Physician

Physician

A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients and methods of treatment´known as specialities´or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities´known as general practice. 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. Degrees and other qualifications vary widely, but there are some common elements, such as medical ethics requiring that physicians show consideration, compassion, and benevolence for their patients.
Also in the United States, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) defines podiatrists as physicians and surgeons that fall under the department of surgery in hospitals. They undergo training with the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. This degree is also available at one Canadian university, namely the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Students are typically required to complete an internship in New York prior to the obtention of their professional degree.
The vast majority of physicians trained in the United States have a Doctor of Medicine degree, and use the initials M.D. A smaller number attend Osteopathic schools and have a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree and use the initials D.O. After completion of medical school, physicians complete a residency in the specialty in which they will practice. Subspecialties require the completion of a fellowship after residency.
All boards of certification now require that physicians demonstrate, by examination, continuing mastery of the core knowledge and skills for a chosen specialty. Recertification varies by particular specialty between every seven and every ten years.

 


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