Re: Did you know...the term Health Care Provider came from Nazi Germany? Wrong

Stephen Katz

Phil Goldfarb's statement that "the term Health Care Provider came from Nazi Germany" is incorrect.
1. One of the two sources he cites, an article on the persecution of pediatricians in Nazi Germany, explains that, as part of their humiliation, the Nazis downgraded Jewish doctors to "behandler." The article says that "behandler" is "freely translated" (my emphasis) as "provider." Actually, the normal and accepted meaning of the verb "behandeln" is to "treat," and a "behandler" is someone who treats.
2. The second article cited by Mr. Goldfarb is simply derivative of the first, and makes the leap that the modern term "provider" in reference to doctors is derived from "behandler" as used by the Nazis.
3. So the notion that the term "health care provider" came from Nazi Germany is wrong. Most probably, the term, of relatively recent vintage, was coined by advertisers, insurance companies, etc., as a shorthand way of referring to all those in the health care professions, e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and so forth. They use the term to avoid having to repeat the list of professionals each time, and to avoid offending any that might be left out of an enumeration.
4. I, too, dislike the term "health care provider." I believe that it detracts from, and indeed nullifies, the respect that doctors and members of all other health care professions richly deserve.However, I don't believe that arguments against the use of the term should misstate its origins.
Stephen Katz
Researching  KATZ (Novograd-Volinskiy, Ukraine); TEPPER (Rovno and Novograd-Volinskiy, Ukraine); KAPLAN (Stakliskes, Lithuania); VITKIN (Kaunas, Lithuania); KABACHNIK (Butrimonys, Lithuania)

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