What is a Doctor? What does a Doctor Do?

Male Indian medical doctor poses with folded hands

So they’ve told you since you were a child that you needed to be one. Or you’ve seen some studygrams showing the glamorous or stressful life that awaits you if you become one. Either way, you want to know what a doctor is and what does a doctor do, and you have come to the right place.

Looking for some more studygrams or medical influencers to follow? You’re welcome.

What is a doctor? What does a doctor do? How do you become a doctor? Let’s get right to it.

What is a Doctor?

More than the persons walking around your local hospital or clinic with the white coats on, doctors (also called physicians) are individuals who have completed their medical degree, and is licensed to promote, restore and maintain the health status of their patients by diagnosing and treating diseases, and educating on proper health practices.

In order to be a physician, you need to study 4-7 years (depending on your country of origin) of human biology, pharmacy, and clinical practices. Medical school differs from country to country and the medical degrees given may also be region specific, but after graduating, you are offcially a medical doctor. Here is the rundown of the most common medical degrees worldwide.

What Does a Doctor Do?

The main tasks that doctors execute are:

  • Examining patients
  • Prescribing medications and administering treatments
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests as needed
  • Taking and keeping medical histories
  • Working closely with allied health professionals like nurses, physician assistants, EMTs, pharmacists to provide the best care of their patients
  • Practicing compassion, understanding and care

The role of every medic is different, and based on the specialty a physician chooses, they execute different roles or treat specific organs or organ systems. Some specialties include:

  • Family medicine
  • Anesthesia
  • Internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Psychiatry

Where do Doctors Work?

The most common place that one can go to find a doctor is a hospital, but doctors also work in private clinics, commercial businesses, universities and also online! Concierge doctors also go from house to house to meet their patients right where they are.

Hospital beds where you may find a doctor
You may find a doctor working in a hospital like this

Is Medicine for Me?

Now that you know what a doctor does and what they do, you need to ask yourself if the road to medicine and the years of study are really what you want. Talk to your school counsellors and do as much research as you can so you can make the right decision. If you are still not sure, check out this post to find out if medicine is for you and some reasons to go to medical school.

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