(also ‘witch doctor'; plural: ‘medicine men'; female: ‘medicine woman’)
a man healer from ‘shaman’ tribe in the native American peoples who is believed to cure sickness of people either by giving herbal medicine or by using magical powers or by both;
a man who is believed to have supernatural powers to cure sickness, mostly mental sickness, in people by using his magical or spiritual powers; a healer;
a man who makes medicine out of herbs or other material available locally and treats sick people with his brews or potions, (whom the modern medical people call a ‘quack’),
In the past, a medicine man had the second highest position in his tribe or community as he had the power to cure the tribe’s sickness.
Old Tom is rightly called a medicine man though he doesn’t know anything about medicine because he is ever ready to help any sick person in our neighbourhood and as he knows all the types of sickness and the clinics and doctors that specialise in certain diseases, he recommends suitable doctor or clinic and even accompanies any lone sick person to the doctor or clinic!
As our doctors take advantage of their importance in the present society and exploit their patients, so did the medicine men in the past too take advantage of the ignorance of their tribal people and enjoy special privileges.