Doctor Definition

I have been thinking a bit about the definition of a doctor.  If you look it up in the dictionary under physician you will find “healer”.  This is one of those words that I think we have applied added meaning to.  When I hear healer I think of one who cures, fixes, or rids the body of ailments.  Maybe it’s me that is adding extra meaning- what do you think when you hear healer? In actuality, doctors don’t do this.  What we do is alter the environment. We help design circumstances that lets the body do what it is purposed to do.  When you get an infection, like pneumonia for instance- running fevers, coughing up unmentionable substances, unable to catch your breath –the good ol’ doc writes out a script for an antibiotic.  What does the medicine actually do? It weakens the bug to allow your own body’s bug killers to fight the infection.  When we treat diabetes with insulin or meds, we don’t cure the diabetes. The condition remains; we just supplement the body with insulin- attempting to mimic the natural way it was designed to run.  What about pain medication?  When we injure ourselves and take Tylenol or Motrin- aren’t we really just hiding the pain until our body fixes itself? Ultimately, any medication a doctor gives is attempting to recreate what the original ideal intention was or the medication is altering the environment to allow the natural processes to be effective.  I don’t cure or rid the body of anything. However, here in lies the crux: technically to heal means “to make whole or sound”.  Is designing an environment that permits the body to act naturally, in fact, making something whole? Perhaps it is I who has made the word healer greater than it is, when in actuality a healer is simply guiding the body to wholeness and not curing or fixing. In the end I suppose it doesn’t matter, whether I am a healer or a constructor of circumstance will depend on you and what your definitions are.

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