Leo Sher, M.D.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has published a Position Statement on Use of the Terms Client and Provider (1). The Position Statement was approved by the APA Assembly in November 2020 and by the APA Board of Trustees in December 2020.
The APA states that the terms “provider” and “client” have been inaccurately used to describe the patient-physician relationship. The APA notes that the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians have enacted polices to avoid use of the term “provider.” The APA will discontinue use of the terms “provider” and “client” in all official communications, including but not limited to policies, statements, press releases, social media posts, official letters, contracts, advertisements, its web site, and official speeches. The Position Statement was authored by the APA Council on Communications.