A physician is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. They may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, or methods of treatment – known as specialist medical practitioners – or assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities – known as general practitioners. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines (such as anatomy and physiology) underlying diseases and their treatment – the science of medicine – and also a decent competence in its applied practice – the art or craft of medicine.

Both the role of the physician and the meaning of the word itself vary around the world, including a wide variety of qualifications and degrees, but there are some common elements. For example, the ethics of medicine require that physicians show consideration, compassion and benevolence for their patients.

Read more about PhysicianModern Meanings, Regulation, Related Occupations and Divisions of Labor

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Famous quotes containing the word physician:

    But what is quackery? It is commonly an attempt to cure the diseases of a man by addressing his body alone. There is need of a physician who shall minister to both soul and body at once, that is, to man. Now he falls between two stools.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Sheriff, have you ever watched a friend dying before your eyes and not been able to help? That’s the worst of it. Being helpless. It’s particularly tough when you’re a physician and you know what’s wrong with him, and there isn’t a single solitary thing you or anyone else can do.
    —Robert M. Fresco. Jack Arnold. Prof. Gerald Deemer (Leo G. Carroll)

    The physician must not only be the healer, but often the consoler.
    Harriot K. Hunt (1805–1875)