12 Fascinating Facts About Doctors
Becoming a doctor takes a great amount of schooling—in some cases, as many as 11 years. A physician must first obtain a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes 4 years. This is generally followed by 4 years of medical school and then 3 to 8 years of residency, depending upon the specialty chosen.
According to a study performed in Spain, surgeons tend to be taller and better looking than physicians. The researchers hypothesize that being taller and better looking gives surgeons an evolutionary advantage, in that they will have a better view of the patient on the table and the rest of the operating room, as well as being more distinguishable and respected as the leader in the room.
On average, surgeons interrupt their patients during a consultation once every 14 seconds. The busier a surgeon tends to be, the more likely they are to interrupt.
There are two types of physicians: medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs). Both use similar methods of treatment, but DOs place more focus on the musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic patient care. DOs are also more likely to be primary care physicians.
Although being a physician is one of the highest-paid careers, many doctors seek additional part-time work to help pay off medical school debt.
Doctors leave sponges and other medical devices inside of their patients about 6,000 times a year.
Hippocrates (460–377 BC) is commonly called the “Father of Medicine” or the “Father of Western Medicine.” He is thought to be one of the first physicians to treat the disease as being a result of natural rather than supernatural causes. He also founded the Hippocratic School, a medical school that focused on the healing power of nature as well as the importance of physical observation and the act of prognosis.
A study performed in the United States found that surgeons who played video games on a regular basis made 37% less errors and were 27% faster than their nongaming coworkers.
In early Asian civilizations, the practice of medicine by physicians was particularly advanced for the time, with surgical techniques in India including the removal of tumors, bladder stones, and even cataracts. Chinese physicians even had knowledge of using many different herbal, mineral, and animal products for the treatment of disease.
The earliest written record that mentions the practice of medicine is Hammurabi’s Code from the 18th century BC in Mesopotamia. This extensive code of laws includes information for physicians about payments for successful treatments and punishments for medical failures. For example, payment was better for curing the wealthy, but failing to do so could result in the loss of a hand.
In the United States alone there are nearly 700,000 physicians. In appreciation of doctors and physicians, National Doctor’s Day is celebrated on March 30 every year, commemorating the day that general anesthesia was used in surgery for the first time.