What is the difference between a medical doctor and a medical practitioner?
Some state legislators see a need for clarity when it comes to health practitioners and the title “doctor.” (By Brittany L. Moser ) Ho‘oulu Staff
In the United States, it is a question of education and licensure. A medical doctor is a graduate of an accredited allopathic or osteopathic medical school and is licensed as such by most states based on that education and other criteria.
Medical practitioner is a non-specific term that includes in addition to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and others with different educational backgrounds and licensed by the states to practice medicine, usually in a more limited or supervised fashion. (David Channin, Radiologist, Medical and Imaging Informatics)
So what’s the hardest part becoming “DOCTOR”? Firstly, it is a hard, ardous and long journey. Unless the desire to excel is strong, it is really tough to go through the ordeal of never-ending studies, tutorials and further studies. Secondly, the prolonged incubation period between entry into MBBS to becoming a full-fledged specialized doctor drains many. While your batch mates in other fields are planning retirement, a doctor after completing his studies and super specialization has just started making a name for himself/herself in the field.
The above two hardships are known and most people willingly embrace the two but the hardest part is the paradigm shift in the expectations from this profession. The harsh reality and the challenges the profession faces today is worth a thought.
The recent change in the attitude of the society is catastrophic. The doctor is perceived more as a ‘service provider’ rather than a dedicated professional. So, the medical practice has become more defensive. Physicians always worry about missing a threatening diagnosis, unintentionally spreading infection or committing a technical error. The fear stems from a profound anxiety of dealing with the many grey areas of medical practice – the realization that medical science is also an art rather than simple scientific formulas. The fear is also the result of self protective paranoia of being sued for malpractice, which haunts majority in this field at present.
However, there is the other side of the coin also. The life of a practising physician is incredibly rewarding. Making challenging diagnoses, helping patients deal with and overcome devastating illnesses and comforting families after a loss of a loved one – these are powerful emotional experiences. No other profession can provide such profound sense of fulfillment as this. By Dr Meenu Walia.
DOCTOR: it is still the best profession to be able to give back to society.