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-   -   What is the difference, Doctor and Medical Practitioner? (https://www.englishforum.ch/family-matters-health/134483-what-difference-doctor-medical-practitioner.html)

TIREWATCHER 26.12.2011 10:57

What is the difference, Doctor and Medical Practitioner?
Can someone explain the difference between a Doctor and Medical Practitioner?
I have been told that both are able to practice but the Doctor has his Doctorate.

swisspea 26.12.2011 11:27

Re: what is difference
Medical practitioner is a term that covers a range of medical professions. A Doctor could be a doctor of medicine, or of anything else.

In the USA the terms are used differently than Australia or the UK.

I have friends who have 'doctorates' (meaning PhD) in science, history, psychology, mathematics, engineering, teaching, social work etc. In Australia they might refer themselves as 'Dr' for professional reasons. But they are not a 'medical' doctor.

Medical practitioner could also be a nurse. They may or not have a 'doctorate' degree, and it may or may not be a 'Medical Doctorate'. I think in the USA they use 'MD' after their name to indicate being a Medical Doctor.

Within the term of 'doctor' as used to mean a 'medical doctor' - you could also have a 'General Practitioner' - which is a specialist training for general medicine. Here in Switzerland I think that's equivalent to a 'Hauzartz' - house doctor ? - but I get the impression that there is a lower qualification - one who has graduated from a medical science degree, but not with a specialisation, and I'm not sure what they are called in German...

Clear as mud ? ;)

swisspea 26.12.2011 11:39

Re: what is difference
Just looked it up for you: for the GERMAN context:

Doctor who is a 'General Practicitioner' has a medical specialisation in 'General Practice' and in German would be a Dr with 'Allgemeinmedizin'.

The "Doctor" meaning medical doctor, is an MD or DO in the USA, and in UK, Australia, Canada, you will usually see 'MBBS'. Which is called a 'Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. These are 4-6 year degrees.

In Germany there is a 6 year qualification with no definite title (according to Wikepedia). They complete their degree and then do a dissertation - this is probably where the 'medical practitioner' vs. Doctor is relevant. In German, the term 'medical practitioner' is probably referring to someone who has completed their medical degree, but not yet completed their dissertation to be awarded a 'PhD'. Once they have done their dissertation they can be called a 'Dr. Med.'

Hope that makes sense. Obviously the terms 'medical practitioner' and 'doctor' mean very different things in the context - German or English, and even within the languages the word 'doctor' can mean many things...

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