From Middle English fisicien, from Old French fisicïen (“physician”), 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”)).
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- 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, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter II”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
- 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; […].
- A medical doctor trained in human medicine.
- In the UK and British Commonwealth countries, a physician holds a postgraduate degree such Master of General Medicine or fellowship certificate such MRCP or FRCP from the Royal College of Physician in UK. 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, the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, and in many, but not all States those with the D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) degree.
- See also Wikisaurus:physician