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1. a person legally qualified to practise medicine, esp one specializing in areas of treatment other than surgery; doctor of medicine
2. Archaic any person who treats diseases; healer



a person who has completed a higher medical education or higher veterinary education. (Dentists have a secondary medical education.)

Physicians are trained at higher medical educational institutions. Persons who have graduated from foreign medical schools gain the right to practice medicine in the USSR after passing state examinations and examinations in courses not given in foreign schools. Persons who have practiced medicine as well as those with advanced degrees are allowed to practice without taking examinations by special permission of the Ministry of Health. The physician in a socialist state engages in therapeutic and prophylactic work aimed at improving the environment and the working and living conditions of the people. He is guided by medical ethics, which also includes the concept of a physician’s duty. Working in a medical institution, the physician is obliged to keep medical secrets. His duty is to render first aid. Soviet law stipulates criminal liability for failure to take care of a sick person without valid reasons on the part of individuals required by law to do so (Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 128). If medical personnel have not provided the necessary care during performance of their official duties, they are held responsible for malpractice.

Physicians who also engage in private practice must record in special books general information about their patients, as well as the medicine prescribed and treatments given.

Physicians are divided by specialties into internists (for internal diseases), pediatricians (for children’s diseases), surgeons, gynecologists (for women’s diseases), roentgenologists, neurologists (for diseases of the nervous system), psychiatrists (for mental illnesses), dermatovenereologists (for skin and venereal diseases), stomatologists (for diseases of the oral cavity and teeth), otolaryngologists (for diseases of the ear, nose, and throat), phthisiologists (for tuberculosis), oncologists (for tumors), traumatic surgeons (for various injuries), orthopedists (for diseases of the organs of support and motion), and so on.

In the USSR certification is required to ensure the correct utilization of physicians and to improve their qualifications. Qualifications are determined by special committees. The highest qualification is awarded a physician who has had at least ten years of experience in his specialty and who has advanced theoretical and practical training. A physician’s salary depends on his qualifications and length of service.

In capitalist countries medical care is provided chiefly by private practitioners. In a number of countries some forms of medical care are provided free at state-owned medical centers or charitable organizations.


Artem’ev, F. A. Zakonodatel’stvo po upravleniiu zdarvookhraneniem SSSR. Moscow, 1955.
Semashko, N. A. “Ob etike sovetskogo vracha.” Gigiena i sanitariia, 1945, nos. 1-2.
Gruber, G. B. Arzt und Ethik. Berlin, 1956.


What does it mean when you dream about a physician?

See Doctor.


An individual authorized to practice medicine.
References in periodicals archive ?
The investigators noted that the findings are an important first step to additional studies that seek to determine the exact reasons why people may leave the hospital against medical advice and how these reasons differ between older and younger individuals.
Whilst you have admitted that you did observe and record Resident B's blood pressure as low, the panel has decided that you did take adequate steps in the care of Resident B and that there was no requirement to obtain further medical advice at that time.
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In a statement, Lloyds said: "The board of Lloyds Banking Group announces that, following medical advice, Antonio Horta-Osorio is taking a temporary leave of absence from his duties as group chief executive of the bank, due to illness.
Emsakeyah service gives customers four daily messages in Arabic, detailing prayer timings for the following day, medical advice to help during fasting, manners and behaviour guidance for the Holy Month as well as Do'aa prayers.
At the time, justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said he accepted medical advice that Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, had three months to live.
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Medical advice in this case does not seem to have been an exact science.
To assess the reliability and accuracy of online medical advice, researchers used key words to search Google for advice about five common paediatric topics--measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, HIV infection and breastfeeding, mastitis and breastfeeding, infant sleep position, and management of green vomit.
For 23 years, my show has presented thousands of topics that reflect the human experience, including doctors' medical advice and personal health stories that have prompted conversations between our audience members and their health care providers," Us magazine quoted her as saying in a statement.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (1) (the Act) provides for the provision of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and free medical advice at designated public health establishments for sexual offence victims who have been exposed to the risk of HIV infection.

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