John Weeks

Let’s not call it a “modality”

Care providers are more dynamic than just their title. John Weeks emphasizes how a change in language can create change in thought and clarity.

The Interview

In our processes of learning how to work with each other, the language we use matters. Internally and inter-professionally, we need to acknowledge that we have multiple types of doctors, we have multiple types of physicians, and we need to stop referring to medical doctors as physicians or as doctors. A chiropractor is a physician, a naturopathic doctor is a physician, a dentist is a physician, an osteopath is a physician. The tendency was to start calling them modalities. When you refer the entire AOM practitioner, who actually is an exponent of a millennia old, many millennia old system, that has many components to it and you reduce the person down to the needles and you’re calling him an ‘it’. If we are talking about medical doctors that’s what we say. But let’s no longer use language that denigrates the status and stature of these other providers. Changing that language is absolutely critical to even being able to see where we’re going.

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