From Middle English fisicien, from Old French fisicïen (“physician”) (modern French physicien (“physicist”)), from fisique (“art of healing”), from Latin physica (“natural science”), from Ancient Greek φυσική ἐπιστήμη (phusikḗ epistḗmē, “knowledge of nature”), from φυσικός (phusikós, “pertaining to nature”). Displaced native Middle English læche, leche, archaic Modern English leech "physician" (from Old English lǣċe (“physician, medical doctor”)).
physician (plural physicians)
- A practitioner of physic, i.e. a specialist in internal medicine, especially as opposed to a surgeon; a practitioner who treats with medication rather than with surgery.
- 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter II, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
- His forefathers had been, as a rule, professional men—physicians and lawyers; his grandfather died under the walls of Chapultepec Castle while twisting a tourniquet for a cursing dragoon; an uncle remained indefinitely at Malvern Hill; […].
- 2010 August 4, Leonard S. Rubenstein, JD; Stephen N. Xenakis, MD, “The Ethics of Enhanced Interrogations and Torture: A Reappraisal of the Argument”, in JAMA, volume 304, number 5, American Medical Association, DOI:10.1001/jama.2010.1057, pages 569–570:
- In 2009, the Obama Administration released guidelines on enhanced interrogation written in 2003 and 2004 by the CIA Office of Medical Services. (OMS).1-3(appendix F) The OMS guidelines, even in redacted form, and opinions from the US Department of Justice's (DOJ’s) Office of Legal Counsel show that CIA physicians, psychologists, and other health care personnel had important roles in enhanced interrogation.
- A medical doctor trained in human medicine.
- In the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, a physician holds a postgraduate degree such as Master of General Medicine or fellowship certificate such as MRCP or FRCP from the Royal College of Physicians in UK, or the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Australia and New Zealand. Contrarily, in the United States, the term is frequently regulated by state laws, and in all states includes those with the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree (not to be confused with osteopaths), the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, and in some states those with the D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) degree (who are neither medical doctors nor part of allied health).
- See also Thesaurus:physician