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The delivery of modern health care depends on an expanding group of highly trained professionals coming together as an interdisciplinary team. Individuals are called health professionals if they participate in delivery of health care in some way. Thus, it is a rather broad term.

Health profession means a profession in which a person exercises skill or judgment or provides a service related to:
(a) the preservation or improvement of the health of individuals, or
(b) the treatment or care of individuals who are injured, sick, disabled or infirm.

   Examples of members of the health professions

Medical doctors have specializations on the medicine page. Often included as adjunct to allopathic medicine are osteopaths who are licensed with the same limitations and privileges as medical doctors. Dentistry, optometry, podiatry, and psychology, while separate disciplines from medicine, are often considered medical fields in the wider definition of the term. These practitioners are granted independent license to practice medicine and surgery and provide or prescribe medications within their fields. Practitioners such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives also treat patients and prescribe medication in many legal jurisdictions; however, they do so under the direction and supervision of an independently licensed practitioner.

Medical professional in its broadest sense denotes a person involved in a skilled medicine or health related occupation, such as:

  • physicians' assistants and dental hygeinists
  • nurses of various qualifications, and nurse's aides
  • pharmacists
  • hospital corpspeople in a military organisation
  • paramedics and emergency medical technicians
  • technicians specialising in respiratory care and x-ray photography
  • trained first responders such as most lifeguards and many firefighters and police officers
  • medical assistants working side by side with physicians and other members of the health care team mostly in private or group medical practices and clinics

The foundation sciences underpinning human medicine overlap veterinary medicine, which includes both veterinarians and veterinary technicians (also veterinary technologist).