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.
Famous quotes containing the word physician:
“God bless the physician who warms the speculum or holds your hand and looks into your eyes. Perhaps one subtext of the health care debate is a yen to be treated like a whole person, not just an eye, an ear, a nose or a throat. A yen to be human again, on the part of patient and doctor alike.”
—Anna Quindlen (b. 1952)
“I knew a witty physician who found theology in the biliary duct, and used to affirm that if there was a disease in the liver, the man became a Calvinist, and if that organ was sound, he became a Unitarian.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“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 (16941773)