A practitioner of physics is known as a physicist. It seems like it would logically follow that a practitioner of metaphysics would be known as a metaphysicist; yet, in every text I've read, a specialist in metaphysics is referred to as a metaphysician. What is the reason for this distinction?
The OED has an entry for metaphysicist, citing the origin as:
Late 19th cent.; earliest use found in The Ladies' Repository. From metaphysic + -ist, after physicist.
However, its use seems rare.