Recently (well maybe not so recently as it’s been this way for a LONG time) I see clinicians referring to their patients on social media as “a diagnosis”. This is not only frustrating, but also quite disrespectful and demeaning.  People are human and they deserve the respect that comes with being human and they deserve to not be defined by why they are seeking medical care.

I remember back when I was in PT School (Circa 2002-2006) in my first Intro to PT Class one of the initial lectures was focused around how to talk to people and how to show respect to patients/colleagues/other professionals. This lecture stood out to me because a main focus was beating into our brains that our language should be “My patient who has a Low Back issue” is correct and “My Low Back patient” is just not appropriate.

Think about how it makes you feel when someone classifies you as something other than human or classifies you as an object or “thing”.  I know how it makes me feel and I refuse to make another person feel that way.  The progression of rehab towards the Bio-Psycho-Social model of care takes into consideration the psychological aspect of the patient and the patient-provider relationship.  It we truly believe that the brain and psychological aspect of patient care is a major factor, why are people still “labeling” their patients.  Can we just stop now?

In a networking group on FaceBook a while back, someone tried to play the HIPAA card, which baffled me even more.  By putting our patients first as humans, how is that violating HIPAA regulations- simple – it’s not.  It’s us being respectful, caring and genuine.

It’s not that hard… Just think about it and be respectful.  That’s all for today.

Published by: Rick Daigle, PT, DPT, FMT, STMT-1