Physicians are health care professionals that diagnose and treat injuries, disorders and diseases. They examine patients, prescribe medications, take medical histories, order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests, and administer surgical and non-surgical treatments. Physicians are experts in human body function and structure, medical tools, techniques and processes, and all kinds of human diseases, disorders and dysfunctions. They are often the decision-makers and leaders in health care teams.
The profession “Physician” describes a large group of health care professionals divided into multiple specialties, each focusing on a different patient, disease, body part, or medical technique. Some of these specialties include:
Due to their broad scope of practice, physicians can diagnose and treat a vast amount of disease, disorders and dysfunctions, including:
Physicians work in settings throughout healthcare. This includes private offices and clinics, larger health care groups and organizations, and hospitals and outpatient centers. Physicians provide a variety of health care services with a staff of nurses, medical assistants and often alongside other physicians and health care professionals. Some of these services include:
In Ontario, “Physician” is a regulated profession subject to the Clinical Practice Guidelines, Policies and Practice Guide defined by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College page.
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