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doctorally prepared

Pert. to someone who possesses the highest academic degree, e.g., PhD., EdD. Such a degree is usually regarded by an institution of higher education as necessary for promotion and tenure.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

ABBR: DNP. A practice-focused doctoral program designed to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. Such programs focus heavily on practice that is innovative and evidence-based, reflecting the application of credible research findings.

doctor-patient relationship

All the interactions between a patient and a health care professional. These interactions establish the basis for interpersonal communication, trust, compliance, and satisfaction.

doctor shopping

A colloquial term for the unethical and illegal practice of seeking care from multiple health care providers for an illicit purpose (often, but not solely, to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances).


(dok′trin) [Fr. doctrine, fr. L. doctrina, teaching] A system of beliefs, policies, or principles.

Captain of the Ship d. The legal doctrine that the legal responsibility for errors in a medical setting falls on the most highly trained or senior health care provider present at the time. This doctrine has been used to hold attending physicians or surgeons responsible for the negligent acts of the surgical or anesthesia team. SEE: borrowed servant d.; vicarious liability.

learned intermediary d. The legal doctrine that a pharmaceutical manufacturer need only advise or warn physicians, and not the public at large, of the potential hazards of the drugs it produces. Under this doctrine physicians act as agents for the public when they prescribe medications. Their education and clinical experience help them decide when to use a medication and when, because of safety concerns, to avoid its use. Exceptions to the doctrine are illustrated by direct-to-consumer drug advertising (such as on television or the Internet) in which pharmaceutical companies present their products directly to patients without the physician acting as intermediary. SYN: learned intermediary rule.


(dok″yŭ-mĕn-tā′shŏn) 1. Manuals, instruction books, and programs or help menus that provide guidance to a user. 2. Recording pertinent medical information in a patient’s medical record. The information may be handwritten on the patient’s chart or keyboarded into an electronic medical record. SEE: charting.


(dok′yŭ-sāt″) Any of several surfactants commonly used in consumer products and in industry, esp. as a stool softener In medicine, docusate calcium and docusate sodium are used as stool softeners. Docusate is also used as an emulsifier, dispersant, and in pesticides.


Department of Defense.


(dof) [From do off] To remove an article of clothing or personal protective equipment.



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