Doctor - Médico

The Doctor and His Patient (17th century) by Jan Havicksz Steen , Rijksmuseum .

A physician is a professional who practices medicine and who attempts to maintain and restore human health by studying, diagnosing, and treating the patient's illness or injury . In the Spanish language , colloquially, these professionals are also called doctor / doctor, even if they have not obtained a doctorate degree . [ 1 ] The doctor is a highly qualified professional in health matters. Because it has to give correct and quick answers to health problems , through decisions usually made under conditions of great uncertainty, requires continuous training throughout their working life. [ 2 ]


Although the term doctor refers to those who have obtained a degree of doctorate , use also extends to professionals who practice medicine in the following countries: [ 1 ]

country College degree Professional name
Argentina Doctor Doctor
Bolivia Surgeon Doctor
Chile Surgeon Doctor
Colombia Physician or surgeon (counterparts) Doctor
Ecuador Surgeon Doctor
Spain Bachelor / Degree in Medicine and Surgery Doctor
Mexico Surgeon / Surgeon and midwife Doctor
Paraguay Doctor Doctor
Peru Surgeon Doctor
Dominican Republic Bachelor of Medicine and General Surgery Doctor
Uruguay Doctor in medicine Doctor
Venezuela Surgeon / Comprehensive Community Physician Doctor


The main objective of a doctor, and of medicine by extension, is "to take care of the health of the patient and alleviate his suffering ". [ 3 ] Hippocrates used to say: "The doctor seldom cures, sometimes relieves, but must always console." [ 4 ]


Reasons to be a doctor today can be of four types: [ 5 ] [ 6 ]


Street dedicated to Doctors, in Chinchilla de Monte-Aragón , Albacete .

They are the main and most important reasons.

  • Influence of family , friends , or the media .
  • Commitment to patients and their suffering , to the concrete and individual.
  • Religious, philosophical or life approaches, such as the belief in the impact of medicine on equity .
  • Vocation for the profession and life.



  • Work in centers that radiate new scientific knowledge , so that the face of human suffering changes.
  • Master a powerful part of science and technology , enormously attractive for its impact on the health of the patient.
  • The effort to innovate in the organization of services, and to improve research applied to patient care with clinical trials , observational studies and what we call “evidence-based medicine” ( Evidence Based Medicine ).
  • The desire for the development of medical sciences is fundamental, and serves as a spur to the continuous need for continuous training that characterizes the doctor.
  • The production of medical ethics , which puts the philosophical and deontological counterpoint to the work of the clinical doctor.


  • It can be a choice that gives a lot of versatility to life, as offered by different medical specialties, workplaces, and time spent in the profession.
  • The remuneration of the doctor. In general, as a doctor you receive financial compensation that is usually average or above the average of other professionals (although there are extreme variations), and in any case being a doctor is a way of life.


Pediatrician examining a girl's ear with an otoscope . The doctor's treatment of his patient must be dignified.

The qualities that must have a clinician are: [ 5 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ]

  • dignified treatment of the patient and colleagues.
  • the judicious control of uncertainty during the encounter with the patient
  • the practice of an ethic of ignorance (sharing with the patient our scientific limitations)
  • the practice of an ethic of refusal (to reject what does not make sense, firmly but kindly, from patients, bosses and colleagues)
  • enormous versatility in the limited time of clinical care .

Medical axioms

These are general rules that are considered "obvious" and accepted without requiring prior demonstration, both in medicine and in nursing :

  • First, do no harm "Lo primero es no hacer daños". [ 9 ]
  • "There are no diseases, but sick people." [ 10 ] It is a key motto for the doctor, as it indicates that getting sick (suffering from the disease) is much more than the disease . Diseases are ill-defined changing states that each patient experiences personally.
  • Memento mori : "Remember that you will die." [ 11 ]


The main functions of the doctor are:

  • Clinic: patient care .
  • Training: both their own continuing education , as well as the training of medical students. In addition, education for the health of citizens.
  • Research: to achieve the best development and innovation in Medicine .
  • Administration or management: of the human, material and financial resources available, and of the acquisition of new social and health support.

International Doctor's Day

In 1946, the Pan American Medical Confederation agreed to commemorate "International Doctor's Day" on December 3 , in memory of the Cuban doctor Carlos J. Finlay , discoverer of Aedes aegypti as a transmitter of yellow fever. Each country has its date to commemorate the healthcare professionals. [ 12 ]

The doctor in art


Comic books




Doctors in fiction

Many characters in literature, theater, film and television represent doctors with very specific peculiarities and, at times, seeking the scientific and ethical limits of professional practice. [ 13 ] Some examples are:

See also



external links