MD that respect flows both ways.

The pedestal that you try to build for yourself can be broken when you complain too much without examining what you are doing to patients. In addition, many providers supported state medical boards that tried to limit things that you dislike and were afraid might show us what can be done.

I can agree that when you are lumped together with others supporting professions, (no, I did not say professionals as most are very unprofessional), this is not a good thing and some writers carry this to the extreme.

Until you earn the respect of your patients and others on electronic media, the term may continue to haunt you. Dr. Rob Lamberts has earned the respect of many people, as many other doctors have and when referring to them, I will continue to use the correct title. Complainers and whiners will continue being referred to as providers.

Bob Fenton, patient and blog owner

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