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"Family Medical Officer"

Posted Dec 19 2011 9:00am

This irks me. Really irks me.

In what is otherwise a pretty forward offering, El Camino Hospital has launched its first mobile phone app . All the standard features (find a doctor, ER waiting time, etc.) are included. But it also includes a tool to track medical histories for all the members of the family. Neat.

This, it seems, is the jumping off point. El Camino has anointed the household medical decision maker the “Family Medical Officer.” They even had the audacity to trademark the phrase.

It’s not that this role doesn’t exist, because it does. What is so frighteningly healthcare-centric is the terminology. Give me an example of one household, just one, that uses the phrase “Family Medical Officer.”

I called her mom. You may have called him dad. Some may have called her sweetie. But no one has called him or her “Family Medical Officer.” Or will.

It’s another shining example of healthcare delivery organizations that don’t get people. Patients are people! We’d all be better served by looking through healthcare from their perspective, not ours.

Bonus: If they were really about spreading the terminology, they’d knock off the pretentious “TM” from their future iterations of the phrase.

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