POETRY OF THE TIMES
My parents named me Richard just because
they liked the name, clueless about how fast
King Richard the Lionhearted could become
Little Dick when a Jersey bully taunted me.
And I felt taunted today when I read Dear Provider
in a letter from a health care company.
Provider is a fine word, and I’ve always felt proud
to provide for my family, but the company
doesn’t know guys from Jersey are sensitive,
that I felt devalued, my hard earned Doctor
mixed into an alphabet soup of colleagues
from scores of disciplines who share patient care
The company’s game: blend us together,
pay everyone less, and increase profits
which is precisely what I provide for them.
Right now, I’ll ignore the bully’s insult,
let them know Dear Doctor will be fine next time.
But call me Dear Provider again and it’s a Jersey
street fight with a doctor who can be a real dick.
Dr Berlin is Instructor in Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.