Was St. Luke a medical doctor?

St. Luke the Evangelist is described as a “physician” and used medical terms in his Gospel.

Credited as writing one of the four Gospels, St. Luke is often described as a the patron saint of doctors and physicians.

Why is that?

Traditionally, St. Luke is believed to be a “physician,” according to the practice of Greek medicine at the time.

The Catholic Encyclopedia offers a brief summary of this belief.

He was a physician by profession, and St. Paul calls him “the most dear physician” (Colossians 4:14). This avocation implied a liberal education, and his medical training is evidenced by his choice of medical language. Plummer suggests that he may have studied medicine at the famous school of Tarsus, the rival of Alexandria and Athens, and possibly met St. Paul there. From his intimate knowledge of the eastern Mediterranean, it has been conjectured that he had lengthened experience as a doctor on board ship. He travailed a good deal, and sends greetings to the Colossians, which seems to indicate that he had visited them.

Above all, this affirms St. Luke as a great model for all those in the medical profession and a powerful intercessor in Heaven.