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Related to Doctors: Doctors Without Borders


a. A person who is licensed to practice medicine and has trained at a school of medicine or a school of osteopathic medicine; a physician.
b. Any of certain other healthcare professionals, such as a dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, podiatrist, or veterinarian.
2. A practitioner of alternative medicine or folk medicine who does not have traditional medical credentials.
a. A person who has earned the highest academic degree, usually a PhD, awarded by a college or university in a specified discipline.
b. A person awarded an honorary degree by a college or university.
4. Abbr. Dr. Used as a title and form of address for a person holding the degree of doctor.
5. Roman Catholic Church An eminent theologian.
6. A rig or device contrived for remedying an emergency situation or for doing a special task.
v. doc·tored, doc·tor·ing, doc·tors
1. Informal To give medical treatment to: "[He] does more than practice medicine. He doctors people. There's a difference" (Charles Kuralt).
2. To repair, especially in a makeshift manner; rig.
a. To falsify or change in such a way as to make favorable to oneself: doctored the evidence.
b. To add ingredients so as to improve or conceal the taste, appearance, or quality of: doctor the soup with a dash of sherry.
c. To alter or modify for a specific end: doctored my standard speech for the small-town audience.
d. Baseball To deface or apply a substance to (the ball) in violation of the rules in order to throw a pitch with extraordinary movement: was ejected because he doctored the ball with a piece of sandpaper.
v.intr. Informal
To practice medicine.

[Middle English, an expert, authority, from Old French docteur, from Latin doctor, teacher, from docēre, to teach; see dek- in Indo-European roots.]

doc′tor·al (dŏk′tə-rəl, dŏk-tôr′əl) adj.
doc′tor·ly adj.




  1. As with eggs, there is no such thing as a poor doctor; doctors are either good or bad —Fuller Albright

    The author of this simile is a doctor.

  2. A breast or a foot is examined [by doctors lacking in empathy] like a pack of cigarettes —Hildegarde Knef, quoted in interview with Rex Reed
  3. Carrying his little black bag like a small sample cut from the shadow of death —Helen Hudson

    This observation from Hudson’s novel, Meyer Meyer, is made by the main character about his doctor/brother-in-law.

  4. Commonly, physicians, like beer, are best when they are old; and lawyers, like bread, when they are young and new —Thomas Fuller
  5. A doctor knows the human body as a cabman knows the town; he is well acquainted with all the great thoroughfares and small turnings; he’s intimate with all the principle edifices, but he cannot tell you what is going on inside of any one of them —Punch, 1856
  6. The fame of a surgeon is like the fame of an actor; it exists only as long as they live, and their talent is no longer appreciable after they have disappeared —Honoré de Balzac
  7. Physicians are like kings; they brook no contradiction —John Webster


These are saints whose doctrinal writings have special authority either by papal decree or by the Church’s universal agreement. These include Gregory the Great, Augustine, Basil, John Chrysostom, and Gregory of Nazianus.
References in classic literature ?
There are them in the camp who say and think, man, to lie still, should not be buried while the breath is in the body; and certain it is that in the hurry of that evening, the doctors had but little time to say who was living and who was dead.
Certain it is, however, that there was a great consultation and dispute of doctors over the dead body.
In his Indian captivity, moreover, he had gained much knowledge of the properties of native herbs and roots; nor did he conceal from his patients that these simple medicines, Nature's boon to the untutored savage, had quite as large a share of his own confidence as the European Pharmacopoeia, which so many learned doctors had spent centuries in elaborating.
Just so with whaling, which necessitates a three-years' housekeeping upon the wide ocean, far from all grocers, costermongers, doctors, bakers, and bankers.
The Alabama doctors declared it a huge reptile, and bestowed upon it the name of Basilosaurus.
Every year there were scandals and investigations in this institution, the newspapers charging that doctors were allowed to try fantastic experiments upon the patients; but Jurgis knew nothing of this--his only complaint was that they used to feed him upon tinned meat, which no man who had ever worked in Packingtown would feed to his dog.
With so well-trained a hand and eye, such perfect adroitness and practice in every art which could promote neatness and comfort, and keep out of sight every disagreeable incident of sickness,--with such a perfect sense of time, such a clear, untroubled head, such exact accuracy in remembering every prescription and direction of the doctors,-- she was everything to him.
And harder to get over, too, in a country where there were really no doctors that were worth a damaged nickel.
Dental surgeons suggested doctors, doctors suggested death, death suggested skeletons--and so, by a logical process the conversation melted out of one of these subjects and into the next, until the topic of skeletons raised up Nicodemus Dodge out of the deep grave in my memory where he had lain buried and forgotten for twenty-five years.
The next day the doctors were back; Tom had re- lapsed.
And I could not rid myself of it by any legal proceedings: for the doctors now discovered that MY WIFE was mad-- her excesses had prematurely developed the germs of insanity.
Th' doctors thought he'd go out o' his mind an' die, too.