Wikipedia:Notability (doctors)

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This guideline, sometimes referred to as the doctor test, is meant to reflect consensus about the notability of doctors (US: Physicians) as measured by their achievements.

AFD discussion pages where this guideline is being used as a yardstick for notability may be tagged as Category:AFD discussion/doctors.

Criteria[edit]

If a doctor meets any one of the following conditions, they are definitely notable. If a doctor meets none of these conditions, they may still be notable, and the merits of an article on the academic/professor will depend largely on verifiability.

  1. The person is regarded as a significant expert in their area by independent sources.
  2. The person is regarded as an important figure by those in the same field.
  3. The person has published a large quantity of academic work (of at least reasonable quality).
  4. The person has published a significant or well-known academic work.
  5. The person is known for originating an important new concept, theory or idea.
  6. (a surgeon) originated or considerably refined a surgical operation, procedure, law or sign.
  7. The person is known for originating or considerably refining a technique of investigation, or a significant specific use of one.
  8. The person is known for being the advisor of an especially notable student.
  9. The person has received a notable award or honor, or has been often nominated for them.
  10. The person has had a surgical tool, medical procedure, disease, organ, body part or something similar named after them.

Examples[edit]

Some examples of applications of this guideline follow.

  1. An doctor who has published a book or books of general interest, a widely-used textbook, or non-academic articles in periodicals with significant readership is likely to be notable as an author (see WP:BIO), regardless of their achievements in medicine. Similarly, a doctor involved in significant current events is likely to be notable as a person under the general WP:BIO guidelines.
  2. A doctor repeatedly quoted in newspapers or news magazines may be considered to meet criterion 1. An occasional quotation, in local news media, is not unusual for doctors and so falls short of this mark.
  3. A doctor meeting criterion 2 will probably meet other criteria as well. Nonetheless, in theory, a doctor meeting only criterion 2 would certainly be notable.
  4. It is hard for those not in the field of medicine, or even specifically in the specialty of the individual doctor to judge criteria 3 and 4: doctors in some areas publish many more papers than in other areas. Nonetheless, numbers of publications can be judged quantitatively to a degree. The importance of a paper can often be deduced from the number of citations of it.
  5. A caution about Google scholar: Google scholar works well for fields that are (1) paper-oriented and (2) all (or nearly all) respected venues have an online presence. Medical journals are less likely to be online at present than many academic fields. Also, many important journals such as Science only post full-text articles back a few years. This means most earlier citations will be missed. Thus, Google scholar should rarely be used as proof of non-notability.
  6. If a doctor is the originator of an idea or concept that is significant and important within its area, they meet criterion 5, however, the originator of an idea that is similar to previously existing ideas may not meet criterion 5.
  7. One of the measures of importance in medicine is the achievements of one's students and juniors. A doctor with a particularly well-known previous registrar may be notable for this reason alone: such a doctor meets criterion 6. However, merely having a notable protegé is not sufficient: (1) they should be extremely notable, and (2) the doctor should be a primary influence on that student.
  8. Receiving full professorship at a medical school, or receiving a named professorship, may be considered an award or honor under criterion 7.
  9. No example yet.

Caveats[edit]

Some caveats to this guideline follow.

  1. Note that if a doctor is notable only for their connection to a single concept, paper, idea, or event, it may be more appropriate to include information about them on the related page, and to leave the entry under the doctor as a redirect page.
  2. Note that as this is a guideline and not a rule, exceptions may well exist. Some doctors may not meet any of these criteria, but may still be notable for their clinical and/or academic work. It is important to note that it is very difficult to make clear requirements in terms of numbers of publications or their quality: the criteria, in practice, vary greatly by specialty, and much of the tradition is oral and by precept. Also, this proposal sets the bar fairly low, which is natural: doctors less than academics live in the public arena. Those noted publicly should be considered notable, but so are those noted by the profession.

Note that the names of different levels and specialties are different in various countries.