A physician (or medical doctor, or internal medicine doctor, or ear, nose, and throat doctor) practices medicine osteopathic medicine, and in many states, chiropractic, and is concerned with maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and injury. This is accomplished through a detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology, diseases and treatment — the science of medicine — and its applied practice — the art or craft of medicine.
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- On TV, the patients that have these compelling rare diseases are played by a revolving door of guest stars. The characters we really get to know are the doctors themselves. And the way doctors have been portrayed on television has changed markedly over the years. Medical shows in the ’50s and ’60s, like City Hospital, Dr. Kildare, and Ben Casey, showed doctors as noble, infallible heroes. These shows apparently received “creative input and guidance from the American Medical Association,” according to an article in Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Starting in the ’70s and ’80s with shows like M*A*S*H and St. Elsewhere, the pendulum swung toward portraying doctors as the flawed humans they are. We’ve been firmly in the era of flaws for a while now with shows like Grey’s and House, MD (whose rude, drug-abusing titular character gets by on his brilliance). This perhaps explains why, in a 2003 study (on which Chory was an author), watching more prime-time medical shows was associated with “perceiving doctors as more uncaring, cold, unfriendly, nervous, tense, and anxious.”
- All the heightened drama and medical inaccuracies aside, Chabrerie says it’s the emotional challenges of being a doctor that these shows tend to get right.
“I do think the emotional aspects get brought up more in shows like Scrubs,” she says. (She’s not the only one—a 2009 Slate article says that despite the show’s “cartoonishness,” it’s “quite in tune with the real lives of doctors.”)
“In med school, this is what we did. We lay in our beds and watched Scrubs,” Chabrerie says. “At the end of the day, we see [the same things] all the time. We lose patients all the time. It’s never easy. [On these shows], the young doctor gets really upset, and the older, wiser doctor comes in and says ‘You have to let it go.’”
- Julie Beck, "Health Care in the Time of Grey's Anatomy", The Atlantic, (Aug 26, 2014).
- For we are not all equally afflicted with the same disease or all in need of the same severe cure. This is the reason why we see different persons disciplined with different crosses. The heavenly Physician takes care of the well-being of all his patients; he gives some a milder medicine and purifies others by more shocking treatments, but he omits no one; for the whole world, without exception, is ill (Deut 32:15).
- John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, Page 55
- Scientists and doctors to me, are at the leading edge of what all human beings do all of the time; which is to change, everything. We’ve never been satisfied with what we’re given. We don’t accept the earth as a given. We change our body chemistry, our physiology, our biology, our biochemistry. We clear the forest, we build our own environment, we climate control it . . . And, the interface between that impulse and the human body often is doctors, biologists, and biochemists.
- Honour the physician so long as you do not require his skill.
- There is sometimes more Skill shewed by a Physician in not Prescribing, than in Prescribing. And there is no better Remedy for some Diseases, than to let them alone : for unseasonable meddling with them, may hinder their proceeding to a Crisis, and at long Run they will mend of themselves.
- Thomas Fuller, Introductio ad prudentiam: Part II (1727), aphorism 3064.
- Bugs Bunny: What's up doc?
- Rich Hogan, A Wild Hare (1940)
- Les médecins administrent des médicaments dont ils savent très peu, à des malades dont ils savent moins, pour guérir des maladies dont ils ne savent rien.
- Doctors are men who prescribe medicine of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, for human beings of which they know nothing.
- Attributed to Voltaire in Strauss' Familiar Medical Quotations (1968), p. 394, and in publications as early as 1956 ; the quotation in French does not, however, appear to be original, and is probably a relatively modern invention, only quoted in recent (21st century) published works, which attribute it to "Voltaire" without citing any source.
- For the first time in our tradition there was a complete separation between killing and curing. Throughout the primitive world the doctor and the sorcerer tended to be the same person. He with power to kill had power to cure, including specially the undoing of his own killing activities.
He who had power to cure would necessarily also be able to kill. With the Greeks the distinction was made clear. One profession, the followers of Asclepius, were to be dedicated completely to life under all circumstances, regardless of rank, age, or intellect— the life of a slave, the life of the Emperor, the life of a foreign man, the life of a defective child. This is a priceless possession which we cannot afford to tarnish, but society always is attempting to make the physician into a killer— to kill the defective child at birth, to leave the sleeping pills beside the bed of the cancer patient. It is the duty of society to protect the physician from such requests.
- Margaret Mead, on the Hippocratic Oath. Quoted in Psychiatry and Ethics (1972), Maurice Levine, M.D., George Braziller, pub., ISBN 0807606421 ISBN 9780807606421 pp. 324-325,  citing (notes, p. 377) a personal communication from Margaret Mead, 1961.  Maurice Levine (1902-1971) was "distinguished former chairman of the University of Cincinnati Department of Psychiatry." Compare: Who knows how to heal knows how to destroy (qui scit sanare scit destruere) - A woman's testimony before the Inquisition, Modena, 1499. Quoted in Eve's Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West (1999), John M. Riddle, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0674270266 ISBN 978-0674270268 (p. 118). 
- The Porto Ricans (sic) are the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever to inhabit this sphere… I have done my best to further the process of extermination by killing off eight and transplanting cancer into several more… All physicians take delight in the abuse and torture of the unfortunate subjects.
- Cornelius Rhoads as quoted by Truman R. Clark. 1975. Puerto Rico and the United States, 1917-1933, pp. 151-154