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Clarification about the words Physician and Surgeon

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DrBodacious, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. DrBodacious

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    I'm interested in surgery. Can I still talk about myself as a future physician? Or are the two terms technically exclusive of eachother?
     
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  3. edfig99

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    you can still refer to yourself as a physician. they are not exclusive....but interestingly....


    In NYS, you obtain a license from the Office of the Professions which identifies "MEDICINE" as the profession, yet my license says that I am licensed for the practice of "Medicine and Surgery" and the public health law refers to me as physician....

    and from
    http://www.es.flinders.edu.au/~mattom/science+society/lectures/illustrations/lecture9/text3.html

    The origin of the word "surgeon"

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Surgeon:

    German Chirurg,
    French chirurgien,
    Spanish cirujano,
    old English chirurgeon
    from Greek kheirourg?s "manual work", (in contrast to the physician, who prescribes medication); kheir = hand.


    and from Oregon's Doctor's title act http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:3UZp_dLUtZEJ:www.obce.state.or.us/pdfs/676.pdf+%22the+word+surgeon%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

    7) In the case of a person licensed to practice medicine by the Board of Medical Examiners for theState of Oregon who holds the degree of Doctor of Medicine, or the equivalent, the word "physician"or the word "surgeon" or the words "physician and surgeon."
     
  4. Sharky

    Sharky Shark
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    As far as I know a surgeon is a physician. A physician=doctor and a surgeon is doctor so he is also a physician.
     
  5. DrBodacious

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    That seems to be the case. All the "Physiscian and Surgeon" stuff I've seen had me confused though. \

    And thanks for the input edfig
     
  6. SoulRFlare

    SoulRFlare Senior Member
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    I guess it's similar to the distinction insiders make between the "medical service" and "surgical service"
     
  7. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    im pretty sure MDs get a "physicians and surgeons" license. technically, then, physicans are surgeons as well!
     
  8. Bones2008

    Bones2008 waiting for retirement
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    I think "medical" here refers to internal medicine. It probably doesn't mean to say that surgeons don't practice medicine.
     
  9. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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    is physician:hungover:octor as attourney:lawyer? what's all that stuff next to layer's names? jd, esq, etc.
     
  10. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    So does Columbia P&S also equal Columbia College of Physicians and Physicians?

    doesnt sound as good i guess.
     
  11. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    As has already been pointed out, historically there is a very big difference between the 'surgeon' and the 'physician'. In the middle ages in Europe (which I know more about)

    1. Surgery was a trade (controlled by a guild, taught by the apprenticship model), medicine was a profession (where you had to take at least minor orders, i.e. 'professed', in order to study at the university).

    2. From (1), a surgeon could be a woman, whereas physicians men (!). Surgery, being a trade, could be inherited from a father or brother or husband, but a young woman could be apprenticed out also to an established tradesman outside the family (there are records of this, as well as of the practice of female surgeons).

    3. Also from (1), a surgeon could be quite illiterate. The 'handbooks' of the time (which looped over your belt) for surgeons were a pictures only afair. A physician was Latinate, could read, etc.

    So, how does this bear out today? Among other things, surgeons are still steriotyped as 'dumb', even though they are the smartest doctors in the hospital. There is still a very strong bias against the manual nature of their work, etc.

    Anka
     
  12. SoulRFlare

    SoulRFlare Senior Member
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    yup...exactly my point
     
  13. kelenaf

    kelenaf Member
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    jd = juris doctorate, just like an md = medical doctorate. it's the degree one gets for 3 years of law school.

    esq = esquire, (from dictionary.com): used as an honorific usually in its abbreviated form, especially after the name of an attorney or a consular officer. Judges use this suffix a lot.
     
  14. Celestron2000

    Celestron2000 Senior Member
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    Thanks! Very interesting. :clap:
     
  15. Chrisobean

    Chrisobean The Killer Bean
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    which would you rather choose:

    columbia PP

    or

    columbia PnS

    that is the question
     
  16. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    A medical service and a surgical service just differ in the care provided to the patients. For example, there's a SICU (Surgical ICU) and a MICU (Medical ICU). The primary care of the patients in the SICU is by surgeons who have done surgical procedures on these people. On the other hand, almost all of the patients in the MICU have not had major surgery for what they are there for now. The primary care of the patients in the MICU is usually by internal medicine (or subspecialties thereof). Critical care medicine physicians are involved in both ICU's since one can do a fellowship in critical care medicine after 3 different residencies (general surgery, internal medicine, anesthesiology)

    As for the terms physician and surgeon. There's always been kind of a conflict between them. Surgeons like to think of themselves as the last resort before the patient dies. They're the ones doing the immediate and urgent lifesaving when medical management can't help the patient. Medical physicians like to think of themselves as the true diagnostiticians, or true medical detectives; the ones who peice together all the peices of the puzzle-various signs, symptoms, lab test, radiologic tests, and prescribe meds and procedures and fix the patient. Sometimes surgeons are regarded more as technicians.

    An episode of Scrubs illustrates this. The two main characters are having a disagreement over whether or not a patient should be treated surgically or medically (1 of the main characters is a surgeon, 1 is a medical physician). The conflict escalates through the episode until finally a group of 4-5 surgeons is walking down the hall across from a group of 4-5 medical physicians with the 2 main characters each in front of their group. Music starts to play, and then both group start walking with the music and snapping their fingers with the music. Then they start dancing like their the two rival gangs of West Side Story. It was hilarious.
     
  17. Celestron2000

    Celestron2000 Senior Member
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    Gotta love Scrubs!:laugh:
     
  18. DrBodacious

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    Good stuff Anka & Cardsurg.

    Actually, one of my interviewers--a practitioner of medicine I'm assuming--responded to my interest in surgery with, "Well, isn't surgery just a last resort that will hopefully be obsolete and uneccesary in the future with advances in medicine?" I responded that since I've had fairly severe appendicitis, I may not be around right now if it wasn't for surgery...
     
  19. indianboy

    indianboy Call me, Baby.
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    False. Nothing like trying to stop a stereotype by offering another one. Thanks for trying though!

    Hope that Helps.

    P 'Rhetoric Remixer' ShankOut
     
  20. SoulRFlare

    SoulRFlare Senior Member
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    Interestingly enough, surgeons are referred to as "Mister" in the United Kingdom...
     
  21. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    Yup -- again, because Mr. Surgeon might be a Master (craftsman), but could not be a doctor (Latin "learned", as opposed to skilled). And why do GPs in England have "surgeries"? Because surgeons were the true GPs for most of history.

    And, c'mon, we *all* know surgeons are the smartest doctors in the hospital, even if they can't all read.

    Anka.
     
  22. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    dr bodacious, that's about as perfect of a response as anybody could have come up with
    good job
     
  23. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    Interestingly, our diplomas at graduation are in Latin to a large extent (or so I hear) and read "University of Michigan School of Physicians and Surgeons."

    Or something like that. Maybe it is medicine and surgery.
     
  24. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    one minor question, if you please:

    aside from a much LARGER salary, why would one want to be a surgeon, as opposed to a physician? It's too early for me to decide 'physician?' or 'surgeon?', but I am curious...
     
  25. sfgboy

    sfgboy Village fool
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    while it wasn't the case for most of history, surgeons in the UK are called doctor, just like medical physicians. this all changed over the last hundred years or so. after all, those that graduate from med school in the UK receive an M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery).

    even weirder is that it's not customary to get a traditional bachelor's degree before you go to med school in the UK, unlike the US medical education system.
     
  26. Ex-fix

    Ex-fix Junior Member
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    All surgeons are physicians, however, not all physicians are surgeons.

    Most states provide medical licenses that say you may practice medicine and surgery. However, your training determines your profession.

    All surgeons are trained to a basic level of medicine. The opposite isn't the truth for medicine doctors. Surgeons encompass a vast knowledge of their surgical specialty. Some people believe that a general surgeon is the internist of the surgical field.

    General surgeons aren't necessary the smartest doctors either. In the past they were considered to be the smartest physicians. However, in modern time the general surgery field has become a lot less competitive. Surgical subspecialties (ENT, Ortho, optho, neurosurgery) now house the more intellectual physicians.

    Physicians of other specialties like radiology and dermatology also are very competitive.

    Not only is surgery an academically driven field, personality also plays a vital role. Surgeons are hard-working, intellectual thinkers that love to use their hands and their minds to solve problems.


    EX-fix
     
  27. dmitrinyr

    dmitrinyr Senior Member
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    Actually from what I know, many European countries as well as other countries around the world have their medical school be sort of their undergrad and medical school in one. I came from the Ukraine and there if you wanted to become a doctor, you went to a 7 year medical which is kind of like the 6-7 yr. MD program at some medical schools in the US like (Sophie Davis, SuNY Downstate, etc.). In the Ukraine, if you wanted to go into a field other than medicine, you went to a college or a technical university. Also, in many countries and in the Ukraine, High school ended at 10th grade and you were 17-18 and then you would go into med school if you wished. So, there you would graduate from med schoo at 24-25 yr. old. I like their system better because, here although I liked undergrad, I did take a lot of classes that were just a waste and that I didn't care about but had to take to graduate from college. There I wouldn't really have to take any classes that didn't deal with sciences and medical classes. Some people might disagree with me.

    dmitri
     
  28. dmitrinyr

    dmitrinyr Senior Member
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    Look at the previous post and see this part of the quote.
     
  29. cardsurgguy

    cardsurgguy Senior Member
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    That's definitely a positive of the system that much of the world uses-that you don't have to take all these BS classes just to graduate college, you basically just take premed requirement and go to medical school.

    However, there's one main drawback of this system. It deals with the end of high school and how your high school GPA and 1 single test can rule you out of fields such as medicine or law.

    In many European countries, people take 1 single test at the end of high school. Their GPA to some extent, but more so the results of this one test can either put them into or rule them out of medicine.

    For example, I have a couple of relatives in Greece who are planning on going into medicine and law. A few years ago they had to take 1 test which basically made/break them getting into these fields. They started studying I believe 1 full year prior ot the test. Kinda puts the stress of the MCAT in perspective doesn't it? In Germany, it's called the Abitur. Same thing. They start studying way before and one needs to meet a certain percent cutoff to go to medical school (or start on the path to medical school).

    Personally, I believe we should mold the two together and make a whole new system here. I think college should only be 2-3 years. Basically just take the premed requirements and no other BS class if you don't want to. Then we should have the option to go to medical school after that.
     

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