Specialists may focus on certain categories of disease, certain patient groups or certain methods of treatment, while general practitioners are responsible for providing continuous and comprehensive medical care to individuals in the community. There are a wide variety of qualifications for doctors and physicians throughout the world, although their training involves common elements. Medical ethics, for example, require that physicians treat their patients with consideration and compassion.
Among the most common challenges faced by health professionals are the unwillingness of citizens to look after their own health; lack of effective public education on health issues; negative impressions (whether false or otherwise) of the role of money in the medical profession; controversies surrounding reproductive rights and other demographic issues; and under-staffed and/or under-equipped facilities.
Physicians play a vital role in minimising risks to human health and in raising awareness of the links between health and the environment, which in turn can promote environmentally responsible behaviour.
Occupational physicians are specialists who provide services related to the health of workers and employers. They focus on the inter-relationships between workers, workplaces and work practices. Their work includes prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Occupational physicians consider medical issues within the wider context of the psycho-social, industrial and motivational framework of the workplace.