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:

    I do not think that a Physician should be admitted into the College till he could bring proofs of his having cured, in his own person, at least four incurable distempers.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773)

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

    A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist.... This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own.
    —W.H. (Wystan Hugh)