c. 1200, fisicien, fisitien, later phisicien, "healer, one who practices the art of healing disease and of preserving health, doctor of medicine" (as distinguished from a surgeon), from Old French fisiciien "physician, doctor, sage" (12c., Modern French physicien means "physicist"), from fisique "art of healing," from Latin physica "natural science" (see physic). The restored classical ph- spelling is attested in English from late 14c. (see ph). Related: Physiciancy; physicianly; physicianship.
updated on October 13, 2021