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A clinician is a health care professional that works as a primary care giver of a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, clinic, or patient's home. A clinician diagnoses and treats patients. For example, physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacist and physician assistants are clinicians; a speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a clinician, a speech-language pathology assistant (SLPA) is not. Clinicians take comprehensive exams to be licensed and some complete graduate degrees (master's or doctorates) in their field of expertise. Although a clinician must follow evidence-based best-practices and other professional codes of conduct set by laws and professional governing bodies, a clinician can choose to practice without another's supervision.

The main function of a clinician is to manage a sick person in order to cure the effects of their illness.[1]

A clinician is one whose prime function is to manage a sick person with the purpose of alleviating the total effect of his illness. The multifocal character of the impact of illness upon the patient and his family is stressed. Clinical evidence is the material with which the physician works, and a meticulous history and physical examination are paramount. The availability of more specific forms of therapy requires a clinician to be more of a scientist and, at the same time, more expert in clinical methods. Ability to listen and to talk, so that valid clinical evidence is gathered, anxieties are dissipated, and understanding and motivation are instilled, are the clinicians' greatest assets.

Modern definition

A clinician is a trained personnel (such as a doctor, physician assistant, pharmacist, nurse) who works directly with patients rather than in a laboratory or as a researcher.[2]

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