Aug 9, 2010
What’s In A Name?
One of the terms that we are considering changing is the designation of a physician or provider as that patient’s Family Physician. In my case, being a 54 year old man with a wife and a son who lives with his mother, both of which use different physicians than I do, it hardly seems appropriate to refer to Dr. Iyer (my doctor) as my Family Physician. I mean, what family is that really referring to . . . my original family where my parents live in Crystal Lake and my brother lives in Gurnee . . . or my current “family” that I described above. And my group of fellow employees is often referred to as my KSB “family”, but that certainly doesn’t have anything to do with my personal relationship with Dr. Iyer. The only other connection with family is that I do enjoy watching Family Guy, but I have never referred to Dr. Iyer as my Family Guy . . . that would be quite weird.
This all has brought us to the conclusions that have emerged in the EMR world related to the labeling of the physician that could be described as the Doctor That the Patient Goes To When He/She Has an Illness For Which He/She is Not Directly Self Referring to a Specialist. While that is a very good way to describe that individual, it is a bit bulky for a computer screen and a label at the top of a report. So, with the realization that Family Physician is really not the best description, we have been contemplating changing the label to Primary Care Provider, which can be nicely shortened to PCP.
So, there you have it, a change to a more logical term, but from one that has been entrenched in our minds for many years. Let me know what you think of the change, as we may start to incorporate it slowly throughout the various systems.