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Say, somebody wants to visit a doctor who is a woman or a doctor who is specialist in treating women. I wonder if there are specific terms for

(a) A doctor who is a woman

(b) A doctor who treats only women

Three terms ring in my mind: woman doctor, lady doctor, and women doctor. Although ngram results show “woman doctor” overtook “lady doctor” in early twentieth century, I am confused as to what it means (a or b).

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  • 'Man doctor' is a virtually unknown expression compared to female/woman/male doctor. Ngram.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 21, 2018 at 14:03
  • @NigelJ - that because by culture, tradition, custom and policy, doctors have always been men, from time immemorial.
    – user 66974
    Mar 21, 2018 at 19:30

1 Answer 1

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Collins Dictionary cites woman doctor meaning:

a female doctor: A woman doctor examined me.

and defines lady doctor as old-fashioned:

  • (old-fashioned) a doctor who is a female

Not to be confused with woman's doctor

  • a specialist in gynecologywoman's doctor - a specialist in gynecology

I'd personally use "female doctor".

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  • But is a female doctor (a) or (b)? That's the whole crux of the question and you've missed it out!
    – AndyT
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:07
  • @AndyT - a female doctor is a woman doctor as clearly reported in the answer. See Collins definition.
    – user 66974
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:08
  • "A female doctor is a woman doctor because a woman doctor is a female doctor". Great.... but are they a doctor who is a woman or a doctor who treats women?
    – AndyT
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:18
  • @AndyT - a "female, woman, lady doctor" is a doctor who is a woman. A "woman's doctor" is either a male or a female doctor who treats women.
    – user 66974
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:24
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    @AndyT - A doctor who treats women is a doctor.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 21, 2018 at 17:11

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