The term "physician" is often used as a more accurate version of "doctor," since the latter can mean anyone who has completed a doctorate in any discipline. A physician, or doctor of medicine (MD), is a person who has graduated from an accredited medical school and passed the state licensing examinations required to become a professional provider of medical care, including surgery.

There are different categories of physician. A resident physician hascompleted an internship (now called PG1, post-graduate 1) and obtained a license to practice medicine, but works full- or part-time at a hospital to learnmore about his or her chosen specialty. A family or primary care physician is a specialized medical professional who provides ongoing carefor all ages and both sexes, planning and carrying out a thorough health careprogram for all members of a family over time; this is the physician peoplesee before going on to a specialist and who coordinates patients' care if multiple health care professionals are involved. An attending physician visits a certain hospital at specified times to supervise his or her patients'treatment and give further instructions to paramedics. An emergency physician is an expert in the particular procedures and methods used in the emergency room.

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