You are never just a primary care physician

I am frequently asked what I do at social gatherings. My response, naturally, is that I am a physician. The individual then asks what your specialty is and I respond that I am a board-certified family physician. Then, I hear, “Oh, you are a GP.” Really! After all these 35 years, I am perceived as just a GP. “Just” is the key word at social gatherings — implied or stated.

Well, I have decided upon further reflection that I am no longer just anything anymore and have an updated reply to all who inquire. I am not angry or remorseful of my specialty choice just slightly more enlightened and free.

My new response will be something like: “I am a physician and surgeon — as stated on my license — a doctor of medicine, a healer and teacher, a professional continuously dedicated to promoting and improving the health and well-being of my patients, family, friends, colleagues and my community. And, I do this willingly despite the ridiculous obstacles placed on me by our established and dysfunctional American health care system.”

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