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Difference between ”patient”, ”client” and ”customer”?

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AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgOctober 2022
”patient” - someone with a medical condition who is under the supervision or care of somebody who is medically qualified such as a doctor or nurse. For example, someone who is staying in hospital is a patient, as is someone who goes to a doctor or dentist for treatment.

”customer” - a person who buys something from a business, usually of a physical nature. However, nowadays people purchasing services also sometimes get described as ”customers”.

”client” - someone who utilises the services of a business, organisation or a professional person. This is usually for payment. For example, someone using the services of a lawyer or a prostitute is usually politely described as a ”client”.

An exception is perhaps those working with a teacher or enrolled at a university. They would usually be referred to as ”students” (although I have seen a few universities describing their students as ”clients”