Expression: He was a member of the medical profession


‘member of (the) profession’ was new for me, but now I know from thefreedictionary that:


  1. Do you normally use this expression?

  2. Can it be used in relation to any profession or only to some ‘traditional’ ones (medicine, teaching, law,…)? :slight_smile:

Hello Tamara

The expression is used of many different professions: legal, teaching, medical, nursing, dental, actuarial, journalistic, theatrical, etc. Also humorously: “he’s a member of the busybodying profession”.

But on the whole, “legal”, “teaching”, and “medical” are probably the most common.

I myself would usually say “teacher”, “solicitor”, etc. But like many periphrastic expressions, it’s useful if you want to convey “distance”; or if you want to emphasise the “professional” aspect of the occupation.

All the best,


It’s nice to see you here, MrP. :mrgreen:

Hi Tamara

Yes, I use the word profession, but like MrP, I’d usually say teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. Saying “a member of the teaching profession” sounds quite formal.

Hmmm… The words solicit[size=75]or[/size] :wink: and traditional and profession have triggered another thought:
You should be very careful about saying that someone is a member of “the oldest profession”.

But that’s a whole nother story… 8)


Thanks a lot, MrPedantic and Amy.

Could anybody give an additonal comment about the bunch of those different words used for ‘jurisprudence’ as an area of professional activity? I am always confused when have needs to use the right word from the area…

In simple words:
jurisprudence = law ?
solicitor – a person practising in the area ?
lawyer ? (just qualified in the law?)
legal - an adverb describing what?



Hi Tamara,

These words:

jurisprudence = law ?

[color=green]Well this means the science or philosphy of law - sort of fancy word. People usually go for the Latin when they want to impress

solicitor – a person practising in the area ?

[color=olive]This person is usually office based and deals with things like house purchase/divorce/wills/ and supports a barrister who is the one appearing for/against the accused in a court of law

lawyer ? (just qualified in the law?)
[color=blue]Generally a name for someone qualified in/practising the law. A generic name as is teacher.

legal - an adverb describing what?

[color=red]Adjective describing anything to do with the law as in: legal representative/age/question/matters/aid.


Thank you, Alan.
It’s very useful to see the definitions altogether :slight_smile:

So, a solicitor is a lawyer, but a lawyer can be not only a solicitor. OK.

Legal makes more emphasis on the professional activity, whereas law – more on the knowledge area itself.

If this simplification is acceptable, roughly and ‘generally’, thanks a lot!

I wonder where the word attorney fits in all this?

‘Attorney’ is AmE for ‘lawyer’. That’s English for you!

Hi Conchita,
I don’t quite understand what you mean with ‘That’s English for you!’ Maybe I’m interpreting it too literally. Would you explain it to me? :oops:

It’s just that according to my dictionary ‘attorney’ has the meaning of ‘lawyer’ (as in defender), but it has a note that in AmE the ‘disctrict attorney’ is the prosecutor, i.e. ‘accuser’, of some district. Now I’m all confused :frowning:

The reason why I’m interested in the terminology is because I like movies that take place in the courtroom.

Note to self - next time you watch one of these, pay attention to the exact usage of words related to law.


‘That’s English/life/children, etc. for you’ is an expression of resignation that has the sense of ‘That’s how it is/you’ll have to accept it as it is/there’s nothing you can do about it’.

As for the legal terminology, you seem to know more than I do. According to the dictionary, a district attorney (abbreviation DA) is “a lawyer whose job is to represent the government in a particular area of the US”.

Legal dictionaries should be of help to you: … neral.html

Hi Conchita

Are the commonly used expression like ‘Such is life’ (or the well famous French original(?) phrase :)) or ‘Such is the world’ are the exact equivalents (in meaning) to ‘That’s life’, etc?

Hi Conchita,

Just for the record I’d like to say how spot on your explanations always are. Makes me feel quite 'umble.


While ‘such is life’ is another way of saying ‘that’s life’, I wouldn’t use ‘such is the world’ as an equivalent, unless I was referring to the earth or its people. I mean that, to me, life is an abstract concept and the world is a physical thing. … s/385.html

Thanks, Conchita. Your explanations are perfect.

I would like to express my gratitude too, Conchita. I found the information I was looking for by following your link.
I should have googled it myself but… :oops: C’est la vie.