Doctor/Physician

English translation: Dr. (Name) / the physician

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Doctor/Physician
English translation:Dr. (Name) / the physician
Entered by: Anu Mukharji-Gorski

21:09 Jan 28, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Medical
English term or phrase: Doctor/Physician
When referring to a doctor (in a document on lab tests)
when would one say "physician" vis a vis "doctor".

Thanks,
Anu
Anu Mukharji-Gorski
Germany
Local time: 06:26
Dr. (Name) / the physician
Explanation:
In all medical records, medical documentation, scientific articles, and formal meetings in the US, we usually refer to the MD (or DO) as "the physician", as in:

"The [attending] physician reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

In medical records and formal meetings is also common to skip the word "physician" and say or write "the attending", meaning the MD in charge of the patient.

If the MD is a surgeon or another specialist, we'd write instead:

"The surgeon / the endocrinologist / the cardiologist reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

As for "doctor", in formal situations we only write or say "doctor" if we'll be then naming the MD (or DO), as in:

"Dr. X reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

"Doctor" alone (instead of "physician") is used in less formal (more colloquial) exchanges, such as in some newsletters or during some case presentations at the hospital, as in:

"The doctor (or the "doc", if the situation is very informal) reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

(As for "MD" and "DO", they're both titles held by US physicians to allow them to obtain a medical license and practice Medicine. Other titles such as PhD also entitle the holder in some environments to be addressed as "doctor X").

Hope this helps Swaiyam
Elena



What are Physicians?

A physician is a specialist in internal medicine (known as an internist in the United States) who diagnoses and manages complex medical problems. Patients are referred to physicians by their General Practitioners (Family Medicine Practitioner or Family Doctor) for expert advice. The physician's aim is to assist the General Practitioner in managing your problems as effectively as possible, and may carry out various technical procedures to assist in the diagnosis or treatment of your illness. If appropriate, the physician may refer you to another medical practitioner

Are physicians the same as specialists?

Physicians can be called specialists, specialist physician and consultant physician, but they all mean the same thing. Physicians are doctors who have completed an extra six years or more years of training after their initial medical training. They can choose to specialise in a particular area of medicine for example cardiologists are physicians who specialise in diseases of the heart and endocrinologists look after people with diabetes and other glandular disorders.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 59 mins (2004-01-28 23:09:07 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

::::::::: Sorry, I provided the wrong link. Here it goes:
http://www.racp.edu.au/public/phys.htm

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs 31 mins (2004-01-29 01:41:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

::::::::: Sorry, I provided the wrong link. Here it goes:
http://www.racp.edu.au/public/phys.htm
Selected response from:

Elena Sgarbo (X)
Grading comment
Thank you so much for your detailed answer. This was exactly what I was looking for. Reg. Anu
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +4Interchangeable
Leah Aharoni
5 +3doctor (UK) / physician (US)
Mary Worby
4 +3Dr. (Name) / the physician
Elena Sgarbo (X)
5 +1just to add another comment
Catherine Bolton
4Physician MD and DO
Pau_


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
doctor/physician
doctor (UK) / physician (US)


Explanation:
Without further context, I would say, as a British native, that I would use doctor. Physician sounds American to me.

HTH

Mary

Mary Worby
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 164

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Olga Simon
29 mins
  -> Thanks

neutral  RHELLER: we also use doctor in the U.S.
1 hr
  -> Sure, I didn't mean to suggest that you didn't. Merely that we don't use physician ;-)

agree  David Moore: Yes, Rita's "neutral" surprises me too....
12 hrs

agree  MatthewS
1 day 4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Physician MD and DO


Explanation:
What is the difference between a physician and a doctor?

A physician is an MD or DO (
Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (DO) ). Many people also refer to physicians informally as doctors, eg, "Doctor Smith." Strictly speaking, however, anyone with a doctorate degree (eg, PhD, EdD, PharmD [pharmacist], or DDS [dentist]) is a doctor as well.

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3627.html#5

Pau_
Local time: 01:26
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
doctor/physician
Interchangeable


Explanation:
In US usage a medical doctor is also called a physician (physician is a higher register).



Leah Aharoni
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 1

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER: in the U.S. they are the same - require a medical degree
40 mins
  -> thank you

agree  sarahl (X)
1 hr
  -> thanks

agree  Iolanta Vlaykova Paneva
2 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
9 hrs
  -> thank you

disagree  David Moore: Not in BE - we do not use physicians in this context.
11 hrs
  -> I stressed that this usage is common in the US.

agree  MatthewS
1 day 4 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
just to add another comment


Explanation:
Can't speak for British English, but we Americans use doctor/physician interchangeably. If someone's an MD (Medicinae Doctor, though many commonly say "medical doctor" rather than "doctor of medicine"), then he/she is a physician.
That said, you would use doctor as a title, but you'd never use physician that way.
Hence, you can say "John Smith is a physician" or "John Smith is a doctor", but you'd refer to him as "Dr. Smith" and not "Physician Smith".
HTH

Catherine Bolton
Local time: 06:26
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 98

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
8 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
doctor/physician
Dr. (Name) / the physician


Explanation:
In all medical records, medical documentation, scientific articles, and formal meetings in the US, we usually refer to the MD (or DO) as "the physician", as in:

"The [attending] physician reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

In medical records and formal meetings is also common to skip the word "physician" and say or write "the attending", meaning the MD in charge of the patient.

If the MD is a surgeon or another specialist, we'd write instead:

"The surgeon / the endocrinologist / the cardiologist reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

As for "doctor", in formal situations we only write or say "doctor" if we'll be then naming the MD (or DO), as in:

"Dr. X reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

"Doctor" alone (instead of "physician") is used in less formal (more colloquial) exchanges, such as in some newsletters or during some case presentations at the hospital, as in:

"The doctor (or the "doc", if the situation is very informal) reviewed the test results and decided to talk to the patient".

(As for "MD" and "DO", they're both titles held by US physicians to allow them to obtain a medical license and practice Medicine. Other titles such as PhD also entitle the holder in some environments to be addressed as "doctor X").

Hope this helps Swaiyam
Elena



What are Physicians?

A physician is a specialist in internal medicine (known as an internist in the United States) who diagnoses and manages complex medical problems. Patients are referred to physicians by their General Practitioners (Family Medicine Practitioner or Family Doctor) for expert advice. The physician's aim is to assist the General Practitioner in managing your problems as effectively as possible, and may carry out various technical procedures to assist in the diagnosis or treatment of your illness. If appropriate, the physician may refer you to another medical practitioner

Are physicians the same as specialists?

Physicians can be called specialists, specialist physician and consultant physician, but they all mean the same thing. Physicians are doctors who have completed an extra six years or more years of training after their initial medical training. They can choose to specialise in a particular area of medicine for example cardiologists are physicians who specialise in diseases of the heart and endocrinologists look after people with diabetes and other glandular disorders.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 59 mins (2004-01-28 23:09:07 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

::::::::: Sorry, I provided the wrong link. Here it goes:
http://www.racp.edu.au/public/phys.htm

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs 31 mins (2004-01-29 01:41:20 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

::::::::: Sorry, I provided the wrong link. Here it goes:
http://www.racp.edu.au/public/phys.htm


    Reference: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/617607
Elena Sgarbo (X)
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 294
Grading comment
Thank you so much for your detailed answer. This was exactly what I was looking for. Reg. Anu

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio: Exactly, physician is more formal.
7 hrs
  -> Right, that's what I learned working in 2 different US hospitals. Thank you, Ruth :-))

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
8 hrs
  -> Thanks Svetozar

agree  chopra_2002
11 hrs
  -> Thanks langclinic :-)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)



Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.

KudoZ™ translation help

The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.


See also:

Your current localization setting

English

Select a language

Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search