Talk:Doctor

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Doctor[edit]

  • While cleaning up the disambiguation page Doctor (disambiguation) I noted that virtually all links to Doctor intend to point to Physician. After cleaning up those links to directly point there, I have pointed this page to Physician and added a link to the disambiguation at the top of that page. Kershner 18:25, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Seems like a reasonable course of action. Peyna 22:12, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Ayman al-Zawahiri[edit]

Ayman al-Zawahiri is a real medical doctor, the name is not an alias, he was a professor in Mansoura_University faculty of medicine before he travels to afghanistan and becomes such a well known terrorist, many of his family members are medical professors as well and are very respected people he /re in Mansoura, Egypt. 84.36.12.154 18:49, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Docotr D G Hessayon[edit]

What about this crazy guy who wrote gardening books, or did he really? He may not have existed.

What an enigma.

"original use of the term"[edit]

This article states that the use of Dr to mean holder of a research degree (PhD etc) is the "original use of this term". I am not sure that this is true - as far as I understand the PhD is a relatively recent innovation (eg about 100 years old) and the term "doctor" has been used in relation to medical practitioners, senior clerics and senior lawyers for much longer than this. If it is indeed true that the PhD as a degree has existed for a long time and is the "original use" of the term doctor, this needs a reference. Ceiriog (talk) 16:58, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


122.183.223.10 (talk) 13:19, 10 August 2011 (UTC)Benedict - To prove that the original use of the term doctor relates to a Ph D degree, it does not need a reference. Because it is as simple as a child would understand that the literal meaning of this latin word is "Teacher" and not a medical professional! WHY SO MUCH DISCUSSION! '

It needs to be said that the accompanying Dab page is not an article, and that this kind of material does not belong in a Dab.
That being said, the Latin root of Doctor means not physician but teacher, and the concept of doctorates came into being at a time when the state of medicine was so little advanced that "surgeon" meant a despised lout, working with his hands, and capable of nothing more complicated than setting fractures, bandaging, performing amputations, and perhaps doing blood-letting. (Chirgeon, from Gk chir-  ; chir- meaning hand, as in chirality=handedness, and wikt:chiropodist=hand-and-foot practitioner and wikt:chiropractor=practitioner who relies most heavily on manual manipulation.) This as opposed to physicians, exalted personages who administered medicines that would adjust the humor and had no reason to touch their patients. I don't know if medicine was part of the first universities, but it's not obvious that it was worthy. The PhD may not have existed until, say, the 18th or 19th century, but i'd bet doctorates in theology were as early as the spread of the formal degree of "doctor" beyond the first two or three universities that granted them. So the concept originated in degrees like PhDs rather than those like MD.
--Jerzyt 03:45, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
According to Douglas Guthrie,[1] who bases his account on L Thorndike,[2] medical men were first called "Doctor" at the Medical School of Salerno. He states that that the Emperor Frederick II decreed in 1221 that no one should practice medicine until he had been publicly examined and approved by the masters of Salerno. The course lasted 5 years, and to start one had to be 21 years old and show proof of legitimacy and of three years study of logic. The course was followed by a year of supervised practice. After the laureation ceremony the practitioners could call themselves "magister" or "doctor." Early universities like Padua, Bologna, Paris and Oxford awarded degrees in medicine. These degrees may not have involved research, but I doubt that mediaeval theologians were encouraged to do "research" in the modern sense either.
Surgeons were not despised in antiquity: Galen, the physician whose medical writings had, like Aristotle's, attained the status of church dogma by the early middle ages, started his career as surgeon to the gladiators. The separation of medicine from surgery may have accelerated after the Council of Tours held in 1163 declared, "Ecclesia abhorret a sanguine:" i.e. "The Church abhors the shedding of blood." This was at a time when most qualified physicians in Europe were in holy orders. A decree of Pope Innocent III in 1215 is also claimed to have contributed. However, in late mediaeval England and Scotland royal charters authorised fully qualified surgeons to use the title of "Master" or "Maister." NRPanikker (talk) 14:08, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Cool research!
I'm too lazy to go beyond WP and what pops out from my own skull, but i did come up with
so we're still left wondering whether "doctor" was applied to all the fields at the same time.
(As to theological research, i take it you're equating it to heresy, but i think you'd find that such research was always ongoing, that teaching theology was entrusted to those capable of or aspiring to it, and that heresy is not the label for "anything new" but for the work of those who were wrong about what refinements of the prior scholarly corpus would be useful to those in power, or about which interests were about to come to power.
(Actually i picked theology bcz it was all that came to mind when i tried to recall what Faust said he'd studied in Goethe; i'd forgotten law, philosopy, and, yes, medicine. But Faust is supposed to be a 1500-ish figure, so i was looking much too late!)
--Jerzyt 06:46, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
  1. ^ Douglas Guthrie, A History of Medicine. London: Thomas Nelson 1945, p. 107
  2. ^ L Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science. New York 1934 - 41, Vol. 2 of 6

Professional titles[edit]

How does a table sound for this section? Something like:

Academic title Degree(s)
Doctor of Chiropractic DC Chiropractor
Doctor of Optometry OD, B.Optom Optometrist

This way, we could have both academic title/degree plus the common term. If you disagree, please don't simply revert edits but discuss the issue here. (EhJJ)TALK 10:47, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Not every dentist earns a "doctor of dental medicine", same goes for many other profesions. I don't feel this is the best way to list every profession. This is the reason I feel it is would be more correct to list the profession and then the equivalent degrees people in theses professions may have earned. Jwri7474 (talk) 22:53, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

:Regardless of whether or not the individual holds the "Doctor of _" degree, they are usually permitted by regulation to use the title "Doctor of _" and "_ist". What if we did something different? I'm thinking the following...

The following professionals may use the title "Doctor" if they have the appropriate academic degree or registration/licence:
etc.
Thoughts? (EhJJ)TALK 23:31, 18 March 2008 (UTC) Never mind. Looks fine to me. (EhJJ)TALK 23:51, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Comment Please keep in mind that this is a disambiguation page, not an article. As such, there are specific guidelines that govern how it is formatted and presented. --Ckatzchatspy 04:39, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Definitions/references[edit]

Due to overlapping edits, the summary of my last reversion addressed the wrong issue. But there is a Manual of Style for disambiguation pages, and references aren't necessary or appropriate.

And if anyone can explain to me why a fundamentally literate person would type "Doctor" into the search bar when they're looking for the article about dentists, I would probably stop removing that link. That is the purpose of a disambiguation page: to direct the user to the article he is looking for, when there is more than one article that could be reasonably referred to by the same name. Propaniac (talk) 23:03, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

No "fundamentally literate person" is going to type doctor into a search looking for silly nicknames of athletes, etc. My entry on health care practitioners is sourced as a legitimate meaning of the word doctor. Your pop culture/nicknames are not. You deleted almost all the medical entries, although you have no source to support your interpretation. Wikipedia is not Entertainment Weekly or Sports Illustrated. The reason for citing the source is that you want to make this page primarily about sports and entertainment uses of "doctor" as nicknames or character titles, which is in no way encyclopedic. --Prowler08 (talk) 23:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
You're making it very obvious that you do not understand the purpose of a disambiguation page. The pop culture usages are listed because someone who wants to read about a character known only as "Doctor" is reasonably likely to look for that article at Doctor. It is not because those articles are more important than other articles. I am not saying that a dentist or a veterinarian is not a doctor, I'm saying that someone looking for those articles will not be looking at this page (or at least that nobody, including yourself, has made any argument that someone looking for those articles will be looking at this page). I can assure you I have absolutely no attachment to any of the TV shows, films, fictional characters, or people that are listed here (until I began work on this page, I hadn't heard of any of them); my criteria for inclusion is, "Does the linked content suggest that a user could refer to this person, place or thing as simply 'Doctor'?"
If you're going to continue this argument, I strongly suggest you first consult the WP:Disambiguation and Manual of Style guidelines, both of which have been linked here many times. Propaniac (talk) 02:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

I understand perfectly well the purpose of a disambiguation page. And I daresay, a person would enter doctor looking for different types of health care professionals before they would use it to find some of these obscure sports figures, TV characters, TV shows, etc. listed on this dab page. The dictionary definition I supplied is using doctor as a stand alone term, not just as a title in front of one's name (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/doctor). The health care doctors that should absolutely be listed as per the previous dictionary link are physician, dentist, and veterinarian. Others also may be listed. The following sentence, or something to the same effect, should precede the listing: The following health care practitioners that possess a doctorate may be referred to as a doctor. I noticed it was you who deleted (without discussion), the many references to doctors that were already on this page, and that you did so under the rubric of cleanup. Doctor would also more likely be used in modern culture to describe a health care professional than a Doctor of the Church. Two IPs have tried to reinsert a much longer list of health care doctors than I think is necessary, but I agree with their version more than I do yours. I am inserting a POV dispute tag on this page as I and two IPs obviously disagree with your interpretation of the proper content of this page. --Prowler08 (talk) 08:00, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The dictionary lists types of doctors. I do not disagree that a dentist is a type of doctor. I disagree that anybody would need help figuring out that the Dentist article is at Dentist and not Doctor. Someone would not search for Pet if they wanted to read about cats or dogs. Someone would not search for Movie star if they were looking for the article about Johnny Depp.
I absolutely agree that it would make sense for someone to be looking for a list of different types of doctors. I am honestly very, very surprised that there doesn't seem to be such a list; I spent several minutes searching for one when I did the initial cleanup. If you or anyone else wants to create a List of types of doctors, I would be perfectly content for that list to be linked from this page. But the fact that no such list exists at another title does not mean that it belongs on this page. And allowing links here that clearly don't fit the purpose of the page leaves the door open for people to add more and more links that don't belong here, and then the page becomes a horribly cluttered mess. Propaniac (talk) 16:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Using the aforementioned logic, most of the entries on this dab page should be deleted. I can't imagine anyone typing in just doctor to find any of the following, all of which are listed on the page:

--Prowler08 (talk) 18:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

You know, you could have just said "But this page lists items that are known as 'The Doctor' or 'Doctors' or 'The Doctors', not 'Doctor'" instead of going through and listing all those items here. Yes, this page combines multiple disambig terms, which is not uncommon with terms that are different forms of the same word or phrase. Combining "Doctor" and "The Doctor" is not the same as combining "Doctor" and "Dentist."
And the fictional characters do all seem to be known as "Doctor," so I don't know what your point is there. Some of the living people who are nicknamed "Doctor" are somewhat iffy for inclusion, but I left them in as long as their article indicated that they were called Doctor in some context. Propaniac (talk) 03:42, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Wait, was your point that since you can't imagine it, they shouldn't be included, as an attempt to attack my own imposition of "POV" on this page? Because I've blatantly asked if anyone can imagine a user who ends up at this page looking for the article about dentists. You have not said that you can imagine such a user; you said that a user could be looking for a list of types of doctors, which I would be perfectly fine with linking to, if such a list existed. I don't really think an opinion counts as a point-of-view if nobody on Earth disagrees with it. Propaniac (talk) 03:45, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I listed them to show which ones I thought were questionable. You seem to be personalizing this, let's try to stick to the subject of discussion. This page is listed above as part of WikiProject Medicine. Because of your deletions, without discussion, of all but one medical entry, this dab page should no longer be part of the project. As to your assertion that "I don't really think an opinion counts as a point-of-view if nobody on Earth disagrees with it," well obviously, some people did agree with me, since there were all these various types of doctors listed here and there was discussion about the various fields. Or have you become the arbiter of what others think? Physician is the formal term, as is dentist, as is veterinarian. Doctor is the informal term for these professions. --Prowler08 (talk) 04:29, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Since you didn't say why you thought those entries were questionable (and still haven't said so), I assumed I was supposed to infer the reason; I apologize if I guessed incorrectly.
I don't particularly feel that the page should be a part of the Medicine WikiProject, but since I don't know anything about that project, I don't really care either way. But that's entirely irrelevant to the question of what should be on the page. Pages and articles aren't edited to match whatever WikiProject has decided to claim them; it's the other way around.
I think it's a fairly silly argument that because people added items to the list before anyone had said that those items shouldn't be added, those people should be assumed to perpetually disagree with any and all possible reasons for excluding those items, and this assumed, perpetual, utterly silent disagreement should dissuade anyone from ever modifying the page's structure in the future. That does seem to be the argument you're applying here in saying that I should have taken those editors' previous actions as disagreement with my stated reasons for cleaning up the page.
Further response is below. Propaniac (talk) 21:15, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Consider what the user is looking for[edit]

I guess the question is: when somebody types "Doctor" in the search bar (or has a wikilink to the word), what are they probably looking for? Here is my thought:
  1. Most people are looking for either Doctor (title) or Physician.
  2. Very few people are looking for the twenty or so rare uses of the term.
So, should we just move this page to Doctor (disambiguation) and make Doctor a redirect to Doctor (title) or Physician (with a link to the disambig page)? (EhJJ)TALK 04:27, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I feel that arguing over this is silly when it is easy to list the other health care doctors. And once again, it makes much more sense listing health care doctors than these sports and pop culture listings. Also, it's not just the search box, it's also linking. If the term doctor is linked on a veterinary article, a dental article, a podiatric article, etc. and it redirects here, which has excluded these fields, does that mean that the previously mentioned articles misused the term of doctor? Finally, several dictionaries, as my dictionary link above indicates, agree with me about the popular use of the term, since that is what dictionaries primarily gauge their definitions by. --Prowler08 (talk) 04:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
So you're envisioning an article about dentistry that links to doctor but not dentist? It's futile for Wikipedia to try to guard against all things that editors could possibly do that make no sense.
Seriously, if I copy the list of types of doctors that used to be here to List of types of doctors and place a link to that list on this page, will you be sated? I'd really rather not argue about this forever (which does not mean that I will give into your opinion if you say that solution would not be satisfactory).
And as to whether Doctor should be a redirect, I'm pretty much 50-50 either way. If it were to redirect, Physician seems like a much more obvious choice, but if there's substantial argument for Doctor (title), that indicates that it would be better to keep the disambiguation page here, even if most of the traffic is for those two entries. Propaniac (talk) 21:15, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Colin Bassington[edit]

Is this Colin Bassington (b. 1930) an advertising link? If positive, I suggest removal by the editor who added it. Ida Shaw (talk) 14:14, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Please semi-protect[edit]

{{Adminhelp}} This article is constantly under attack from IP vandals. Please semi-protect it for the next......15 years. ;-) There really is no reason not to do so. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:38, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Please go to WP:RFPP to request for page protection. BejinhanTalk 04:44, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Degrees for the healthcare section[edit]

I explained this to the IP but in regards to this, my view is that the articles discuss the issue very generally and predate the licenses. Physician for example does have a huge section on its prior background. It gives too much weight to a particular specific idea of those kinds of fields and not the general historical context. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 06:58, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:34, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

DoctorDoctor (disambiguation)Physician needs to be moved to Doctor. Physician is a much more important definition of doctor than dentist is. Having this dis-ambiguation page at Doctor leads people into thinking that both physician and dentist are equally major definitions of the word doctor. Experience this by considering the following sentence:

First I will take my son to the doctor because he is sick. Next I will take my daughter to the dentist because she has a toothache. Finally I will take myself to work.

Do you know anyone who would say:

First I will take my son to the physician because he is sick. Next I will take my daughter to the doctor because she has a toothache. Finally I will take myself to work.

Georgia guy (talk) 21:46, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose Physician is the WP:ENGVAR title for the article, and it has the advantage of not being confused with other types of doctors. Though that might do better at medical doctor, since medical doctor and physician are not equivalent, what with surgeons about, and the separation between the two fields historically. 76.66.199.238 (talk) 04:15, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose As mentioned already, the name is a case of WP:ENGVAR. Beyond that, there are numerous types of doctors (even in the healthcare field). Without any traffic data I remain unconvinced that medical doctor is the primary topic.--Labattblueboy (talk) 16:31, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
    Comment. Assuming that ENGVAR means English variants, in what variant of English is doctor not the most common term for a physician?? Georgia guy (talk) 19:25, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Reluctant oppose. I do think that perhaps Physician is the primary topic for "Doctor", but the situation is so confused that I think the current organization is probably for the best. Powers T 12:48, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Doctor is the title of someone possessing a doctorate, whether this is in zoology, medicine or creative writing. While popular usage has "doctor" often meaning, simply, "medical doctor", this is incorrect usage rather than semantic variation; an encyclopedia can't be promoting this.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 01:58, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Even though we agree on the merits of this proposal, I strongly disagree with you that using "doctor" to mean "medical doctor" is in any way "incorrect usage". Powers T 11:08, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
      • That's not what's incorrect; what's incorrect is the popular and growing assumption that a doctor is a doctor because he practises medicine rather than because he possesses a doctorate. I think it is fair to describe this as factually incorrect in the same way we'd describe "England is Britain" as factually incorrect despite being common. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:00, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
        • It's off-topic, but I still disagree. In modern usage, "doctor" is both a degree and a profession. Language evolves, and this particular change is well cemented. Powers T 16:57, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
          • A doctor is not a profession ... believing it to be so is a misunderstanding of fact.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 02:43, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
            • In the United States, it is. When a kid says "I want to be a doctor when I grow up", they're not referring to a Ph.D. Powers T 15:22, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
              • Usually when a child says something incorrect, I prefer to correct them rather than use their errors to legitimize factually incorrect usage. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:04, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Pharmacist[edit]

Pharmacist just keeps moving on and off this article. Any suggestions?? I suggest that once a consensus is reached, an HTML comment must be added. Georgia guy (talk) 00:02, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it keeps moving on and off this article and no clear consensus has been reached. We need some discussion to help make a consensus. Georgia guy (talk) 15:53, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
All of the pharmacists I know have BSc in pharmacology, not doctorates. I say leave it out of the list Nutster (talk) 16:48, 21 May 2011 (UTC).
All the pharmacists I know have a PharmD so I disagree. A BSc is pharmacology has not been offered as a pharmacist degree for over 20 years. Anyone in the United States who wants to become a Pharmacist today needs to get a doctorate in pharmacy (PharmD).
I say leave it in.
Most pharmacists don't call themselves Doctors. In a medical setting a pharmacist that wanted to be called a doctor would look like he was trying to practice medicine. For an amusing rant, see http://www.theangrypharmacist.com/archives/2007/11/pharmacists_are.html Kd4ttc (talk) 03:19, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Pharmacists now are doctors and should be recognized as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Equanimous1 (talkcontribs) 04:50, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree has been the only professional pharmacist degree since 1990. The AACP mandated that all pharmacy schools expand their course work to include extensive didactic clinical preparation and a full year of hands-on practice experience, as well as optional 1-3 years of specializing residencies. Now it is standard for all graduating Pharmacists to be Doctors in their field.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.165.188.131 (talkcontribs) 02:23, 26 July 2012‎ (UTC)

Still, that doesn't mean readers are expecting to find an article on pharmacists to be titled "Doctor" in an encyclopedia. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:46, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Healthcare section[edit]

Various professions have been added (and removed) that are probably not applicable.

  • Physical therapists are usually not doctors. The one I have dealt with has a BSc in Kinesiology, but not a doctorate.

208 of the 213 Physical Therapy schools are graduating Doctors of Physical Therapy. All graduates in the near future will be doctors. The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree has been around for 20 years. At what point do we update Wikipedia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Equanimous1 (talkcontribs) 04:54, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

It's possible to gain a doctorate in virtually any subject, but this does not mean they're referred to as "doctors" within the context of healthcare. It's possible to gain a doctorate of aromatherapy, but aromatherapists are not doctors. Basalisk inspect damageberate 09:24, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Nurse Practitioners do not usually have doctorates either. Even ones that have doctorates of nursing (as some do) are not considered medical doctors, so they should not be in this list.

Nutster (talk) 15:48, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

I've removed physical therapist once again. While it is possible to have a doctorate degree in physical therapy (like any other field of study, medical or otherwise), a physiotherapist is clearly not a healthcare doctor. — Satori Son 20:13, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Same for pharmacists. — Satori Son 20:15, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed.
Although many pharmacists possess a Doctorate PharmD, it is not a clinical degree and does not grant one the authority to treat patients and prescribe medications the same way that a physician, dentist, or veterinarian degree allows.

Jan 2012. I disagree. I am a pharmacy student at USC in California and in the United States the PharmD degree is very much clinical with 4 years of graduate coursework and even 1-2 years of residency in those who specialize. In many settings today Pharmacists are playing a key role in helping Physicians and other health care professionals in managing patients disease states through medication therapy management services. In California Pharmacists are able to prescribe under protocol and order labs. Pharmacists undergo a lot of training in pharmacy school and are the best people to manage patients medications. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.108.13.214 (talk) 23:21, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

As for Physical therapists, while many physical therapy programs are becoming 3 year graduate programs that award the Doctor of Physical Therapy DPT degree, the vast majority of physical therapists do not have a doctorate.
American Heritage dictionary defines "Doctor" as "a person licensed to practice medicine, as a physician, surgeon, dentist, or veterinarian." The key here is Practice medicine.
Naturopaths practice "alternative" medicine that have no scientific basis. They should not be listed here the same way that your Shaman, Chinese herbal doctor are not considered "healthcare doctors" in the western world. They are not even recognized in 34 States.
Removing Pharmacist, Physical therapist, and Naturopath. Adding Podiatrist. Gelmini (talk) 04:35, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I have recently had to revert a number of repetitive edits by user Rabbikillinger, it seems this user's sole purpose is to include physiotherapy in this article against consensus. I agree with all those comments above, that most physiotherapists do not have a doctorate; although more are getting DPTs every year, it is still not the norm. On another note, Naturopaths trained in Canada are awarded a health care doctorate, which requires 4 years undergraduate studies and 4 years of naturopathic school, so it may be valid to include the profession in the list. However, I can only say that this is true for Canada, the situation may be different in other countries that have a far greater proportion of the worlds naturopaths. Puhlaa (talk) 17:32, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
"They are not even recognized in 34 States" - But they are recognized in other states, and in other countries. See WP:WORLDVIEW DigitalC (talk) 19:18, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
Well I'm going to provide a non-US viewpoint and say in the UK a naturopath is not considered a doctor, or anything near. A doctor is someone licensed to practice medicine: naturopaths, physical therapists and pharmacists do not fit that bill. Basalisk inspect damageberate 09:27, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Pharm.D is a clinical degree, and does have the authority to directly treat based on the setting that's being practiced in. In the US, certified pharmacists can directly administer immunizations, are able to dispense emergency medication without a prescription when needed, and have limited prescribing powers that vary from state to state and is expanding every year. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.165.188.131 (talk) 02:37, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

But this is not List of clinical degreed professions able to directly treat patients. It's a disambiguation page, meant to help readers who search on "Doctor" find the article on the topic they meant. It is therefore not an award to professions who meet any particular criteria, but rather a list of topics that readers might expect to find under an encyclopedia article titled "Doctor". I supported (and continue to support) the creation of a separate list article (or several) to fill the need for such a list based on the professional criteria. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:43, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Inclusions[edit]

Right, we need to have a discussion about what to include in the healthcare section. I think that Podiatrist, Optometrist and Chiropractor should be removed as they simply aren't doctors (I would also suggest that Osteopath should be removed, but I am aware that in America they have a qualification dubiously titled "DO").

IMO, the heart of the matter is that just being a "doctor of something" doesn't make you a titled doctor. You can be a doctor of mechanical engineering, but we wouldn't include that here. A doctor is a professional who possesses broad knowledge and training in all basic conventional medicine. Dentists, physicians, surgeons and arguably veterinarians fit this bill, but the rest currently in the list do not.

Also, an IP keeps re-inserting Physical therapist (against previous consensus), and also keeps bizarrely changing Physician to Allopath, which is absurd. I want to get a discussion going on this so we can sort it out. Basalisk inspect damageberate 18:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree. Podiatrists, optometrists and chiropractors would all fall under the umbrella of "health professionals", but it is incorrect to refer to them as doctors, a term which has a much more specific meaning. As for osteopaths, perhaps there could be a qualifier for those with a DO from the US, as from what I understand their course is not all that dissimilar from an MD.Watermelon mang (talk) 19:11, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree that 'physical therapist', 'nurse practitioner' and 'pharmacist' should NOT be included, as most are not doctors in North America (although physical therapists are coming close in the US; there are no DPT programs in Canada). However, I disagree with the removal of podiatrists, optometrists or chiropractors. Podiatrists, chiropractors and optometrists all complete doctoral programs (7-8 years of university-level education) and are legally referred to as 'doctor' in North America. Moreover, In 2009, the American Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations published a document titled "Hospital definition of physician" [1] (the full text is available as a pdf online: [2]). The source describes the recent inclusion of chiropractors and optometrists into the definition of physician in the United States. As far as osteopaths go, the majority are in the US and are the equivalent to MDs, thus should be included in this list of doctors. We do not need to include specific details about the few Canadian osteopaths that are not doctors, as that is what the osteopath page would be for...to go over details of the professions. This is just meant to be a list of the professions that are commonly known as doctors.Puhlaa (talk) 20:51, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
This comment kinda brings me to my next concern; could we perhaps consider at least some points of view other than exclusively American ones? I don't think basing the criteria for inclusion in this list solely on the length of time required to qualify in said professions in America represents a universal view of the question. Basalisk inspect damageberate 23:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Basalisk, I appreciate your concern, however, if years of education and categorization of degree as a doctorate are not sufficient for a 'universal view' as you suggest, what do you suggest the criteria should be for inclusion?
You have also raised the concern about the viewpoint being predominantly American. I admit that I dont know all the details for optometrists or podiatrists outside of North America, thus my contribution with regard to those professions is limited in its scope. However, with regard to chiropractic, you must appreciate that about 90% of the world Chiropractors are located in North America [3]. In addition to the 90% of the worlds chiropractors in North American that are considered 'Doctors', Switzerland also considers chiropractors doctors. Thus, the U.K. and Australia, with their Masters of Chiropractic programs (4+2 years) rather than doctor of chiropractic (4+4 years) are the small minority. I would say that chiropractic warrants inclusion in the list, with over 90% of the global profession studying to be recognized as doctors. This is a list of professions commonly called 'doctors' and not a detailed description of each jurisdictional difference. That is what the individual profession's wikipedia articles are for. Puhlaa (talk) 00:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, I see your point about chiropractors. Just to clarify, it's not that I think length/categorization of degree is an important criterion; my concern is that only the relevant length/category of degree as it exists in North America seems to be taken into account. I'd also like to point out that the fact that 90% of the world's chiropractors are in the US is irrelevant (hypothetical example: 90% of the world's witch doctors existing in Kenya, where they are called doctors, does not mean that they should be universally accepted as doctors). Though, as I said, I see your point. Basalisk inspect damageberate 01:39, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Right now, I'm thinking there shouldn't be anything under "healthcare" besides physician. For example, I've never heard anyone say "I'm going to the doctor" but what they meant was they were going to the dentist. This is a disabiguation page, and its intent is direct readers to the article they were likely looking for. The purpose of this page isn't to detail all of the fringe ways people can use the term. Biosthmors (talk) 17:26, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with the idea of having 'doctor' refer to only a medical physician on this disambiguation page (in the healthcare section). I fail to see the logic in having a page that is meant to disambiguate a term, but offers only a single usage of that term? Puhlaa (talk) 23:01, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I also disagree. When someone says I'm going to the "doctor", they usually mean their general or Primary care physician. Most people don't say I'm going to the "doctor" when the're they're going to the Gynecologist or the Pediatrician, and instead, they say I'm going to see my "Gyno," the same way that they say I'm going to see my "Chiro" or my "Dentist." So when people say "I'm going to see my Doctor," its usually implied that they're seeing their primary care doctor, which of course isn't the only type of "doctor" in the world, and hence the need for a disambiguation page.Gelmini (talk) 04:11, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
We're only talking about a section within a disambiguation page, and not a disambiguation page itself. I don't think it is likely that someone is going to type into the Wikipedia search bar "doctor" but really mean "dentist", or "doctor" but really mean "chiropractor". The point of a disambiguation page is to ensure that "a reader who searches for a topic using a particular term can get to the information on that topic quickly and easily". I'm thinking this might be one of those cases where the primary meaning deserves a broad overview article (Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Broad-concept_articles) instead of having a disambiguation page. I think the healthcare section might be attempting to do in a list what a broad overview article would do (and not what a disambiguation page should do). Biosthmors (talk) 18:12, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Chiropractors are controversial, and still engage in a large amount of pseudo-scientific practices. They are not universally accepted by the medical sciences and thus should not be included. See Chiropractic controversy and criticism for more information. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 14:43, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

While I appreciate your opinion Harizotoh, that DCs are controversial does not warrant their exclusion from the page. You will note that opinions dont matter here, only facts. Fact is, 90% of the worlds chiropractors hold doctorate degrees.Puhlaa (talk) 14:50, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
90% of the world's physics professors hold doctorate degrees as well; we still wouldn't include them in the healthcare section. Basalisk inspect damageberate 08:38, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Basalik, I agree that while 90% of physicists might hold doctorate degrees, we should not include physicists (PhD) in the healthcare section. This is because the doctorate that a physicist would hold is in the field of philosophy. If this was an article about philosophy, then physicists would be discussed, whereas MDs and other healthcare doctors would probably not be. However, in the healthcare section, lets keep the discussion to doctors whose doctorate is in the field of healthcare like MD, DC, DO, DDS, etc....Puhlaa (talk) 15:45, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Puhlaa, I don't know if we're misunderstanding each other, but I agree with you. I'm using the physics PhD as an example to illustrate that we don't refer to everyone who has a PhD in a healthcare-related field as a doctor. Basalisk inspect damageberate 11:05, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I think we understand each other Basalik....my impression was that you were using physicists as an analogy for why you dont agree with chiropractors, optomatrists, dentists, etc. being included in the healthcare section of this doctor disambiguation page, even though 90% of people in these professions hold doctorate degrees. My rebuttle is that because physicists are not holding healthcare doctorates, but rather doctorates in philosophy, they are not a good comparison here. Thus, while I agree with your point that physicists should not be included (although 90% have a doctorate), chiropractors, dentists, vets, etc. should be included (because they have a healthcare-related doctorate).Puhlaa (talk) 15:14, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Objective inclusion criteria[edit]

How many years has this discussion been going on now? Since 2006!! And WHY is that the case? Because OPINIONS are being used as the inclusion criteria. We know better than to do that, yet this continues and it needs to stop.

We need to establish objective and indisputable inclusion criteria and then make that plain in the (non-existent) lede. (Yes, even a disambiguation page can have a short lede that explains the purpose of the page.) Whether someone is "called", "referred to" or "considered" a doctor is a matter of opinion. The objective criteria is what RS say, and that is established by their graduate degree. Screw everything else and let opinions be damned. If they've got a legitimate (accredited) doctorate, they are legally allowed to be called a "doctor", even if that might not normally be the case in daily life, and even if they are required (like DCs and DPTs) to "also" specify their profession when calling themselves "doctor".

The lists should also include short descriptions if there are doubts or national differences. For example, the fact that chiropractors aren't legally "doctors" in all jurisdictions should be mentioned, and likewise the fact that PTs aren't DPTs in all jurisdictions. Also provide wikilinks to the articles that discuss the matter.

In the end this disambiguation page should include wikilinks to ALL articles and stubs that are about professions and degrees where some or all members have or can pursue a legal doctorate degree.

To be really complete (and why not?), it could even have a section for deprecated, quack, diploma mill "doctor" degrees. That would be a great service to our readers. IOW, leave no even slightly-related wikilink unturned (similar to the rules for "See also" sections). Let readers who come here looking for their favorite quack whom they have been groomed to refer to as "doctor" know that the mainstream professional world doesn't consider that a legitimate usage of the word. It's a fringe usage and should be identified as such. They shouldn't arrive here and find a vacuum because opinions have excluded it from mention. They should find it here and get the facts by short mention and wikilinks to appropriate articles (like Diploma mill and Accreditation mill).

So, how about it? Shall we finally do something that ends this continual battle of opinions? -- Brangifer (talk) 19:36, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Brangifer's proposal is excellent. I support the notion of a separate section for professions which have dubious links to the title "doctor". We could then have a leaner and more specific health care section which refers only to those with a license to practice medicine. Basalisk inspect damageberate 09:21, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
BR, I agree very-much with the spirit of your suggestion, but I do not agree at all with Basalisk's interpretaion of BRs suggestion. I do not agree with having a 'separate section for dubious professions', as basalisk suggests, beacuse we then end-up in the same situation with a battle of opinions being the determiner. We can already see this fight forming with the comment by Basalisk above: "we could have a leaner and more specific healthcare section, which only refers to those who practice medicine". This is not what I heard from BR at all!!! What I heard was that the excellent idea to have objective criteria such as "have a recognized doctorate-level degree in healthcare", which should give us a very inclusive list, not a leaner list. I like the spirit behind the idea of: Any profession whose members hold dotorate degree's in healthcare should go in the healthcare section of the disambiguation page; that is objective, inclusive, and helpful to the reader no matter what kind of healthcare doctor they are looking for. As BR suggested, professions who are not awarded doctorates in all nations could be qualified with a note (eg: Not all members of this profession have a doctorate-level degrees, see education-wikilink). A 'dubious doctor' section is asking for edit-wars here for eternity.Puhlaa (talk) 15:36, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
That is ridiculous. You can get a doctorate of witch medicine in some African institutions. We're not putting African witch doctors on that list. Neither are we going to put nurses who hold PhD. Having a doctorate in a healthcare-related field doesn't make you a medical doctor. If we follow your suggestion, this list would be pages and pages long, with hundreds of sections for all the different disciplines one can obtain a doctorate in. Beneath the healthcare section, we could have Chemistry - someone with a PhD in chemistry; a doctor of chemistry. Town planning - someone with a PhD in town planning; a doctor of town planning. Swahili - someone with a PhD in Swahili; a doctor of Swahili.
This is not a list of people who have PhDs; it's a list of professionals who would be referred to as doctors. Look it up in a dictionary. Basalisk inspect damageberate 08:54, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
As I said before, I very much liked the spirit of the proposal made by BullRangifer, and I would agree to: "let opinions be damned. If they've got a legitimate (accredited) doctorate, they are legally allowed to be called a "doctor", even if that might not normally be the case in daily life, and even if they are required (like DCs and DPTs) to "also" specify their profession when calling themselves "doctor"." To have the healthcare section of the doctors disambiguation page list a bunch of professions that are doctors in healthcare seems logical to me. Readers can go to the full article page in order to form their own opinion obout each respective healthcare doctor, rather than be influenced by the inclusion, or lack thereof, on the disambiguation page.Puhlaa (talk) 15:36, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm still concerned about the purpose of a disambiguation page, which is to direct people to articles they were likely searching for. It would be nice to have a simple rule, but I don't see why this page should be a politically correct list of anyone who can legally be called a doctor. And just in case someone was wondering, we have a List of doctoral degrees awarded by country article. It could be segregated into healthcare sub-sections I suppose. Biosthmors (talk) 16:19, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I completely agree. If someone types "doctor" into the search bar, they are almost certainly looking for an article about professional doctors. I re-state my original point - this is not just a list of doctorates. We could provide a link to the list mentioned by Biosthmors above, and that should suffice for the PhD element. Basalisk inspect damageberate 08:50, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

If you have graduated with a doctorate in health care then you have the right to go by the title Doctor. This list is not inclusive of doctoring professions in the US and should include physical therapy, pharmacy, and nursing. They are all doctoring professions at this point. Wikipedia is not designed to portray simply one point of view but to allow for different view points. This list needs to be updated. [[[User:Equanimous1|Equanimous1]] (talk) 04:26, 24 February 2012 (UTC)]

Neither is wikipedia simply a platform for you to further your own minority viewpoint. No one calls nurses "doctor". If you went into a hospital and called a nurse "Dr. Smith", he would correct you and point out that he's not a doctor. The same goes for the other additions you made. By your argument, we'd have to go around calling everyone with a PhD in epidemiology "doctor" and include them on this list as well. The reason this list is not inclusive of such qualifications is because, for the millionth time, this is not a list of PhDs. Basalisk inspect damageberate 12:06, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

You continue to censor this list to promote your viewpoint. There have obviously been multiple edits that have sought to include the doctoring professions in healthcare. I know of multiple clinicians in Physical Therapy and Pharmacy that go by the title doctor, and have read the same for nursing. That is not a viewpoint that is just a current state. My impression is that you would rather that no one would call a Doctor of Nursing practice 'Doctor', but they are none the less a Doctor. None of the degrees added were PhDs. They are all professional doctorates just as the MD, DO, DPM, DMD, DDS, OD, DC, etc. All of the previous professions also go by the title doctor as they should. The majority of the myopic viewpoints that only MD's should go by the title doctor have come from one person. Multiple professions in healthcare go by the title doctor, which is what this page is about. This list should be updated to reflect that. [[[User:Equanimous1|Equanimous1]] (talk) 17:11, 24 February 2012 (UTC)]

This is a disambiguation page, meant to direct readers to articles they were likely looking for if they typed in "doctor". This is not a list for fringe uses of the term. Biosthmors (talk) 17:23, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I am using this to promote a viewpoint? You're the one who showed up and simply stated what you think should be here, and then introduced the change without providing any sources or arguments (other than what can basically be paraphrased as "I call them doctors, so there") in the discussion. Whatever physical therapists/pharmacists you know that like to be called doctor is irrelevant (see WP:OR). As a disambiguation page, the purpose of this list is to redirect users to the article they were probably looking for. No one types "doctor" when they're looking for a physical therapist, pharmacist or nurse. They type in "physical therapist", "pharmacist" or "nurse" instead, because that's what they are. Turning this into some PC, hugely inclusive list of people who are entitled to sign their name as "Dr. Smith" is ludicrous, and also not the point of a disambiguation page. We could include "soldier" under the healthcare section too, as some doctors work for the army and are also doctors, but that would be beyond the scope of a disambiguation page, because when people want to find out about soldiers they type in "soldier", not "doctor". The same goes for all the other entries you're trying to force in. Basalisk inspect damageberate 18:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes you read me correctly. This is a disambiguation page so references are not used. Tens of thousands of Doctors are graduating every year as Doctors of physical therapy, doctors of pharmacy, Doctor's of Nursing Practice, and Naturopathic Doctors. This list includes Cobra Commander, Scalpel, and Fuyuhiko Date as links to a doctor. If such peripheral uses are included then certainly a clinician that goes by the title daily should be included as well. This will make a more accurate and functional page for wiki users. The previous mentioned professions graduate from institutions of higher learning as Doctors and should be recognized as such. Eventually the myopic bigotry displayed here will run out. (Equanimous1 (talk) 09:44, 13 May 2012 (UTC))

RfC: Objective inclusion criteria = accredited doctoral graduate degree[edit]

We need to establish objective and indisputable inclusion criteria and then make that plain in the (non-existent) lede. (Yes, even a disambiguation page can have a short lede that explains the purpose of the page.) Whether someone is "called", "referred to" or "considered" a doctor is a matter of opinion and irrelevant here.

The objective criteria is what RS say, and that is established by their doctoral graduate degree. If they've got a legitimate (accredited) doctorate, they are legally allowed to be called a "doctor", even if that might not normally be the case in daily life, and even if they are required (like DCs and DPTs) to "also" specify their profession when calling themselves "doctor".

An accredited doctorate (graduate degree) should be the objective inclusion criteria here. It is not our job to settle disputes about who should be allowed to call themselves "doctor", or whether the term "doctor" should only apply to health care personnel.

NOTE: I felt the need to start this RfC because of the discussion in a previous section. It was reverting to subjective opinions (only medical doctors...) being used as inclusion criteria, and so was getting nowhere. I hope this RfC will settle the matter. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:44, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

  • I agree with you that doctorate degress should be listed, but there is no need to list every single doctorate it is possible to attain, as this list would run for pages and pages. Dictionary.com defines a doctor as "someone licensed to practise medicine, as a physician, surgeon, dentist, or veterinarian", and this is a good definition. Ultimately, this is a disambiguation page; its purpose is to redirect users to the page they were probably looking for. In writing this page to fulfil that function, we need to use an element of common sense. It is absolutely correct to say that we're not here to quibble about who is entitled to call themselves "doctor", we're simply trying to point users in the right direction. In pursuit of this, including entries such as "nurse" and "physical therapist" in the healthcare section is actually detrimental, as it clutters the page and distracts the reader from the entry they were almost certainly actually looking for. I have no issue with nurses with doctorates calling themselves "doctor", but a wikipedia user searching for the article on nurses would always type the word "nurse" into the search box, and never doctor. Thus, we should only include entries which are likely to be useful as redirects. Basalisk inspect damageberate 13:16, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Basalisk, you're being very selective in your choice of definitions, and your POV on the subject (as evidenced above in the discussion previous to this one), doesn't resolve our problem. It's based on your own opinion and isn't objective enough to stop the edit warring that's been going on since 2006. This needs to stop, which is why I started this RfC.
      Take a look at this at Wiktionary's definitions. It has much broader definitions and doesn't even place "medical" at the top as the primary meaning. I understand your POV, but it happens to be offensive to PhDs, who are just as much entitled to call themselves "doctor", and that happens to be the common practice. It is only the context that determines whether a misunderstanding might occur.
      The purpose of a disambiguation page is also broader than your "redirect users to the page they were probably looking for". It should point readers to our articles and stubs that use the term "doctor", even in a tangential manner, much the same as the rules for our "See also" sections. -- Brangifer (talk) 18:47, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
      Not on the "articles and stubs that use the term ..., even in a tangential manner". Disambiguation pages are not concordances of Wikipedia. They are lists of topics that are ambiguous with the title, and give each different topic one link (and one link only) to a Wikipedia article that has additional information. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, a dab page can have a short lede. The lede of a disambiguation page identifies the term. It does not list the inclusion criteria, unless you count the "may refer to" line. The inclusion criteria for a disambiguation page is ambiguity with the ambiguous title. The disambiguation page "Doctor" should not be the list article " List of accredited doctorate degrees". Doctor (title) is the proper place for that, if not a separate list article. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:54, 5 March 2012 (UTC)-- JHunterJ (talk) 14:54, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
    • If I understand you correctly, I think I agree. The title here is ambiguous, and thus allows for listing of many different types of Wikipedia article titles (the only subjects of a disambig page) that include the word "doctor". The specific title is already covered in depth here (Doctor (title)), as you so rightly mention. We cover much more than that here, but not in depth. We only provide links to the various articles and stubs. We just need to agree on objective inclusion criteria. -- Brangifer (talk) 18:47, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
      Not "that include the word 'doctor'" (WP:PTM), but list of Wikipedia articles on topics that are ambiguous with "doctor" -- that is, topics that a segment of the readership could be reasonably expected to be seeking when searching on "doctor" or "the doctor" or "doctors". Is there something on the dab page that shouldn't be, or something missing that should be added? -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:13, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I resolved this problem once by removing all "doctors" and leaving a link to Doctor (title) right up there at the top. If there's a link to Dr Feelgood, what kind of doctor are you meant to disambiguate from that? Either you have an exhaustive list of every kind of doctorate degree so disambiguation can be performed, or no list (my preferred position, because you get far less kooks involved). Josh Parris 07:01, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Way it is now is good, except for the weird docter note at top. That should be it's own page. Don't need a lede, that would just be word noise slowing the user down from finding the article they actually want.Nobody Ent 03:38, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
I've expanded Docter into a disambiguation page and removed the hatnote. — Mr. Stradivarius 09:40, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Per WP:DAB, we should only include articles which a reader might be looking for if they type "doctor" into the search bar. In my opinion, this excludes entries like Dentist and Surgeon - if readers want to find these articles, the vast majority will type "dentist" or "surgeon" into the search bar, not "doctor". We should avoid all specialities that are not a synonym for the word "doctor", as they are only partial title matches (or not matches at all). Following this, I suggest removing all the entries from the "personal titles" section apart from Doctor (title) and Physician. If someone does type in "doctor" because they can't remember the name of that medical speciality they were looking for, then Physician provides a pretty good overview. Just to make sure that this hypothetical person is 100% sure to find the speciality they are seeking, I would also be in favour of including Specialty (medicine) in the "see also" section. Best regards — Mr. Stradivarius 08:53, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposal[edit]

OK, I have a suggestion. Why don't we have a separate "Professions" section, for those who use "doctor" as a professional, rather than academic, title? I think this is particularly useful since physician degrees in many parts of the world other than the US are actually not postgraduate doctorates. This way we could satisfy both sides of the argument - both the very narrow interpretation (such as that held by myself), and the very broad (such as that held by the OP). I just feel that there needs to be a distinction between those who use "doctor" as a professional or academic title as, though the word is the same, it means a different thing. Basalisk inspect damageberate 08:56, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Sounds interesting. Give it a try. -- Brangifer (talk) 18:03, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Instead of professions why don't we simply have a section for "fictional doctors" and "certified doctors" (I include PhD's in this term), we could also have a seperate category for honorary doctors (those who are awarded the title as a recognition of their contributions). Fictional Doctors would be those (like Dr. Zhivago or Dolittle) whose ceritifcation can't (or need not) be verified. Honorary doctor's are those who have been awarded the title and this can be independantly verified. I guess self claimed Doctor's or dubious claims can all be bunched under fictional doctr's (unless they choose to provide verifiable evidence). Wikishagnik (talk) 21:37, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
It's not for partial title matches like Dr. Zhivago and Dolittle. List of fictional doctors and List of physicians are separate list articles, and List of honorary doctors could be too, but they're not disambiguation pages. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:21, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
For a DAB, I agree including any list of people (real or fictional) who are not referred to as only "Doctor" is superfluous, though links to such lists where they exist might be OK. I also find it odd that the two real categories (medical/professional and academic) aren't together - surely a more sensible arrangement would be real people first, then fictional. Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 10:51, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Not surely. The real people with the given name "Doctor" are partial title matches. They go after the actually ambiguous entries. The real people who are known as only "Doctor" (some or all of the nickname holders?) could be relocated before the characters, although I still suspect that readers searching on "Doctor" alone are more likely to be seeking one of the characters than one of the nickname holders. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:52, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
True. I was thinking more about the general terms rather than individuals - so medical, professional, academic doctors first, followed by individuals identified solely by "Doctor" - and I'd concur, on reflection, that the fictional characters are more likely targets than the real people among individuals known only as "Doctor" - and then links to lists of people for whom "Doctor" would be only a partial title match. Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 15:55, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
sounds good - separate fictional, honorary, academic and professional. Soosim (talk) 06:36, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Back to proposal: This proposal is getting warm, but we should step back a little and work out WHY it is warm. It is warm because the use of the word in English is neither definitive nor unambiguous. In for example, Afrikaans (in which for most purposes the same difficulties and ambiguities exist) the problem is simplified in some connections and exacerbated in others, by having two words: "dokter" (n. & v.) means "doctor" in the healing sense even if the practitioner has no doctorate (PhD or MD), but is a ChB or MB or the like. It also is used in the form "dit reg dokter" (doctor it right), which would have neither medical nor healing nor formal, nor necessarily "mending" connotations, but means more like "adjust" or "fiddle" something to achieve a satisfactory situation (cf. "spin doctor", a more recent English usage). Conversely, "Doktor" (differently pronounced even) refers to a doctorate, an academic degree or perhaps an honorific. Ironically, quite a lot of native Afrikaans speakers don't realise this, but then, in any language a fine distinction is perennially in jeopardy. How many English can define the difference between "infer" and "imply", though they are in some senses precise opposites? (Not to mention "stationary" and "stationery" etc...) Conversely, in British and traditional commonwealth English, in addressing a Doctor of medicine or engineering, there is the reverse snobbery which forbids one address the graduate as "Doctor"; if male he is Mr. (Sorry; dunno what to call a female; there was no Ms in the days when the convention was established! Also don't know the practice in say, the US.)

The point is not which of these is right in English of any particular flavour or origin, but that none is universal and none is definitive. We could wrangle or prescribe till our bits go to bit heaven, without being able to dictate the correct and current language. Apart from its not being our call, we could not do it if we wished.

So: the question is not what is definitively correct; it is how best to help the users. Any personal preference in conflict with that aim is either self-indulgence or wikilawyering. I suggest a lede along the lines of: Doctor or doctor as either a formal or informal term or as an honorific has many meanings and usages according to context. Formally in modern usage in a particular country, doctor generally refers to persons holding a doctorate from a suitably accredited institution. Less formally, but still subject to legal restrictions in many modern countries, it commonly refers to persons functioning as physicians with suitable qualifications, not typically doctorates, in medical or remedial disciplines. Customarily it may be applied to practitioners in more or less related disciplines such as veterinary or psychological treatment. Informally it is variously used in metaphoric senses such as in nicknames.

Under such a lede we could put material much like what already appears in the disambiguation page, and incorporate into the "See also" column, all the non-doctor roles that attract the honorific "Doctor", but are not referred to as doctors, irrespective of the logic, such as dentists, or vets. This has nothing to do with the respect for qualifications, which it is not for us to establish, but for ease of reference, which definitely is our concern. How many of them we put into which sub-heading is not a major concern, but omitting any that it could be unhelpful to leave out, should be very much our concern. JonRichfield (talk) 16:14, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Doctor of ...[edit]

I find the list of professions problematic. Pages returned by All pages beginning with "Doctor of" might be a better list; it's probably better to link to a notable article on a doctoral qualification rather than the profession which has said qualification. More precise like. That is, assuming you're going to go and list all those professions, which I'd prefer not to. Josh Parris 17:33, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Doctor of Love... thank goodness that's not a qualification. Josh Parris 17:40, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
We could likely lose (or move to "See also") Dentist, Osteopath, Veterinarian, Podiatrist, Optometrist, and Chiropractor without any loss of navigational function to readers reaching this page. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:48, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
I was looking through those professions and found, for example, not all Optometrists are doctors. Thus my suggestion. Josh Parris
Well, not all medical doctors are doctors either. So I support putting the arguably useful cases into See also, and I do so more cheerfully than you seem to. They wouldn't cause much harm, out of the way down there. Not that I would go to war for it. JonRichfield (talk) 16:18, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
This list is essentially a list of clinical doctorates, MD, DO, DPM, DMD, DDS, DC etc, the DPT is a clinical doctorate just as the others are and should included in the list. It keeps being deleted with the reason being 'against consensus' but it has been added on numerous occasions but multiple editors. Wikipedia's criteria to edit a page is not dependent on POV. (Equanimous1 (talk) 03:00, 2 April 2012 (UTC))
If this were moved to List of clinical doctorate-holding professions, that would be fine. As a disambiguation page, it's criteria (which is not dependent on POV) is whether the topic is ambiguous with the title. Those that aren't known as, referred to, or (the crux) going to be looked up in an encyclopedia as "Doctor" aren't ambiguous and shouldn't be included. -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:14, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Many patients see myself and other clinicians and know that we are doctors even though we continue to be censored from this list. I am appalled by the bigotry present on this site. The common person may very well be looking for a Doctor of Physical Therapy and type in the word doctor. This is not only the case in America but also in India, and South Africa as well. It would be a plus to wiki users to be able to find this information from this disambiguation page. There needs to be objective criteria for adding a profession to this list. Myself and others feel that it should be graduating with a doctorate. Physical Therapists, Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners, and Naturopaths all graduate as doctors and will have some people looking for them under that title. The exclusion of certain professions on this list has little to do with objectivity. DPTs, PharmDs, NDs, NMDs, and DNPs should be included in this list. (Equanimous1 (talk) 03:37, 21 May 2012 (UTC))
I agree with Equanimous. In the previous section I made an appeal for using objective criteria, yet I still see subjective ones being used, so there will continue to be edit wars at this article. That's a shame. Let chaos continue to reign here. Objective criteria would settle the matter. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:43, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I am not quite sure about Eq's point. At first it seemed to me that he meant that his patients see him in his legitimate role as a doctor (of Physical Therapy, I assume, and in line with what I wrote above some time ago, why not?) But then he said without qualification (if you will excuse the expression): "[etc etc] all graduate as doctors...". Now there I fell off the bus. There most certainly are practitioners in those fields who earn Doctoral degrees, and for such there is nothing to debate; they are doctors both formally and informally. However, there also are practitioners, respected and competent practitioners, who do neither have, want, nor need doctoral degrees, and accordingly never will study for them. And in having recourse to their services I would address them as "Doctor" myself. But I would not refer to them as doctor in contexts where the actual degree happened to be relevant, say in specifying the qualification for a particular job offer. In short, what exactly counts as "objective" in this discussion? I am sorry to see the word "bigoted" in this discussion BTW; I will not read all the previous material to evaluate its appropriateness, but... JonRichfield (talk) 09:34, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Let's put this to bed[edit]

Can we finally sort this out once and for all? Endless discussion here in the past has, by my interpretation, concluded that Physical therapist not be included on this list. The main reason for this is because it serves no purpose on a disambig page - no one searching for physical therapist would type "doctor", as they're completely different things. I'm not contesting that many physical therapists in the United States have doctorates, but the purpose of this page is not to list all individuals entitled to use the title "doctor". When I recently requested the page be protected because of the IP editor continuously introducing it, the patrolling admin said that discussion on the talk page was far from clear. Can we get this together?

I also propose that the other professions currently included in the "see also" section stay there, and not be moved to the "Personal titles" section.

To make it simple, I'll table two proposals.Basalisk inspect damageberate 15:06, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Proposal that physical therapist not be included in the "Personal titles" section[edit]

May be appropriate in the "see also" section.

  • Support as nom.Basalisk inspect damageberate 15:06, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support -- exactly. This is not a list article. I have no opinion on the creation of a list article (or articles) per previous discussion, if there is separate consensus for its utility, but the disambiguation page disambiguates topics that could be expected to be found at an encyclopedia entry titled "Doctor". -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:56, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I would also suggest we remove "surgeon" because any place where "Doctor" refers to a physician, surgeons are also physicians. Perhaps following the link to "physician", we could add a short note like "used as a personal title in some countries where physicians hold a doctorate degree." This is because not in all countries is a physician a "doctor" by degree, and they are not referred to as "Doctor". This makes it clear that it is more of a personal title and not meant to be a list of all persons entitled to use the term "doctor" by education. jsfouche ☽☾Talk 17:15, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't think this is entirely correct. Even in countries where medicine is an undergraduate degree (such as the UK), physicians are still called "doctor". I don't think any note is required. Basalisk inspect damageberate 18:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, but do not include in the "See also" section. Axl ¤ [Talk] 23:15, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • 'Support as above Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine) 02:09, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support as above. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 06:49, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support but not even in the "see also" section, which already contains inappropriate entries. Colin°Talk 07:26, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose If we decide to remove any professions, I would remove all professions from the personal titles section including physicians and surgeons. Physican and Surgeon is not even a personal title. No one introduces themselves as "Hello, I'm Physician Johnson." It's also a common misconception that physician is synonymous with "doctor" and Wikipedia should not be promoting misconceptions. Additionally, just because people wouldn't "search for it" doesn't mean we shouldn't include it. Besides, how would you even know what people are or aren't searching for? That's a purely subjective guess. I would vote to keep it objective and create a section of "Professional Doctorates" to include all those professions that award doctorate degrees including Physicians, Dentists, Vets, etc. I'll add the "Professional Doctorates" section and let me know what you all think. Gelmini (talk) 07:17, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Unless there is evidence (which can be documented in the relevant article) that the persons in a profession are commonly known as a "doctor", there is no ambiguity and no reason to include here. olderwiser 10:44, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, would not include in see also. Yobol (talk) 19:02, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • @Gelmini, No please don't add a Professional Doctorates section. Unless there is demonstrable ambiguity, such a list does not belong on the disambiguation page. It might be possible to have some sort of a list article on the subject. You're misunderstanding the usage of personal title here -- the usage is for the term "doctor" not for the entries listed under that heading. The idea is that the term doctor is used as a personal title for physicians and surgeons.

Here is the ambiguity. According to the American Heritage dictionary: 1. Doctor: a. A person who is licensed to practice medicine and has trained at a school of medicine, chiropractic, optometry, podiatry, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. According to Dictionary.com: doctor: a person licensed to practice medicine, as a physician, surgeon, dentist, or veterinarian.. So we're arbitrarily excluding any professional doctorate other than a physician. When you greet your Vet or Dentist, they are greeted as "Doctor Johnson," and same is true when these professionals greet each other. How can we just decide to include physicians and surgeons in a personal titles section and exclude everyone else, when all of these other professions, by definition, are included under the title? Gelmini (talk) 17:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

So what you need to do is establish this usage in the respective articles. olderwiser 17:10, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
"When you greet your Vet or Dentist" you know they are your vet or dentist. Therefore, it is only logical that someone, searching on Wikipedia, would type in vet or dentist if that's what they were looking for. This is a disambiguation page, and we are free to use our editorial judgement (and common sense) in determining what people were searching for. Biosthmors (talk) 17:48, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Proposal that other professions (such as dentist and veterinarian) not be included in the "Personal titles" section[edit]

A reader searching for these articles is unlikely to type in "doctor".

  • Support as nom.Basalisk inspect damageberate 15:06, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for the same reason as above. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:56, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I would also suggest we remove "surgeon" because any place where "Doctor" refers to a physician, surgeons are also physicians. Perhaps following the link to "physician", we could add a short note like "used as a personal title in some countries where physicians hold a doctorate degree." This is because not in all countries is a physician a "doctor" by degree, and they are not referred to as "Doctor". This makes it clear that it is more of a personal title and not meant to be a list of all persons entitled to use the term "doctor" by education. jsfouche ☽☾Talk 17:15, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. The alternative is listing every profession in which you can obtain a doctoral degree, rather than just picking out these ones, and that could be a very long list! OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 06:49, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support But think they should be removed entirely. At least in the UK, the public do not view such professionals as doctors. Colin°Talk 07:26, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Unless there is evidence (which can be documented in the relevant article) that the persons in a profession are commonly known as a "doctor", there is no ambiguity and no reason to include here. olderwiser 10:45, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Yobol (talk) 19:02, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

I have reverted the bigoted changes from basilink. I would encourage others to do so as well. This is not a forum for his myopic bigotry. Allopaths (MDs) are not the only doctors as much as they would like for people to believe. This page needs an object criteria such as a person holding a doctorate. The professionals DPTs, PharmDs, DMD, DDS, DPM, DNP, DCs, etc are doctors and the disgusting bigotry displayed by basilink where MD's are the only ones who may be referred to as doctor is misleading to the reader, which I believe is the intent. (Equanimous1 (talk) 14:39, 12 August 2012 (UTC))

First of all, I didn't make the "changes" you reverted, I just started the discussion here. No one is contesting that any individual who holds a doctorate is entitled to call themselves "doctor", and that of course includes physical therapists. As such, if this were a list article with a title something like "List of clinical professionals by degree" then physical therapists could be included under the doctorate section. The problem is that this is not a list article; it's a disambiguation page, and the function it serves is to direct a reader who types "doctor" into the search bar to the article they were probably looking for. There's no need to include such things as "physical therapist" or "doctor of nursing" on this page because if a reader was searching for "physical therapist" or "nurse" then that's what they'd type into the search box; it's unlikely they'd type "doctor".
Also, including it at all is in itself misleading, because it makes it sound as though "doctor" and "physical therapist" (with a doctoral degree) are synonymous, when they are not. I don't know about other countries, but I know that it is a requirement in the US that physical therapists with a doctorate address themselves as "doctor of physical therapy" and never "doctor", to avoid this very type of confusion. Basalisk inspect damageberate 15:52, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
It should be pointed out that it is not illegal for a Doctor of Physical Therapy or any other doctor to call themselves a doctor. I am on a state board and familiar with my state's laws. The suggestion which has been quoted was put out by the APTA and most doctors use it out of professionalism. A doctor may refer to a DO, DPM, DMD, DDS, DC, DPT, DNP, ND, PharmD, etc, etc. People using this site may very well come to the site looking for information about an optometrist, podiatrist, or physical therapist and type in the word doctor. The information is currently presented to skew the publics point of view toward a position that you feel is advantages for your profession. The point of view currently presented is both myopic and bigoted. It should be changed to reflect the current doctoring professions in the US, and I would encourage any wikipedia editor to change it to reflect that. (Equanimous1 (talk) 01:10, 16 August 2012 (UTC))
We need evidence that when people/media/reliable sources use the word doctor they really mean all those other things a significant proportion of the time. Wikipedia does not exist to "correct the record" before it is reflected in mainstream sources/culture. Eye doctor and foot doctor would be the things people would more logically type in if they were looking for two of those other terms you mention. Calling the current page "bigoted" isn't going to help. It implies that people here are "bigots", and we try to be nice around here. Biosthmors (talk) 03:42, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, it appears consensus is currently against making that kind of edit so it isn't exactly proper for you to encourage someone to go against that just because you don't like it. If you have any questions about how this place works to help you discuss this issue (or do anything else here) please feel free to ask me at my talk page. Thanks. Biosthmors (talk) 03:44, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
It's also important to remember that, as you admitted by implication in your last comment, the current trend towards physical therapists having doctorates is exclusive to the United States, and this article is intended to portray worldwide view.
I want to break this down. Let's consider the four possible permutations of profession and degree type (when comparing physicians and physical therapists):
  1. Physician with doctoral degree (as is the case in the US) - a "doctor" by virtue both of being a physician by profession and holding a doctorate. Both connections to the word "doctor" are currently included in this page.
  2. Physical therapist with doctoral degree (as is the case in the US) - a "doctor" by virtue of having a doctorate, but not being a physician by profession. This is why it is important to include the PhD title on this page, so that readers can understand that some people who are not physicians are also referred to as "doctors".
  3. Physician with an undergraduate degree (as is the case in most of the rest of the world) - a "doctor" by virtue of being a physician by profession, but not of holding a doctorate. This is why it is important to include physicians and surgeons on this page, so that readers can understand that some people who do not have doctorates are also referred to as "doctors".
  4. Physical therapist with an undergraduate degree - not a "doctor" by any virtue. Including the term on this page would be misleading.
The crucial thing to realise here is that, as I have illustrated above, there are two different mechanisms by which people become known as doctors: either by being a physician, or by holding a doctorate. Physical therapists who fall into the latter category are entitled to call themselves doctors, but in this respect they are no more remarkable than any other individual with a doctorate, and so there's no reason why the current inclusion of the link to Doctor (title) is inadequate to explain this. The reason that we include "physician" and "surgeon" is because not all physicians and surgeons fall into the former category. The fact that "most physical therapists in the US have doctorates" is no more relevant than the fact that most professors also do. Until the term "doctor" can apply universally to all physical therapists (as it can for physicians, surgeons and holders of doctorates in general) it would be misleading to include the term here. Basalisk inspect damageberate 17:47, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
As I said your point of view is myopic and bigoted. There are other countries where a physical therapist goes by the title doctor. I have colleagues in England who are physical therapists that go by the title doctor. I have read the same for South Africa and India. This is about fairness for all the professions that should be listed including DO, DPM, DMD, DDS, OD, DNP, ND, DPT, DC, etc. Wikipedia users may very well type in the word doctor while looking for anyone of these professions. Currently they are conveniently located at the bottom of the page where they are not likely to be noticed. In the case of Naturopaths (NDs) they are completely omitted from this page. If this page is truly a disambiguation page to help readers get to the information that they are looking for then other professions should be included. If a reader is not looking for a optometrist then they just won't click on that link. This page is being used to steer readers towards a narrow minded view of what is a doctor. At the top of the page it reads doctor or the doctor may refer to... That would clearly include the listed professions above. I do not pretend to persuade yourself. Allopathic arrogance knows no bounds. An administrator needs to step in and put forth objective criteria for this page. (Equanimous1 (talk) 14:03, 18 August 2012 (UTC))
So in your opinion should we be adding in all professions that can be called Doctor? There are others, like political science and education. I am sure I could find others also. Should all of these professions be listed on this page also? 70.199.192.43 (talk) 15:41, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a difference between professional doctorates and academic doctorates. Political science and Education falls under the academic doctorate or PhD. You can't just arbitrarily include Physicians and Surgeons and exclude all of the other professional doctorates. Gelmini (talk) 03:59, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
You're missing the point - the reason we include "physician" and "surgeon" is because these degrees are not necessarily doctorates at all, and yet people who have them are still called doctors. This is not true of other professions. Basalisk inspect damageberate 08:36, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Here are a couple of articles that should be added: Juris Doctor and Doctor of Education, people who hold those degrees are entitled to put Doctor in front of their name. 70.199.192.43 (talk) 16:08, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Being on the list here does not mean you're entitled to put Doctor in front of your name, and being entitled to put Doctor in front of your name does not mean you're ambiguous with "Doctor" as a title of a topic in a general encyclopedia. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:01, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Removal of chiropractors from the list[edit]

I have removed chiroporactors from the 'see also' list at the end of this article in the interests of clarity. With the limited exception of chiropractors who also happen to have an academic doctorate, it is arguably inappropriate to include them here, and almost certainly likely to create confusion between chiropractors and medical doctors. Another editor who has an apparent conflict of interest, but I believe wishes to contribute in good faith, reverted this. I have reintroduced the correction, but do not wish to engage in an edit war. Input from other editors would be welcome. John Snow II (talk) 23:57, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

If you didn't wish to engage in an edit war, not edit warring would have been more appropriate. Since the earlier discussions resulted in the consensus to include Chiropractor in the See also section, I have restored it; after you show a new consensus for its removal, it can be removed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 00:00, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree that previous discussions have resulted in consensus to keep 'chiropractic' in the 'see also' section. John Snow has also very selectively removed the word 'chiropractic' from its place of mention at the article Doctor (title). The edit seems to violate WP:NPOV? There is a discussion at the talk page here. Thanks Puhlaa (talk) 00:19, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, this seems like a misunderstanding - quite possibly, on my part. I know of serious concerns arising from confusion between doctors and chiropractors, including from the chiropractor's own regulator in the UK. As I do not have POV either for or against chiropractic, my own intention is to achieve neutrality. JHunterJ, I cannot see evidence of the consensus to which you refer - if you're going to make an accusation of edit warring, it would be reasonable to back that up, I'd have thought. John Snow II (talk) 00:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Edit warring: [4] + [5]. WP:BRD is not WP:BRRD. Previous consensus: the stable version after the previous kerfuffle. -- JHunterJ (talk) 02:20, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Propose splitting out all "The Doctor" terms.[edit]

"The Doctor" is significantly different enough from "Doctor" and should be split out into it's own disambiguation page The Doctor. I'm proposing this to the community to gain consensus on this, and I do not currently have time to do this myself. If there is community consensus, I would be happy to take care of the split in 2-5 weeks when I have time. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:48, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Proposed redirect[edit]

There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Doctor Who#Redirecting 'The Doctor' to Doctor Who's 'The Doctor' about that thing it says in the link. —174.141.182.82 (talk) 15:21, 21 January 2015 (UTC)