A Physician is a health science professional licensed to practice Medicine and Surgery. The term physician has ancient roots, and has been used with varying shades of meaning in different cultures and eras, but currently, in most countries of the world, physicians are those professionals who are fully licensed to practice medicine and surgery. The term has legal implications since physicians, in practice, are ordinarily granted the power to examine the bodies, perform invasive procedures, and discuss intimate concerns of patients that are beyond the bounds of usual social interaction. Therefore, the ability to call oneself a physician and to practice Medicine is regulated by society in order to protect the patient. The qualifications required to be a physician are not uniform throughout the world, but, generally involve formal academic training in science and supervised clinical experience with patients.
- Primary care physician
- Specialist physician
Quality of care
Markers associated increased quality of care are:
- Board certification
- Volume/experience This has been shown in cardioverter-defibrillator implantation.
- Length of outpatient visits
- Use of information technology to manage outpatients
- Maintenance of certification examination scores
Markers not associated increased quality of care are:
- Age - older physicians provide less quality.
Efficiency of care
In the USA, regulation and licensing of physicians is by state, and so, there are 50 different sets of definitions.
Conflict of interest
Phyhsicians are susceptible to financial conflicts of interests with the pharmaceutical industry.
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