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A physician (or medical doctor) practices medicine osteopathy 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.


  • 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.
  • 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 [1]; 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.

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