Definition of physician in US English:



  • 1A person qualified to practice medicine.

    • ‘We measured referral rates as the annual percentage of patients with a new referral to a specialist physician.’
    • ‘This will include treatment from specialist physicians, physiotherapists and psychologists.’
    • ‘Group medical visits are best with teams of physicians and nurses.’
    • ‘In most cases physicians prescribed requested medicines but were often ambivalent about the choice of treatment.’
    • ‘These changes have paralleled dramatic changes in the assessment of practising physicians.’
    • ‘If your child becomes ill, be sure that the physician knows what medicines he or she is taking.’
    • ‘We meet many wise patients in this book, because physicians learn medicine on and from their patients.’
    • ‘Since health is the goal of the medical craft, the physician knows the goal of the craft.’
    • ‘We practicing physicians have to know what to do if a case walks into the office.’
    • ‘One is provided by dentists and physicians in private practice on a fee basis to those able to pay.’
    • ‘Disclosure of a diagnosis of cancer has on occasions caused conflict between physicians and family members.’
    • ‘In most countries, treatment is provided by some clinics or physicians.’
    • ‘Evidence shows that the way results of clinical trials are presented influences both physicians and funders of health care.’
    • ‘Does the information have the potential to change the practice of many physicians?’
    • ‘I think most physicians in practice feel that we can only be penalised by failing to test.’
    • ‘We no longer trust the caring general practitioner, the wise physician, or the conscientious surgeon.’
    • ‘The Public Hospitals Act states that a physician must order hospital treatments.’
    • ‘Medicine and physicians have had about all of the micromanagement that they can stand.’
    • ‘A small proportion of the samples were referral samples sent by physicians in private practice.’
    • ‘Women placed great faith in their physicians and the medical care system.’
    doctor, doctor of medicine, md, medical practitioner, medical man, medical person, medical woman
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person who cures moral or spiritual ills; a healer.
      ‘physicians of the soul’
      • ‘The particular aim of this present symposium was to help illuminate the image of the diocesan priest as "spiritual physician."’
      • ‘Known as the physician of the soul, he used astrology primarily as a means of helping to heal the soul rather than as a tool of prediction.’


  • physician, heal thyself

    • proverb Before attempting to correct others, make sure that you aren't guilty of the same faults.

      • ‘The most bizarre was a CNN discussion about whether there was too much news coverage of the crisis - physician, heal thyself!’
      • ‘Clearly, it's a case of ‘physician, heal thyself’, as in, sort out the problems you and the Government are causing first before telling the rest of us that we are major contributors to inflation.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, none of the assembled scientists shouted out ‘physician, heal thyself’.’
      • ‘She admits, however, that she does have to say ‘physician, heal thyself’ on occasions.’


Middle English: from Old French fisicien, based on Latin physica ‘things relating to nature’ (see physic).