Dear Provider

March 24, 2020

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.

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.

Disclosures:

Dr Berlin is Instructor in Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA.

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