Talk:Doctor (title)

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Doctor is a title but Phd,DD,MD,NP,JD and so on are professions. the point is if you are a physician you should say i am a physician or a medical doctor or doctor of medicine not just Dr.( Doctor) (talk) 05:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Doctor as pre-academic title in christianity[edit]

It is stated in the opening of the article (per october 2010) that the title came with the rise of university. I think it is worthwhile to mention that the title doctor became abandoned after the church' synod at Zaragoza in 380, allegedly did the bishop Priscillian use the title, or even empowered people with the title. Priscillian is known to be the first christian heretic to be executed for heresy (385) in the history of Christianity. Perhaps this information seem to anectodatal, but of importance, I think, in regard of the antecedency of the liminality between sacred and profane has evolved in the christian/western world. --Xact (talk) 10:33, 5 October 2010 (UTC)


Hey I am not good at editing wikipedia (also not registered), someone obviously added some stuff FYI, thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:00, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Doctor in Italy[edit]

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from a U.S. college, if I were to go to Italy or relocate to Italy would I then be able to refer to myself as Dr. Soandso? Also, may a college graduate from Italy who is entitled to use the title of Doctor in Italy also use the title of Doctor while outside of Italy? It's sort of a novelty to me (as I currently only have a BA degree) that I might actually be able to use the title of Doctor somewhere in the world. Also, just wanted to add this, while I was in the Army we called our medic (an e-4) "Doc" due to his ability to dispense meds, treat wounds and minor illness, etc while in the combat zone (Afghanistan) even though in "the real world" he wasn't qualified even to be an LPN nurse- I don't have any references for this but know it is pretty common in the military and thought it might be a good addition in the Misc, section of this article if someone might have the appropriate referrences. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:41, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I believe Portugal has a very similar system to Italy and I was referred to as Dr. in all official capacities, back when I had only a Masters degree. Astrojon (talk) 17:35, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
As the use of "dottore" as a title for those with Bachelor's equivalents in IT is basically a historic remnant, it would be inappropriate for people with Italian undergraduate degrees to style themselved as Dr. Soandso internationally. It think it is also inappropriate for someone with an undergrad or master's degree from elsewhere to style themselves as "dottore" within Italy as they did not earn a historically significant degree within IT which leads to that title. However, most people would respect your international academic credentials. I've never heard of anyone using the undergraduate title "dottore" in IT outside academia, so I don't think people with masters and bachelors from outside IT would have any danger of being presumed to be of any less such esteem there. Everyone in my circles (family mostly) in IT has an undergraduate degree, but no one goes around using the titles in everyday life.Njsustain (talk) 14:22, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
No, this usage is restricted to graduates of the University of Bologna. It's like a Scottish masters. If you didn't go to a school that grants one, you don't have it. Moving to that country later doesn't change that, any more than I could change my BA to a Harvard AB if I moved to Cambridge. -- (talk) 09:27, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Disregarding whether the above comments of Njsustain may or may not be correct, they are statements of opinion unsupported by sources and contradicted by relevant sources. Nonetheless, in my experience Njsustain is completely wrong anyways--many Italians who hold a first degree (especially older Italians) include the Dott. title even on the nameplate of their apartment. Zoticogrillo (talk) 23:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Doctoral subject?[edit]

Academically, Law is a doctoral subject only in certain countries, the United States and all European countries among them.

Perhaps this is American terminology, since I have never heard of a "doctoral subject", nor of what I imagine is its corollary, a "non-doctoral subject".

Does it mean a professional discipline in which the basic qualification is a doctorate (such as the American JD)? In this case, the statement that "Law is a doctoral European countries" would be wrong, since England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are four European countries in which the basic qualification is either a BA in Jurisprudence/Law or the bachelor of laws (LLB) degree, or alternatively a postgraduate diploma ("conversion course") in law. (To pedants: yes, I wrote that on the basis that Ireland is one country).

People do get academic doctorates in law in these countries: both the DPhil/PhD in law and doctoral degrees in the "faculty" of Civil Law or of Laws (DCL or LLD - these are Higher Doctorates).

Finally, does it mean a "doctoral faculty" in the perhaps archaic sense of "faculty" as the faculty in which one takes one's degree? - the faculty of Arts has bachelors and masters ("Doctor of Arts" does not exist in the Atlantic Archipelago, or if it does it is very new), the faculty of Civil Law has bachelors and doctors (I've never heard of a "MCL"), the faculty of Laws has bachelors, masters, and doctors (LLB, LLM, LLD).--AlexanderLondon 20:07, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Dr. Evil[edit]

This is questionable -- it is far from clear that Dr. Evil does not have a doctorate. --Daniel C. Boyer 18:54, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Au contraire -- he mentions in one film about having gone to Evil Medical School, did he not? --User:grubi 25 August 2006
Thanks for refreshing my memory. So this should clearly be edited. --Daniel C. Boyer 13:45, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
By the way, it is not clear in the film, but probably he copied in the exams. Therefore his title should be questioned. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Juansempere (talkcontribs) 22:20, 24 January 2007 (UTC).
Evil Medical School encourages cheating on exams. -- (talk) 09:22, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

In Spanish[edit]

I was told that in Spain a doctor is hold as a more prestigious title to an ingeniero, but that the reverse is true in Spanish America.

Well, yes. Here in spain a Ingeniero has five years of university study and is equivalent to licenciado (something like degree) . After obtaining their titles, both ingenieros and licenciados can obtain their doctorate in three years more.

Proposal of merge[edit]

I have been reading Doctor (title) and Doctor of Philosophy and both pages are more or less the same. ¿Anybody else thinks that is worthy to merge them? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Juansempere (talkcontribs) 22:13, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

No, I disagree. The two articles are about different topics. Not all doctors are Doctors of Philosophy (the UK has two distinct tiers of substantive doctoral degrees, of which the PhD/DPhil is but the most common instance of the first tier). Indeed, not all doctors have doctorates - by long-standing historical precedent, the title 'Dr' is accorded to (and often, erroneously, considered synonymous with) holders of the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. If the two articles are more or less the same, then there is certainly scope for clarification and tidying up, but they should not be merged. -- Nicholas Jackson 09:33, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced comments[edit]

I deleted this comment: 'In a clinical setting however, it is considered extremely inappropriate, and is even illiegal in some places for someone without a [M.D.] to be addressed as "doctor."' It lacked a source and was misleading. An academic doctorate should not present him or her self in such a way as to lead others to believe he or she is a licensed physician. This is not the same as "illegal in some places." If this is true it needs proper citation. Bddaly 01:22, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I deleted this statement: 'In the United States when addressing formal correspondence those holding academic doctorates generally use the post-nominal, "Ph.D.".' The above needs a reference to confirm the statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:00, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

It is never appropriate for anyone, especially in formal correspondence, to style themselves with a title. One should always use the appropriate suffixes, never a title. For example, a physician should sign a letter, "John Smith, M.D.", not "Dr. John Smith." This is a universal etiquette issue, not one specifically for "Doctors" of any kind, so such information is not needed in this article.Njsustain (talk) 12:43, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Plural abbreviation Dres[edit]

I put this in where the singular abbrev. appears (between the dashes). Someone removed it. I put in 2 lines for it to be clearer. Before/if you remove it, please write here what the problem is with that.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That was me, I reverted it because I couldn't find anything to support it, and I was skeptical. The expanded version is much better, I just added a period after 'Dres.' since it's an abbreviation.Hemidemisemiquaver 06:28, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. In fact, I am not that sure anymore whether this is customary in English. I'm a native German speaker, and in Germany, it definitely is the case. Googling also reveals this usage in Spanish. I assume, Italian as well, probably French, too (romance languages?). I'll try to find out more. I'm adding "in some languages" for the moment.
The custom in the US is "Drs." or "The Doctors..." Njsustain (talk) 12:44, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Medical Doctorates in Germany vs the UK[edit]

As I understand it, it takes roughly six years of post-secondary study to complete a medical education in the UK. Those 6 years are divided into 3 years of pre-clinical course (normally leading to a first bachelor's degree, like a BA in Cambridge or Oxford) and 3 years of clinical course (leading to the simultaneous awarding of the MB and BChir degrees). If the student so wishes, he/she may intercalate 3 additional years of supervised research with the clinical course, allowing him/her, after submission of an original research thesis and approval in a oral exam, to graduate, after 9 years of study with both a MB/Bchir degree and a PhD degree. In any case though, a research doctorate in medicine, even when pursued in parallel to clinical training, cannot be completed in less than 3 years, which is the standard minimum time of study required for research doctorates in any subject in the UK.

It appears that, in Germany, medical education has a similar structure, i.e. 2 years of pre-clinical course plus 4 years of clinical course, with two required multi-stage State Exams taken over the 6 years. Like in the UK, a medical student in Germany can also complete an individual research project and submit a research thesis to earn a Dr. med. degree in addition to his/her State professional qualification as a physician (Arzt). Contrary to what happens in the UK though, it appears to be usually possible for a degree to be awarded in Germany in a very short period of time, let's say, within one year of the end of the undergraduate medical course, provided that the candidate completes most of his research project still as an undergrad. Should we conclude then that a degree in Germany is inferior, in terms for example of originality and significance of contribution to existing knowledge, than an English PhD or indeed other regular German doctorates (e.g. Dr-Ing., Dr.rer.nat., etc.), which take normally 3 or 4 years to complete beyond a first Diplom ? 20:10, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Answer: Yes. Though the german "" suggests some kind of doctoral degree, it is merely a masters degree taking only one semster of research or data evaluation to complete. Some german medical students continue their education after the the "Dr med" to obtain a PhD. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:33, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

doctor mill[edit]

No article for doctor mill... -- 17:49, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Dr. med is the highest academic grade you can obtain in medicine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:48, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Undergraduate medical education[edit]

Even though a medical degree (regardless of what it is called: MD, MBBS, MDCM, DO, MBChB, etc) may require a previous bachelors degree for admission, they are still regarded as "entry-level", "first-professional", undergraduate degrees in medicine.


Jwri7474 (talk) 15:28, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

"Entry-level" and "first-professional" perhaps, but at least in the United States an MD is not generally considered an "undergraduate" degree. There are a few undergraduate programs which grant a combined BS and MD, but the vast majority of MD programs require a BS or BA prior to admission. (See here for an example; other medical schools don't bother to mention it because it's so widely assumed that you won't apply to med school without a bachelor's degree.) And at least in the US, any program which requires a bachelor's degree is not regarded as an "undergraduate" program. (I'd have thought that this was self-evident from the term "undergraduate", but perhaps it's used differently outside the US.)
I think that this is a cultural difference between the conventions of US medical education and medical education elsewhere. The article should reflect this. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:07, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Addendum: I think I may have found the source of the confusion. Within the medical establishment, a medical student who has not yet received his or her MD is referred to as an "undergraduate", in contrast with residents who've received their MDs but are not yet board-certified. In that context, a medical student is an "undergraduate" because he or she has not graduated from the MD program. However, that does not mean that an MD is an "undergraduate degree" as that term is usually understood in the US. That term is reserved for bachelor degrees; any program (such as medical school or law school) which is generally attained after four-year college is called a "graduate program", and the degrees it grants are "graduate degrees".
I think that the current wording is adequate to avoid this confusion. It's worth noting that in practice, it's extremely rare to find a medical student in the US who doesn't already have a degree from a four-year college. My wife's a medical student, and every one of her classmates has a BS or BA. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:40, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
This is a funny situation, as they are regarded as first degrees, even though one already has a degree. It must be noted that in the UK, for many MB BCh degrees, they are a true undergraduate degree, with no previous study to degree level. It becomes a bit more difficult when you approach the American MD courses, or the Graduate Entry MB BCh courses in the UK. Strictly speaking once you have graduated from a degree, you can no longer be classed as an undergraduate, as your status in the University is higher (especially the case in older universities). However (at least in the UK) they are not a formal postgraduate degree either. So we are in a kind of limbo. I am currently a Graduate entry medical student and my university regards me as an undergraduate, although I do not regard myself as such! Astrojon (talk) 17:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Doctor title used in clinical settings?[edit]

Since when was it alright for nurses and Physical therapist to use the title "doctor" in a clinical setting? I don't think this is allowed.[1] Jwri7474 (talk) 18:53, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps when they hold a doctorate.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Physical Therapists use the title wen they have the Doctor of Physical herapy degree. In the US almost all physical therapy education programs are Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)DoctorDW (talk) 12:58, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Eric685 (talk) 13:39, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Just as a quick point, I am a medical student, but I have a PhD. I am perfectly entitled to use the title Doctor, even when I am in the hospital, as long as I do not imply that I have completed my training when I haven't. As a practicality, I don't use my title in the hospital, as I feel it would confuse patients and staff. Astrojon (talk) 17:24, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Generally doctor as a title is not used in settings where it may confuse a patient into thinking "physician" when the person actually isn't. In an academic setting that is usually not a problem. Fuzbaby (talk) 21:29, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
This is an interesting situation. I am writing from a UK perspective here, and as one who is a PhD, so entitle to used the title of Dr. No-one has a problem when a student who does not have a PhD is referred to as Mr/Mrs/Miss etc. in case they are mistaken for a surgeon. I know that most people are obviously too young to be FRCSs, but this is not so much the case now with graduate entry degrees. I could feasibly be a registrar if i had done medicine as my first degree. Anyway, this is not that serious a comment, just an interesting aside. Astrojon (talk) 21:31, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Most physical therapists in the US are not trained at the doctorate level. Most new programs now refer to themselves as doctorate (though they are only 3 years...thats another argument) so this will change in time. In any case, it is not appropriate for them to put themselves forward as a physician, so the title may be used as long as there is no confusion as to what their role is. Fuzbaby (talk) 02:43, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

The degree awarded by virtually all physical therapy programs in the USA is Doctor of Physical Therapy. Additionally thousands of physical therapists have returned to university and obtained the DPT degree. Those who have earned the degree DPT use it in clinical, social, academic, and professional situations. Fuzbaby can you provide citations for your opinions? DoctorDW (talk) 22:39, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't have to, if you want to include it, you need to cite it. I must admit, my only experience is several years as an NP, a decade of medical training for a MD, and my current work, where a physical therapist refers to themself as "shock" a physical therapist, and any one that said they were a physician would be fired and referred to their governing body for disiplinary action; at least in the united states its illegal to claim to practice medicine without a medical license. As for numbers, you are correct that most programs are now doctorate of pt (even though calling them a doctorate is part of the new trend in quasi doctorate degrees), however, the majority of PTs in practice have not trained in that model. As I already mentioned, this will change with time as more people go through these programs. Regardless, only physicians refer to themselves in ways that imply they are a physician in a clinical situation, something that is hard to explain if a person has not been in said situation and knows what I am speaking of. Fuzbaby (talk) 03:17, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Please refrain from posting your comments as fact.DoctorDW (talk) 18:01, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
Lol. (eyesroll) Fuzbaby (talk) 18:10, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
From your own source "In order to provide accurate information to consumers, physical therapists who have earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) and those who have earned other doctoral degrees and use the title "Doctor" in practice settings shall indicate they are physical therapists. Use of the title shall be in accordance with jurisdictional law." Exactly as I said; they must clearly indicate to the patients that they are not physicians. Fuzbaby (talk) 19:27, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
No. What you deleted was DPT's cannot call themselves doctor. Please refraim from the sarcasm and attitude the physicians I practice with are colleagial.DoctorDW (talk) 20:10, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
"and only ones that are (DPT) can use doctor, and in patient setting making clear not a physician" The PTs I work with read before spouting off. Fuzbaby (talk) 20:35, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
summary statement is not referenced. If you want it back in cite a reference.DoctorDW (talk) 22:00, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Whats the point? You seem to remove it w/o reading references anyways so that you can push a pov. Fuzbaby (talk) 18:08, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Inserting a reference from a society for NPs & PAs who are not doctors does not apply to the topic at hand. Their position holds no bearing on anyone who is not an NP or PA. Use an appropriate reference.DoctorDW (talk) 18:17, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, many NPs and PAs have doctorate lvl degrees. I'm sorry to deflate your balloon. Fuzbaby (talk) 18:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
The title of the section is use of the title doctor. Your reference does not go to the topic. You are reaching by using references to distort fact. Try being respectful for a change i'm pretty sure the AMA has a policy on that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DoctorDW (talkcontribs) 18:23, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
By that logic then neither does any mention of PT as a doctor. Sorry, but the new trend is for allied health professions and mid levels to use quasi doctorate level training (and by that I simply mean not a PhD or MD lvl of training), and there is growing concern about role confusion in hospitals and clinics (some inadvertant, some intentionally unethical, as evidenced by your attitude here). The paragraph in question refers to all practitioners, not just ones you want it to refer to, so the reference is applicable. I've been giving you as much respect as I can muster for your obvious POV pushing. Perhaps you should take that advice, too. Fuzbaby (talk) 18:30, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

This is not a page soley about PTs. Please don't assume ownership of articles to push a certain pov. Fuzbaby (talk) 01:34, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Nothing of the kind is occuring. You are pushing your POV that physicians are somehow superior and only other professions need to identify their role. All health care providers need to identify themselves properly. If a MD were to only say to a patient they are Dr. Fuzbaby and not indicate their specialty or in what capacity they were involved in the care of the patient it would be misleading. To not act in a colliegial manner has been identified as dusruptive behavior and a significant source of medical errors.DoctorDW (talk) 13:51, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
DoctorDW, you have displayed a pattern of attacking other editors, calling their edits pov in edit summaries and elsewhere, and have consistently shown that you refuse to allow any content not approved by you into the article. Your edits show a clear intention to make the article deliberately vague, and your insistance on straw man arguments shows that you are unwilling to discuss what is actually in the references and the reasons several editors have changed your language. Your manner has been far from "colliegial" and I've tried to be as patient with you as possible even though its very clear that your intentions are not to have an honest discussion here. I'm sorry if you feel slighted by people inserting factually correct information into the article, but that is the purpose of this encyclopedia. Fuzbaby (talk) 18:26, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
The latest edit accurately reflects the references and I added one more. It is factually correct.DoctorDW (talk) 01:34, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree. That is much better written now and I think gets across the important points. Fuzbaby (talk) 02:06, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Just to wade in on what seems to have become a controversial topic of late! I think the point that Fuzbaby and some others are trying to make is best summed up by referring to what most people would recognize by the term "doctor'. Most people would regard this as being a medical practitioner (i.e. physician or surgeon). This is why the use of the title is not always advisable in a clinical setting if you are not a physician etc. (I won't say surgeon as in my neck of the woods they are called Mr!) Referring to the UK (my own situation) and how I believe the situation is in many other countries, given the comments, it is an offence to imply that you are a qualified medical practitioner when you are not. This is why I do not use my title when with patients as a medical student. In addition, it would add confusion to a situation where many patients are already confused about the roles of who is coming to see them.

In an additional note, that is only applicable to the UK and those countries that follow a similar style of medical education, medical doctors graduate with an MB BCh (or some equivalent) degree which is NOT a doctorate (an MD is a separate postgraduate degree like a PhD in the UK). The title is purely honorary in the UK for medics. This means those of us with PhDs etc. have a right to call ourselves doctor, while medics (without a doctoral degree) can only call themselves doctor while they are practising. If they cease to practise, they lose the right.

To sum up the key points:

Anyone who has a doctoral degree can call themselves doctor.
In most jurisdictions it is illegal to pretend to be a qualified medical practitioner when you aren't
Thus, someone who is not qualified as a medic, but works in a healthcare setting and uses the title is leaving themselves open to accusations of commiting such an offence, therefore it is not advisable to do so.
In addition the use of such a title to patients would serve to confuse a population who are often already confused as to the status od those who treat them
It is advisable not to use the title in a clinical scenario if you are not a medical doctor, but it is no illegal, as long as you make sure that you are not leading the patient to believe you are a qualified medical practitioner when you aren't.

Astrojon (talk) 22:06, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Are you sure about British medics only being able to call themselves Dr while they are practicing, and losing that right if they cease to practice? I'd never heard this before, and it doesn't sound entirely plausible to me. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 23:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I think it's clear that anyone with any type of health care related doctorate may use the title ("Dr. ____") though whether one can claim they are "a doctor", even in that setting is a fuzzy area. I think as long as someone is not leading another to believe they have qualifications which they don't, there's no inpropriety. I also want to add that the same applies to M.D.'s... they obviously should not ever pretend that they have any qualifications they do not, and do not have any "special" ultimate rights due to their degree. I find it odd that people are being asked for references out the wazoo for non-M.D.'s to use the title, as that seems to be coming from the POV that referring to M.D.'s with the title in ANY setting is simply unquestionable. When people are holding up the citations card, remember that it is a two-sided one. Njsustain (talk) 12:56, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with most of what you said, but remember WP policy on sourcing. We don't need 1000 sources to prove the world is round when someone comes around wanting to say its flat. The history and tradition of the title in the US are clear, so there is a strong burden to try to claim otherwise, especially when those claims are...suspicious, to say the best, in their intentions. (talk) 02:39, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Multiple sources from definative authorities have now been added. These sources are; laws, regulations, and manuals of style. Theses sources are from across the US. The use of the title of doctor by those other than physicians who have earned a doctoral degree has been unequivically established and back by law and style guides.DoctorDW (talk) 14:16, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
In New Zealand a Medical degree is a (6-year) Bachelor's degree, not a doctorate. Medical practitioners here are often addressed as Dr [Name], but this is more of a courtesy honorific tolerated by social convention as "real" doctors are holders of a PhD. I believe this is how other people here generally think, although I may be wrong. It's somewhat like the convention of calling people Mr [Name] regardless of whether they are actually a gentleman in the original sense of the term. If you hold a degree such as Juris Doctor (J.D.) styling yourself Dr is title inflation, but once again others in NZ may disagree with me. HansNZL (talk) 11:18, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Dr. ? (of Pharmacy)[edit]

Would you call someone with a PharmD degree "Dr."? Doesn't seem to be the case actually. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:31, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

It depends on the setting; in a clinical settings nonphysicians are not generally called "Dr" to avoid confusion with patients. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Please review the following websites where the websites refer to people with PharmD degrees as "Dr." (talk) 13:39, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
All US pharmacy programs result in a PharmD now, and those with the degree in a pharmacy setting can and do use the title.Njsustain (talk) 12:56, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


The coverage of medical professionals seems rather bitter and certainly not neutral. At least in the UK it has become common to refer to medical practitioners as doctors as the first word of choice. What's needed is some proper references discussing the origins of this, as I do not question the fact that it may be an incorrect usage. BigBlueFish (talk) 13:46, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree entirely: I've re-written the section to make it entirely fact-based and (as far as possible) entirely verifiable. If you think its now adequate, perhaps you could remove the NPOV flag? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

"Contraction from Greek"?[edit]

Sourcing for the statement that doctor comes from Gr. didaktōr via contraction? According to OED and other etymological dictionaries it's straightforwardly the agent noun of the native Latin verb docere, 'teach' (morphologically parallel to regere > rector; augere > auctor; vincere > victor et cetera). Of course, that derivation might be modeled on the parallel Greek form by means of loan translation, but that's a different thing from a "contraction". Fut.Perf. 07:49, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Looking further, Thesaurus Linguae Graecae doesn't even list didaktor as a Greek word, and Thesaurus Linguae Latinae has entries glossing Latin doctor with Greek δάσϰαλος, παιδευτής, ϰαϑηγητής, but no mentioning of διδάκτωρ. That Greek word may very well be a modern loan translation in the other direction. Fut.Perf. 08:14, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the OED etymology is clearly correct and removed the reference to the Greek. -- (talk) 09:17, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Awarded to maiden name?[edit]

It is believed (i.e. I have heard people talking about it) that the title Dr. is given to a woman's maiden name after she gets a PhD, even though she is married and using her married name. However, I failed to find any references for this. I was wondering if anyone could clarify this. --Farzaneh (talk) 14:39, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Someone who holds a PhD (or, in fact, any other doctoral degree) is entitled to the style 'Dr' regardless of gender. (That goes for honorary doctorates too, although in practice it's sometimes regarded as bad form to do so.) In the UK, certainly, and also in many other countries there is no law requiring a married woman to take her husband's surname, and increasingly many women choose not to (especially if they have built a professional or academic career under their original surname). So (in countries where there is no law requiring specific behaviour) a married woman with a PhD is free to use any of the titles Dr, Mrs or Ms, together with either her husband's or her original surname. I have a few friends who have followed either protocol: at least one who adopted her husband's surname and a few who didn't; some use the title Mrs or Ms in non-academic or non-professional contexts, and some use Dr exclusively. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:18, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
In the U.S. people (men and women) have a right by modern etiquette (and by law, if following the right legal procedures) to change their names whenever they wish. Academic titles which are awared may be added to whichever first and last names a person chooses to use, and may be changed at will if circumstances (such as marriage) or personal preferences intervene. Miss Mary Jones may become "Ms." Mary Jones at any time. She may become "Dr." Mary Jones if she receives a doctorate. If she marries she may become "Mrs. John Smith," Ms. Mary Smith, Mrs. Mary Jones, Ms./Mrs. Mary Jones-Smith, and if she had received the Doctorate prior to marriage, or receives one after marrying, may become Dr. Mary Smith, Dr. Mary Jones, Dr. Mary Jones-Smith, or retain the Ms./Mrs. titles, and change any of these whenever she feels like it. The only combination that she really couldn't use, even though traditional etiquette has been stretched beyond all recognition or relevance, would be "Dr. John Smith"; the "___John Smith", even today, can only be used with the "Mrs." title.
As a couple they can be Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, or (separate lines): Dr. Mary (whatever) / Mr. John Smith. I could go on about what to do if John Smith has another title of his own, but won't. Njsustain (talk) 13:11, 2 September 2009 (UTC)


There was an unfortunate habit of shortening the list of Mister, Mrs, Ms, Miss down to just "Mister" in the discussion of surgeons not using "Dr" in Britain. That has unfortunate implications, so I've tweaked things. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 03:58, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

In the U.S.[edit]

If someone says he's a doctor in the USA, he is a physician. I think the majority of Americans outside academic circles do not associate the title Doctor with a holder of a PhD. I added a sentence on usage of the title of Doctor in the USA section. What is already there is unsourced and I don't think it's true (except maybe in academic circles). Also it sounds a little weasely. What do you think of that addition? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:50, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Nevermind, I don't have any sources for the change and I don't feel strongly enough to look more. Sorry for any confusion/mistake. Next time I will do the work first or something (talk) 04:52, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you are generally correct; however, that would be something of a pain to source properly. Fuzbaby (talk) 16:49, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I would contend that that notion is very much untrue, as to the title. Someone saying "I am a doctor" without any more context on meaning has a very common and obvious meaning: That the individual is a Physician. But it is very common for individuals with Ph.D.s to use the title, in fact it is often expected by the public in many instances (when it is a science or health-related degree), and there are some Ph.D.s who almost always use the title. A psychologist is just one example. A researcher without a teaching position (i.e. not a professor) is another. Zoticogrillo (talk) 20:48, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

A recent editor has stated that the use of the title outside of the United States is not relevant to the article. I would argue that it is a fine distinction, and that the practice of U.S. lawyers outside of the U.S. (with J.D.s earned in the U.S.) is still relevant. Zoticogrillo (talk) 23:10, 1 September 2009 (UTC) In addition, there are no citations for the factual statements proposed by that editor, and so that proposed content should be excluded. Zoticogrillo (talk) 23:11, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

There are several uses of the word/title "Doctor/Dr." in the US. If someone refers to a person being "a doctor" that is indeed implying he is a physician. Referring to someone with the title "Doctor" by itself, also is reserved for physicians. However, "Dr. _____" may apply to anyone holding a doctorate, depending on the situation.
Regarding attorneys, much of the information regarding attorneys in the US section is about lawyers in other countries, so does not belong there. It should be moved or deleted, even if it is sourced.
Further, most of the content in the US section is about attorneys, and a bit about physicians presenting themselves, and a sentence about honorary degrees. Until I added content, there was virtually nothing about the general usage of the title in the US.
Regarding your comments about WP rules and citations... please request citations if you wish, but don't lecture others about the rules. A) The rules are there to help IMPROVE WP, which is the ultimate goal. The "Ignore all rules" rule states that if a rule interferes with improving WP, ignore it. Please read about it before considering deleting others' changes. B) If you really think a person's changes are poor ones that make WP worse, they should be changed or deleted, but they should NOT be deleted simply because they are unsourced. If you think the information is of questionable factuality, you should request a citation before deleting. C) I believe you are breaking the rules by having a very one sided point of view in the section. This is not an article about attorneys... who don't use the title at all... I have never once in my life heard of a JD using the title "Dr." in or out of academia. You have a source so I'll let it stand, but I think it's clear from your profile that you have a biased POV in this matter, and for info about attorneys to be the bulk of the US section is clearly not NPOV and therefore against the rules. This is an article about the title "Doctor", not about attorneys.
Please do not change any more of my further good faith edits without discussion and consensus, and please don't use the rules as an excuse to do so. Njsustain (talk) 12:10, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Any and all claims without a cited source are subject to removal at any time by any editor. If one wants one's edits to remain, one needs to cite reliable sources. WP:IAR is very rarely invocable, and never trumps our core policies of verifiability, neutrality, and original research, it certainly is not intended as a free pass to add unreferenced information into articles. That said, I too have never heard of a JD being referred to as doctor, that's why we must be sticklers for sourcing. This is a worldwide encyclopedia and to focus this article so heavily on the US is not appropriate. Cheers. L0b0t (talk) 12:49, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Articles should not focus exclusively on the U.S., but as this is English Wikipedia it is common and not inappropriate for articles to focus on the English speaking world. That said, I think to remove the sub-sections within the US sections and let them be simply paragraphs would be best, once the non-US material is moved or removed from the section. Njsustain (talk) 13:20, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly. There are way too many small sections here. Also, perhaps organizing the country sections alphabetically; most already are in order but there are a few glaring exceptions. L0b0t (talk) 13:32, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I alphabetized the country list. Also, as there was a section for UK and the Commonwealth I put Canada and Australia under that, as they are commonwealth countries. If they are to stand alone, all of the commonwealth countries have to be separated out--or qualifications have to be put in by what exactly is considered a "Commonwealth" country in this case.

There are a couple of statements made in the US section that I'm not convinced by and which I think could do with stronger supporting sources. Firstly, the statement "socially, no titles are considered higher than "Mr.", "Ms.", "Mrs.", and "Miss" in the United States" sounds unlikely to me: I really find it difficult to believe this, despite what the author of a book on etiquette might claim is theoretically the case. (Possibly things are different in the US, but certainly in the UK, the majority of the general public give very little thought to the pronouncements of self-appointed experts on etiquette.) Secondly, "Those with honorary doctorates do not use the honorific "Dr." in the U.S." doesn't seem to be correct: Billy Graham, Maya Angelou and Benjamin Franklin are three notable counterexamples. At the very least, I'm not sure either of these statements are even verifiable, at least not to the required standard. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 22:39, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry if Judith Martin, the etiquette maven of Washington DC, is not up to your standards, and that it is simply impossible to accept that there is such thing as a theoretically egalitarian society in which people with different academic qualifications are not considered superior to others in private life. As a British subject with only personal opinions in the matter and no expertise, I don't think it's your place to hold the valid reference in contempt. If you disagree, it is now up to you to find a valid reference which holds a different point of view, and to add it (rather than replace the existing one). Please feel free to add to the UK section if you feel that is your area of expertise.Njsustain (talk) 23:14, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Please calm down! I certainly didn't intend to offend you or anyone else with my comments (which I assure you were made in good faith) and I apologise if you found them in any way less than polite. What I'm trying to say is that there's presumably a difference between theory and practice: it's all very well for one of the premier etiquette mavens of Washington DC (and Judith Martin's knowledge of the subject is clearly extensive) to assert that the US is an egalitarian and unhierarchical society, but if the majority of the population don't also subscribe to that view then it's not clear how relevant that assertion is. Etiquette guides are statements of what (the writer thinks) should be the case, but are often not accurate descriptions of what is the case. In the UK, for example, almost nobody at all consults Debrett's Correct Form before writing a letter, and I'd be surprised if the situation is much different in the US. As should be the case in an egalitarian society (and as far as I can tell, the US is about as egalitarian as the UK) we ignore arguments from authority, even if that argument is "everybody ignores arguments from authority". I certainly don't hold the reference in contempt at all, I'm just questioning its suitability for the purpose you've used it for. Perhaps if you could quote the relevant passage from the book (to which I unfortunately don't have access) it might clarify matters. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 07:49, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Well to put it bluntly, the point is that using the title Dr. in a social setting, though not outright snobbish, is considered pointless outside of the field in which one works (and in a social setting, one is not working). Neither academic, political or other qualifications or experience put one above another in social settings, and that is what using the title "Dr." is seen as an attempt to do, and this is simply saying that there is nothing wrong with being called Mr., Miss, Ms., aor Mrs. Soandso, in the US, where the purpose of a title is not to put one above another... that's what Ms. Martin is saying... and any attempts to do so are not considered correct American style.Njsustain (talk) 19:59, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Well the edits to to the US section have made quite a mess of things. The statements in the US section are not consistent with the Medical Professional section. I suggest reverting to achieve consistency. Additionally the POV that the use of the title Dr. in social setting is not appropriate flies in the face of everyday usage.DoctorDW (talk) 13:36, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I am going to try to make the US Section consistent with the Medical Professions Section again. Fuzbaby should read the talk page before making edits or reverts.DoctorDW (talk) 00:24, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you should go with the consensus of the community intead of pushing your own pov, as you have done in the past. We've already had this discussion, and multiple editers have already had a similar discussion with you. What wasn't acceptable several months ago still isn't now. If you are back, please read WP policy and feel welcome to contribute constructively. Fuzbaby (talk) 00:29, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you should accept a valid reference. Perhaps you haven't read all the discussion. You clearly feel the only people who can call themselves Doctor are physicians. This clearly flies in the face of common usage in the US. Chiropractors, dentitists, psycologists and a laundry list of others all have a long history of using the title doctor in professional and social settings. The source I cited was a compendium of 3 style manuals and clearly states proper usage of the title Dr. for a PhD. Leave the sourced edits alone. Get over your ego and move on.DoctorDW (talk) 11:26, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Consistency? There is a reason "US" is a seperate subsection, because the US is not the rest of the world, in medicine in particular. (talk) 02:42, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Some of the new "references" don't meet wikipedia standards. Making claims contrary to long standing concensus in the article needs better sourcing than online FAQs and tangential mentions. The usage of Dr in the United States is generally taken to mean physician, and I don't see why we need talk about use of titles in social settings, etc. If someone is so uncertain of themselves that they need to inflate their egos by calling themself DR in such settings then perhaps they need to see a real dr to get medicated. ChillyMD (talk) 22:01, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

ChillyMD please explain how the new references don't meet WP standards? They are from authorative sources and support a point of some controversy. One refeerences is based on three common style guides: the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Medical Association (AMA) stylebook. Four other references are laws/regulations. Hardly tangental mentions. The title doctor is used in social settings threfore I assume that is why it was put into an article on the use of the title. I don't feel strongly about the social usage but it is appropriate for the article. You haven't been consistent with your editing. You have removed long standing language inthe article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DoctorDW (talkcontribs) 02:15, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

"Writing Style Standards A to Z ^" No further explanation needed. And no, I've only restored content, I've removed nothing but a few things added by two new editers. ChillyMD (talk) 02:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I have not seen any reference stating that non-physicians cannot or do not use the title of doctor on a regular basis. We need to incorporate all of the valid references raised by editors into the article. I have not seen any invalid references, no any arguments as to why one reference is better than the other. The ISM reference cited by ChillyMD on the comment above support DoctorDW's edits, and I can't find anything relevant in the UAB reference. I am not sure why the consensus policy was mentioned, since anyone who has read that policy article knows that consensus can change. Therefore, the article will be changed appropriately. Zoticogrillo (talk) 20:21, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Just by way of further background for those of the opinion the title doctor only applies to physicians below are actions by the American Medical Association on this point.

2008 AMA House of Delegates resolution (FAILED) "Whereas, The growing trend of this title encroachment is of concern because patients will be confused when the titles of Doctor, Resident and Residency are applied to non-physicians who hold non-medical doctorates or to non-physicians in training; therefore be it RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association adopt that the title “Doctor,” in a medical setting, apply only to physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, dentists and podiatrists"

The substitute motion which PASSED.

1) advocate that professionals in a clinical health care setting clearly and accurately identify to patients their qualifications and degree(s) attained and develop model state legislation; and,

2) support state legislation that would make it a felony to misrepresent oneself as a physician.

The AMA committee considering the resolution recognized that any individual who has received a terminal degree in his or her area of study has the right to be called "doctor."DoctorDW (talk) 00:05, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Please submit new comments to the new section for that purpose. Zoticogrillo (talk) 20:36, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Zoticogrillo; the references I mentioned were the use of FAQs and blogs by the other editor on this and other pages, compared to statements of policy by professional associations. Yes, those can change, but so can laws, etc., so that is no reason not to use them. In fact, a lot in medicine is based on such consensus statements. And to clarify, the reference above was about use in medical situations, not while trying to pick up a girl at the bar or at a lecture hall; an important distinction. I'm fine in the article talking about common usage in some generic public setting, as long as it also specifically addresses use in a medical setting. And "Doctor"DW, congrats on finding a similarly tangential reference, but since you pointed it out, I'd worry in your own practice about your ability to avoid #2 in the above resolution. ChillyMD (talk) 01:32, 28 September 2009 (UTC)


There is a Wikipedia page for "Drs." (Doctors). Shouldn't that link be up near the top of the article near the reference for Dres.? I have never seen Dres. used as an abbreviation for Doctors but I have seen Drs. used a lot.

There's no need for a link since it's not an article of substance. I've never heard of "Dres." either. Maybe it's used in certain countries. I think Drs. is the standard abbreviation.Njsustain (talk) 22:31, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
I think Dres. might be from the Latin 'doctores' and perhaps from more Latin based languages such as Italian or Spanish. But that's just speculation. The only thing I've found is a source I'm unfamiliar with and of questionable citability... I've removed a reference/citation left inside of the article; editorially "discussing" the language as weasel words (though I think it is a merited assessment). I think it would be best to either tag the article, get consensus to remove the unverified info, leave it as is or remove it unless someone objects, then get consensus. 'Course I'm kinda still a newbie here ;) But I think leaving editorial comments about the quality of the writing of the article inside of the article itself is not a good way to go. If I'm wrong in my understanding of wiki policies please excuse the mistake and show me the policy if you can. I'd really hate to be reading articles with editorial comments within them all the time in the future :( Thanks jrun (talk) 13:33, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
The "editorial discussion" you removed was a variant of the [citation needed] tag, which we typically use to flag questionable statements not supported by appropriate citations. Usually we don't remove them except (a) by replacing them with an appropriate reference, (b) after agreeing here that it's not warranted or (c) by removing or editing the offending statement. I'll reflag it if you don't mind - the link you found isn't really suitable as it's an out-of-date copy of this very article. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 15:46, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Use of title in U.S. and "Star-Spangled Manners"[edit]

I have read "Star-Spangled Manners" and have found that the citation in support of the content, "Though socially, no titles are considered higher than "Mr.", "Ms.", "Mrs.", and "Miss" in the United States..." in the United States (of America) section is in error. The citation states that support for the statement is on page 90, which is incorrect. Nor have I found anywhere direct support for such a statement (although the content around page 90 could be used as a "read more" kind of reference). Page 90 is part of Chapter 3, entitled, "The Concept: All Men are Created Equal." It discusses inequality in colonial United States as it applied to jobs and the professions. The chapter expresses the ideal that there should be no social distinction of the professions above that of laborers, but that is not the core idea of the chapter. The book is an opinion piece with no citations and very little references to any historical works. It proposes that the United States should change to be a model of equality among its peer nations in its ettiquette and social mores, based on concepts and ideals which have been expressed in the United States in the past. Please see book reviews here or (the same) here. Again, the book does not purport to be an authority on extant social practice, but an opinion piece on ideal social practice.

It is interesting to note that in her other books, she has stated that while it is pretentious for someone to insist on a title of "doctor" if one is not a physician (J. Martin (2005). Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 100, 105, 106.), she also states that it is proper for other people to use the title for those who hold a doctorate, even if that individual is not a physician. (Ibid. pp. 602-603).

What's more, Emily Post, long considered the great authority on etiquette in the United States, states that the title of doctor is the proper title for holders of any doctorate in both social as well as professional situations. (Post (1997). Etiquette. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 306, 307, 335-336.) Zoticogrillo (talk) 01:36, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree with your assessment. Also, Judith Martin not so subtly insinuates on the already cited p. 105 of "...excruciating..." that the use socially by the female physician in question is ridiculous as well. I also would like to note that your merging of the stand alone title "Doctor" and the honorific ("Dr. ____") is incorrect. They have different usages. Please do not merge them again. I will create a separate paragraph for social usage and reword to express all points of view. The paragraph on physicians should be last because it is not about the use of titles, but about practice in the field. I'm not sure it should be included at all in this article, referenced or not, as it is strictly about the healthcare industry's practices (this article is on the the title "doctor", not on the medical industry per se). Lastly, the deletion of the non-usage for honorary doctorates should not be done yet... the citation request has a date of THIS month, so chill out. Njsustain (talk) 07:08, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Also, please note that Emily Post died in 1960. While her institute continues, her opinions, and they are opinons--just like every other reference in this article ultimately is--are hardly the final word in modern practices in such matters. Judith Martin has been and continues to be a highly respected and widely published authority since the 1970s, and her opinions, if not considered outright objective "facts," are considered a valid source when qualified as such. While she recognizes the long standing etiquette rule (the rules are less a matter of "opinion") of physicians using the title in social circumstances, she also does not hide that she believes that the use of this or any such titles in social circumstances is for reasons that are ultimately arrogant, archaic and/or specious, and this opinion does reflect the current tide in US society. Njsustain (talk) 09:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the question of honorary doctoral titles, the problem isn't just that it's missing a citation. If it were merely unsourced then there would be a certain amount of leeway and it could stay for a while until someone found an appropriate source (although I personally doubt that a suitable source even can exist). But the problem is actually that it's demonstrably incorrect: there are numerous counterexamples which show that some holders of honorary doctorates do regularly use the title. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 08:10, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
There are counterexamples to almost everything, but that doesn't mean it is not still highly unusual in the US. Of course, anyone who does not want to be verbally attacked by virtually the entire country would not dare to indicate publically that Mrs. Angelou's use of the "Dr." honorific is inappropriate, but it still is, just as it is also highly unusual (though not incorrect) for attorneys to use the honorific in or out of professional life, even if they may be entitled to do so (and it is downright misleading for an attorney or any non-physician to be referred to as just plain "Doctor" or to claim to be "a doctor.")Njsustain (talk) 09:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Having discussions focused on actual citations is much easier, I think you would both agree. Zoticogrillo (talk) 12:34, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
If you mean by my "assessment" the use of the citation for the content about the titles Mr. and Mrs. being the highest in the U.S., then you are mistaken. My assessment of your use of the Martin citation was not subjective. Martin clearly makes no such statement, and your use of the citation was in error.
If you mean by that statement my summary of the content in the Martin and Post books, I am not sure why. She very clearly states on page 602 that it is proper to address a holder of a doctorate with the title of "doctor." In emphasising your POV any further, to the exclusion of reconciling Martin's statements on page 105 with other statements by her, you would be merely establishing that Martin is self-contradictory and unclear (and therefore unreliable). While I put Post's statements in my own words, the wording in her book is almost identical, and her meaning is very precise and clear. Martin's statements must be understood in context.
Your judgment of the value of Post's statements is subjective, and has no bearing on the content or the use of citations in this article. The statements of Post and Martin can be explained within the context of each other. An institute for Post was in fact established, and it is they who recently released the book which was cited, therefore it is problematic to say that it is outdated. The fact remains that Post and the institute that continues to update and release books have a great deal more experience, and are more regularly cited, than Miss Manners.
The changes I made to the article gave equal attention to all the sources, and I believe it to be the more accurate and clear draft. I don't understand the emphasis you place on the difference between "title" and "honorific." Could you please explain? Zoticogrillo (talk) 12:34, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
An Honorific is a style such as Your Excellency, The Right Honourable, Sir [Forename], Prince [Forename], Your Highness. A Title represents an office or position, i.e. is The Earl of Wessex, The President of the United States, The Sovereign Prince of Monaco. HansNZL (talk) 10:56, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Njsustain, could you please discuss the reasoning behind your changes to the US section? Particulaly why you prefer your version over the one I proposed? There is an over-emphasis on the use of the title by physicians (it is mentioned twice), too much space on doctor as a noun (which has it's own section in the article), no support for the claim that non-physicians only recently have begun to use the title, an odd use of the term "honorific" (which according to dictionaries I have consulted is synonymous with "title"), and another erroneous use of the "Star-Spangled Manners" citation. Zoticogrillo (talk) 12:50, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm not going to have a fight with people with obvious agendas and who refuse to accept that other people have a different point of view, and am certainly not going to waste my time pointing out inconsistencies and hypocritical statements. You can do whatever you want, include running to the site of a passed out person when someone shouts "Is there a doctor in the house." Have fun, "doctors." Njsustain (talk) 17:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The only person who seems to have an "agenda" here is you. All the rest of us have done is question the validity of a source you provided to support a statement you made. I haven't read the book you cite, but am doubtful that it is sufficient to support your statement. Zoticogrillo has read it and he interprets the relevant passage differently to you, and has provided a dissenting opinion from another eminent expert on etiquette. If you've got a more robust source then let's see it: if the statements you made are as definitely true as you claim then there should be plenty of supporting references to choose from. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 19:09, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad that no one here is interested in having a fight. I can understand your frustrations, Njsustain, and hope that we can address them through discussion. Of course, I hope that you will use my above comments and questions as a prompt, but I can understand why you might find them annoying. Please note that we did not make changes to your most recent edits because we were awaiting some kind of resolution of the issue here in discussion. Another editor came in with edits, but we are here in good faith trying to engage you. You are, of course, welcome to rejoin us. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:29, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

new article revisions[edit]

It seems that this article has difficulty with distinguishing between the noun and the title. There is also some confusing language regarding title and honorific. I have researched the difference between title and honorific, and have found that they are synonymous. There are some various changes which have been proposed through various edits and discussion over the past few days. The problems I have observed with the noun and use of the term honorific are one of the reasons why those edits have been proposed. Therefore, I will make some changes which try to make it clear that this article is about the title, and not the noun, and I shall remove use of the archaic term "honorific." Zoticogrillo (talk) 20:34, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Here is a summary of some of the changes I have made: (numbered for convenience of reference in discussion)
  1. 1. I have made the first sentence to clearly state that this article is about the title, as opposed to the noun.
  2. 2. I have removed the archaic term "honorific"
  3. 3. I have joined paragraph 2 with para. 1.
  4. 4. I have removed the content, "which is considered the highest rank of academic degree" because there is no reference and because there are degrees which are higher than a doctorate (examples can be found in Germany, UK and US).
  5. 5. I have removed language which confuses taught degrees with professional degrees.
  6. 6. I have removed the term "doctoral" because the form "doctorate" is commonly used and generally understood.
  7. 7. I have joined paragraph 3 with paragraph 1.
More edits will follow when I have time. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:02, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
The edits to the United States section have been made according to the discussion in the previous discussion. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:24, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
An Honorific is a style such as Your Excellency, The Right Honourable, Sir [Forename], Prince [Forename], Your Highness. A Title represents an office or position, i.e. is The Earl of Wessex, The President of the United States, The Sovereign Prince of Monaco. HansNZL (talk) 10:53, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Title of a deregistered physician[edit]

In some countries, especially the United States, physicians typically hold the degree of Doctor of Medicine. If that physician is deregistered, struck off, has his/her license revoked, etc, he/she presumably retains the title of 'Doctor' on account of his/her doctoral degree. I'd assume that the same situation applied to a physician holding another doctorate, such as a PhD. However, if the title of 'Doctor' is conferred solely by the person's being licensed to practice medicine, does loss of the right to practise entail loss of the title? Most British (and many Commonwealth) physicians hold the degree of Bachelor of Medicine, usually in conjunction with the degree of Bachelor of Surgery. If such a physician is struck off, does he/she lose the doctoral title? Again, I assume that a struck-off physician who holds a doctorate, such as DM, DSc, or DPhil, is entitled to use the title in virtue of the degree. I suppose the question is, in a sense, does the degree of Bachelor of Medicine confer the title, or is it conferred by the right to practise medicine?--Oxonian2006 (talk) 15:18, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Actually... It has nothing to do with the title of your med degree (MD, MDCM, DrMUD, DO, MB, MBChB, etc)... No matter what degree you have... Most states have regulations against calling yourself "doctor" or using the designations "Dr., "MD", etc.. If you do not hold an active licence to practice medicine. Eg.. Even a US trained MD would get in trouble for passing out buisness cards with "Dr. ...MD", or advertising ones self as such if they had been de-registered. Jwri7474 (talk) 00:35, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Obviously, that's not right, since many people with doctorates call themselves "Dr." all the time, irrespective of whether they practice medicine, and no state objects. Dicklyon (talk) 01:23, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Errmm ...No one who has a "doctorate" in English is going to be mis-representing themselves as a licensed physician. That is ridiculous. Yes, many states require an active license to practice medicine in order to advertise to the public your "MD", use the title "Physician", or to call yourself a clinical doctor. If you require me to find a source from a state board of medicine I will. These rules are commonly in place in many places. Jwri7474 (talk) 10:42, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

How about these for hypothetical examples:
(1) John Smith, MA BM BCh (Oxon), was a consultant psychiatrist but was struck off after having a sexual relationship with a patient. He is now Fellow of St Mark's College, Oxford. Is he entitled to the title Dr?
(2) Jack Jones, MA BM BCh DPhil DM (Oxon), was also a consultant psychiatrist and like John Smith he had a sexual relationship with a patient and was struck off. He is now Fellow of St Luke's College, Oxford. Presumably nobody is going to stop him calling himself 'Dr Jack Jones' or 'Jack Jones, MA BM BCh DPhil DM (Oxon)' as he does in fact hold doctoral degrees.
Interestingly enough, if you read the official literature on the Shipman Enquiry it seems that even after his conviction he was still being called 'Dr Shipman' in official correspondence even though he had been erased from the medical register and did not possess a doctorate. --Oxonian2006 (talk) 12:05, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
So, if I understand correctly, your question relates to the use of the courtesy title of Dr in the UK and other relevant Commonwealth countries by Bachelors of Medicine who hold no higher degree. (In the US, where the standard medical degree is actually a doctorate, this question presumably doesn't arise, or at least not in the same form.) It is, of course, an offence to present oneself as a licenced medical practitioner if one isn't, but that's a different question. I guess it depends whether the courtesy title of Dr adopted by British physicians is attached to the degree of Bachelor of Medicine, or to registration by the General Medical Council; I'm currently inclined to the opinion that it's the former which is happening. The GMC dates from the middle of the 19th century, whereas I believe the use of the title Dr by Bachelors of Medicine goes back rather earlier than that (although I don't have a source to hand at present). The Shipman report would seem to be consistent with this view - he'd already been struck off the register by that point, but presumably still had his medical degree. Also, in the last decade or so, the courtesy title Dr has been adopted by Bachelors of Dental Surgery, and I think I read somewhere that this practice wasn't officially sanctioned by the General Dental Council, but was merely undeprecated. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 12:22, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes there are a lot of aspects of this topic. There is what the degree is actually titled. There is the debate about whether North American degrees are actually inflated in the first place. There is the aspect about what each local regulatory board of practice actually allows its practitioners to refer to themselves... etc. I'll give you some more examples. In NSW, Australia chiropractors are not allowed to advertise themselves or refer to themselves as "Dr." (regardless of what the title of their degree is).. there are US trained chiropractors working in NSW who hold a US "Doctor of Chiropractic" degree and they are not allowed to put "Dr. So and so" on the front of their practice because of the local regulations regarding chiropractors. However.. dentists and doctors and vets in NSW (regardless of what the title of their degree) ARE allowed to use the title "Dr." The same regulations would apply to say a US trained MD living and working in the UK. The GMC does not consider a US MD degree any "higher" of a degree than a local MBBS or MBChB degree. A medical degree is a medical degree. A final year medical student in the USA does not learn "general surgery" at a doctoral level and medical students in the UK "general surgery" at a bachelors level. They both learn the same material at the same level. They are both equivalent first degrees in medicine. What they are titled is simply a difference in tradition. Medical schools in other countries (Israel for example) earn MD degrees as well but they are usually accepted straight out of high school.. are 6 years long.. and usually don't require a previous degree for admission. Sydney Medical school as another example is 4 years long, requires a previous bachelors degree for admission, and they STILL call their medical degree a "bachelors". Again, its simply tradition.

No one is questioning whether or not someone with a PhD (a true doctorate anyways) is allowed to call themselves doctor. The question is whether or not someone with a professional degree and is in the health care professions is allowed to advertise themselves as "doctor", "physician", or any other title that would lead the public to believe they are licensed to clinically treat patients. That is a different matter entirely and does not necessarily depend on the title of your degree.. but more on local regulations and licensing. Jwri7474 (talk) 09:35, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Doctor vs. dokter in Dutch[edit]

I have a citation right here: I don't know how to make citations, though. I tried to do it once, somewhere, and I completely messed it up. =(

Kennin (talk) 16:34, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Mutual recognition of Doctorates in Europe[edit]

Could someone add a section about mutual recognition of doctorates in the EU. There is a paragraph explaining the situation in the section on Germany. More details would be welcome - perhaps references to the relevant European Legislation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Doctoral Consortium...[edit]

...should be mentioned. Maybe even as an own article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 9 February 2010 (UTC) Why? What is it? -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 16:17, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation of the Greek title[edit]

Can someone include a transliteration the Greek title? Most people reading this article cannot read Greek and have no clue how the various Greek titles are pronounced by looking at the alphabet.

Tydoni (talk) 02:06, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Done. (talk) 16:40, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Doctor (title)[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Doctor (title)'s orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "postbus":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 13:51, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Juris Doctorate/ Doctorate of Juris Prudence[edit]

3.16 regarding the usage of the title in the U.S. and more specifically the how attorney's might us it is just wrong. Firstly, any person in the United States can be an attorney and thus bear the title (whether by power of attorney or licensing education is not required in all 50 states) yet we would not assume such an individual would presume themselves doctors. Furthermore a JD (whether it stand for Juris Doctorate or Doctorate of Juris Prudence) is not a doctorate but rather a professional degree and as such lawyers (those with the degree) are allowed the title Esquire.

Finally all of the sources either don't work, or have absolutely nothing to do with the subject. Sovereignlance (talk) 04:44, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Both sources, currently numbered [18] and [19], used to justify the use of the title 'doctor' in conjunction with the obtainment of a Juris Doctorate are inadequate to sustain the sourcing of the article and to prove the validity of their claims. Two of the linked citations (both under cite 18) are American Bar Association pages, one of which is irrelevant to the issue entirely; the second is a document, titled 'ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility' dated 1983, with only tangential relevance. Having scoured the whole of its contents, the one section which may pertain to the matter of title usage proceeds as follows:

"(E) Nothing contained herein shall prohibit a lawyer from using or permitting the use of, in connection with his name, an earned degree or title derived therefrom indicating his training in the law.76" (ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility, 1983)

Neither is this section discussing the title of Doctor nor is it discussing equivocal titles which would lend the reader an impression of applicability for citation in this Wikipedia article. Rather, this passage is in response to use of P.A. and P.C. at an attorney's discretion--an action which has been ruled permissible. Nowhere in the document is there a mention of the nature of the doctor title, and nowhere is there sufficient evidence to justify that a J.D. holder's deviation from a norm of non-use which would see the action of using 'doctor' in conjunction with a J.D. as anything other than dilatory and unfounded.

Source 19 refers readers to an equally misleading forum, in which a hearsay account of a graduation ceremony is afforded undue consideration as precedent for the equivocal nature of a J.D. and a degree which confers the right to the title of Doctor. Recounting the attire and placement of graduates (of only one year and with the possibility of the story-teller's misreading of the meaning behind the robes and positioning), this forum posits that Cornell has chosen to make equivalent the achievements and proceeds to cry foul with no support for their claim. Verification for the story is not given. No photographic evidence or corroborating accounts are presented. Several further respondents make vague claims and seem focused on attacking the perceived inflation of J.D. and M.D.'s, but none go on to address the use of the title doctor.

Clearly, there is an utter lack of reason to consider these misleading links as evidence of the author's claim that the doctor title is either permitted or used by J.D.'s. Any cases found can be assumed isolated or irregular to the prevailing trends; continued inclusion of the sub-section in its current wording creates a false sense to the contrary and permits misleading assumptions on the part of many readers. Removing the sub-section's citations and demanding further substantive evidencing of the original author will clear the issue and perhaps call into question whether or not these claims were made with knowingly false evidence. Persons who are seeking a career in law may feel cheated in discovering this information to have been falsely sourced. Others may feel discomfort with the concept of J.D.'s using a 'Dr.' prefix, as did those individuals in the forum used as a citation, and direct unwarranted animosity at entire professions on the grounds of these false claims. Please, rectify this and thank you for your continued commitment to universal, free, and accurate knowledge. (talk) 07:55, 19 January 2012 (UTC)e.i.s.

Appeal to Authority[edit]

When PhD holders demand to be addressed as \"doctor\", it's like saying: my views, thoughts and opinions are inherently better than yours due to my higher level of education, and you must acknowledge that every time you speak to me. Well, they aren't, and we shouldn't be calling these people doctors. It's a classic appeal to authority argument and we should not accept it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. It's a sign of a difficult achievement. Achieving a Ph.D is pretty much equivalent in difficulty to getting an M.D., but one does not give you domain knowledge in the other. If you want to use \"Dr.\" in your title with a Ph.D, you're entitled, but if you use the fact that M.Ds. are more common to actively present yourself as a medical doctor, that's deceitful. But you also shouldn't be afraid to use the title just because someone "may" think you're a medical doctor. (talk) 02:35, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Clarity/neutrality edit[edit]

I have attempted a modest tidy-up of this article today, correcting a few typos and removing the over-long list of professions at the start of one section for brevity. I have also excised another reference to chiropractors as these are not medical doctors and inclusion in this article appears likely to create confusion rather than greater understanding. However, I do not have a point of view which is inherently in opposition to chiropractic as a form of therapy and do not wish to incite an edit war. Another editor who apparently is a chiroporactic with an interest in the subject has undone my edit, and I have replaced it. Input from other editors would be welcome. John Snow II (talk) 00:08, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Hmmm. The first part of your edit may be ok, as you have removed EVERY doctored profession from the list, so it is at least NPOV. However, further down in your edit you have selectively removed only 'chiropractic' from the discussion of professional doctorates in the United States and Canada, but have not removed any others? Why do you feel that chiropractic alone does not belong in the article? Puhlaa (talk) 00:17, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I think you may be referring to my removal of the term 'chiropractic doctors' or 'chiropractic physicians'. Such compound terms are likely to be seen as oxymoronic by the more militant of skeptics (thus inviting energy-sapping edit wars), and even forbidden by some chiropractic regulators if I've understood correctly - so it is in your own interests not to employ such debatable language. 'Better just to refer to chiropractors as chiropractors and avoid adversarial cul-de-sacs, I'd suggest. I appreciate that you may be a chiropractor with a doctorate yourself, and I am genuinely sorry that you are frustrated by your experience of attempting to contribute to articles about your chosen occupation, but this is not personal. If it feels personal, maybe you do indeed have a conflict of interest and would be wise to take that 'wikibreak'? John Snow II (talk) 00:56, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
No John Snow, I am not concerned by your changing 'chiropractic physician' to 'chiropractor', because only in the United States are chiropractors listed as physicians and you only removed it from a discussion regarding Hong Kong. My concern is with your specific deletion of "Doctor of Chiropractic" from the discussion about professional doctorate degrees in the 'United States' and 'Canada'. Please review this diff for your edit and look at the changes you made to the second and third paragraphs that are visible there. It concerns me because you seem to have specifically deleted the mention of the chiropractic doctorate, but none of the other professional doctorates. Do you see how the specific changes I am discussing can make your edit appear to fail WP:NPOV? Your thread heading is "Clarity/Neutrality edit", but I don't understand how removing the mention of one of the professional doctorates from the discussion in the article makes it more neutral? Finally, I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep your comments specific to the edits in question and not make comments about me. Thanks. Puhlaa (talk) 01:28, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps the mention of the chiropractic doctorate could be restored in the discussion of the professional doctorates in the U.S. and Canada, but the other changes could be maintained? Here is WP:V for the chiropractic doctorate in the U.S. [2] & [3] and here is the same for Canada: [4] & [5]. Puhlaa (talk) 08:20, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I have again reverted John Snow II's selective removal of only chiropractic from the list of doctored professions in North America. In case the previous verification of this fact was missed, here again is WP:V for the chiropractic doctorate in the U.S. [6] & [7] and here is the same for Canada: [8] & [9]. It would be appreciated if this would not be removed again without a discussion here of why this verifiable fact should not be included in the list.Puhlaa (talk) 01:56, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

'Probably would have been helpful to discuss this one first. I don't think there would be any objection to chiropractic being in a list of subjects in which one can take a doctorATE, if that were the subject of the article. But this is an article about the title of Doctor and chiropractors are not doctors in the commonly understood or formally regulated sense. Let's not allow vested interests to stand in the way of clarity. John Snow II (talk) 18:39, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
John Snow, please resist the urge to edit war and instead try to achieve consensus for your controversial change with discussion here. If you are uncertain of how we proceed with controversial edits, please read WP:BRD. Please also recall that you have been told before that your behavior constitutes edit warring because the last stable version is considered the consensus version until new consensus is reached. You are proposing removing chiropractors from the article's discussion of professions who are health care doctors in North America, I have reverted this edit again per WP:BRD. I have already indicated above that your edit appears to fail WP:NPOV because there is a myriad of other 'doctored' professions listed in this article that you disregard, but you are continually removing only the chiropractic profession, even though the doctorate is verified. I would argue that your editing now even seems quite tendentious when you are still removing only one profession from the list, even now after I have provided verification that in North America chiropractors indeed receive a health care doctorate. Did you know that in the US chiropractors can not only legally call themselves 'doctor', but they are also legally defined as physicians? Puhlaa (talk) 21:10, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

To be honest I think the current long version is pretty bad; as it repeats incredibly long, listy stuff at two places (doctor as noun, and national parts).
If I look at the text in the Doctor as Noun section.

professional doctorates emerged such as the Juris Doctor J.D., Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) (an abbreviation of the Latin Medicinæ Doctor), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.), Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), Doctor of Engineering (EngD or Dr.-Ing.), Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) (such as underlined by me)

I think the current (long) version is horrible. The words "such as" imply that a few, important examples, will follow. I would say 4-5 at the very most. Yet a list of 13 (if I count correctly) professrional doctorates follow.
Either we should reduce this list to about 4 examples, and leave the words "such as" in. Or we should provide a comprehensive list of all professional doctorates in the world (and remove such as).
This list is then almost completely repeated in the Healtcare section. With local variation.
My proposal would be to

  • Reduce the listing of specific doctorates in the Doctor as Noun, Health Care and legal profession section to a few examples.
  • Move discussion of worldwide differences across countries to the worldwide [sic] usage section
  • Provide comprehensive lists of professional doctorates for countries where this applies. (Doctor of chipopractic would be fine for the US or whereever it exist, but not for the Netherlands) Arnoutf (talk) 11:43, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Arnoutf, I appreciate your perspective, thanks for joining in the discussion. To shorten the list of 'Doctor as a Noun' to only a few examples can be problematic, because how do we decide which professions warrant mention and which do not? Too list 4 examples leaves room for constant edit-wars over which doctored professions deserve mention and which do not. The article originally listed for the US only Medicine, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Dentistry, Optometry for the US, because these are the only professions where ALL members in the US are currently considered Drs; but over the years the list has grown as editors have added their 'pet' profession to the list, or sometimes we see editors remove those that they don't personally agree with. I think a comprehensive list is most NPOV, most informative for the reader and least likely to be the subject of edit wars. :::Alternatively, It doesn't make sense to have a general 'Doctor as a noun' section when indeed, each Nation has it's own criteria for who is a doctor and who is not. The current 'doctor as a noun' section breaks the discussion into different national jurisdictions, just as the 'worldwide useage' section does. What if we were to just remove everything from the 'Doctor as a Noun' section and instead just organize everything into the appropriate National discussion - that way those doctored professions where some people may take issue will only be mentioned where it is appropriate in a National sense. Thoughts?Puhlaa (talk) 16:41, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
That would work for me Arnoutf (talk) 17:06, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
This is sounding like a sensible start to a way forward, certainly. I actually don't have an axe to grind against chirorprcators - some of them are my friends. But they are not doctors in the normal, internationally recognised sense. If the US regulators wish to make unusual concessions on that point, of course they are entitled to, but we need to remember that Wikipedia articles are read throughout the world and there is a need to offer appropriate clarity to the full range of possible audiences.John Snow II (talk) 19:09, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

legal profession section[edit]

To be honest, I think this section is currently in a bad state.

I moved it from the list of countries to its own section, and noticed several problems starting with the first line:

Historically, lawyers in most European countries were addressed with the title of doctor, and countries outside of Europe have generally followed the practice of the European country which had policy influence through modernization or colonialization

This is a rather bold claim, first of all most is undefined but considering there are around 40 countries in Europe, this means this goes for at least half plus one of them. We need a reference to that effect. Bit later on:

As a result, in many of the southern European countries, including Portugal, Spain and Italy,[40] lawyers have traditionally been addressed as “doctor,”

Here we are suddenly speaking about southern European countries, which are only a minority of the European countries. The sources are aimed at general university pages and do not provide evidence of this claim which is much more modest than the claim for the whole of Europe (as it no longer includes a claim towards Iceland, Ukraine, France etc.). The next paragraph reads:

The title of doctor has not customarily been used required to have a university degree and were trained by other attorneys by apprenticeship or in the Inns of Court.[43] The exception being those areas where, up to the 19th century, civil law rather than common law was the governing tradition, including admiralty law, probate and ecclesiastical law, such cases were heard in the Doctor's Commons, and argued by advocates who held degrees either of doctor of civil law at Oxford or doctor of law at Cambridge. As such, lawyers practicing common law in England were not doctoral candidates and had not earned a doctorate. When university degrees became a prerequisite to become a lawyer in England, the degree awarded was the legum baccalaureus, or bachelor of laws, which is abbreviated LL.B.

I can make little sense of this , but as far as I can see this is exclusively about the UK?? This reads incredibly difficult and I don't know what point is being made in this paragraph in the larger context of the article.

All in all, I find it difficult to figure out what the relevance and support of this section is, and I have not enough background information (nor do the provided source - either in print book, or general homepages) give me enough details to figure it out. Can someone with more content knowledge have a go in figuring out what needs to be here. Arnoutf (talk) 12:06, 7 July 2013 (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. — (talk) 15:31, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Not all Surgeons in Australia are called Mr.[edit]

Not all Surgeons in Australia are called Mr. In Queensland Surgeons are addressed as Dr (Doctor). Victoria and New South Wales go by the old title as Mr. I just wanted to let Wikipedia know about this as in the Dr article it said that in Australia all surgeons were addressed as Mr.

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List of people known as Doc[edit]

I added a notable person known as Doc to the section on this, but it has been reverted with the comment "Let's not add people with some claim to notability nicknamed doc to the list." This is not an argument, just the expression of a preference, so I'd be interested in hearing an actual reason why this list should not be added to. If grounds exist for removing this section altogether I would understand, but declining to expand the list requires an explanation. H.V. Evatt's notability is not in question and his entry notes his nickname of Doc in the opening sentence. I have undone that reversion in the meantime. I'd be grateful for a rationale instead of a raw reversion. Deoxyribonucleic acid trip (talk) 12:52, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

@Deoxyribonucleic acid trip: There are dozens of notable people nicknamed doc many of them with a Wikipedia article (see Doc (nickname)). I hope you agree adding all those would unduly bloat the current situation where a few examples are given and not a comprehensive list.
Examples are meant to sketch the scope of the usage and adding an example should be seen in that light. Whether a mid 20th century Australian politician who had as highest function cabinet minister of Australia is adding to the scope of the already provided examples is not clear to me.
My rationale is that examples should be as brief as possible to avoid including ever expanding lists into main articles, therefore the addition of examples should in my view always be supported by a clear rationale why the addition improve the example. This is not clear to me at all.
So in short - why of all the dozens NOT listed Doc do you argue the Evatt is a central and illuminating example? (PS I have added him to the abovementioned Doc (nickname) article where he was not yet listed (and I strongly think he should be listed there). Arnoutf (talk) 17:18, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
It seems to me that with Doc Holliday, Doc Savage and Doc Adams all being American (and the latter two being fictional), the inclusion of Evatt demonstrates the wider use of Doc in the English-speaking world outside of North America. Further, Holliday, Savage and Adams are all medical/dental, so Evatt demonstrates its use for non-medical doctoral degrees. If anything, the two fictional examples (Savage and Adams) are redundant, both being American physicians - I would remove one of these before Evatt if necessary to shorten the list.
Looking down the list of those nicknamed "Doc", almost all of the examples are from North America, and mostly medical (as far as I can tell, there is nobody from outside North America with a doctoral degree on that list – most are either medical or sporting nicknames), so Evatt would seem to be a good choice as an example that expands that expands the range. Robminchin (talk) 21:46, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Sounds like a fair argument so let's agree to keep Evatt. The US bias is problematic indeed (may also be because many non US Doc's are not added to the list). I would argue to take out the Gunsmoke doc. That fictional characters has no own article and seems least notable. Also Gunsmoke being a Western series makes the example overly similar to Doc Holliday . Perhaps worthwhile to consider replacing Doc Savage with Doc Oc, the latter being a more up to date fictional Doc from a superhero universe. Arnoutf (talk) 22:04, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Terrific, cheers both. Deoxyribonucleic acid trip (talk) 13:12, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Doctor and schooling[edit]

May be I am blind but in all the articles about this subject there is no mentioning about how many years of schooling is required before the candidate is allowed to do a comprehensive examination??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Because that differs between countries and degrees. For example in the Netherlands you require an MSc or special dispensation, a doctoral dissertation approved by a full professor as supervisor, and an external committee of several people with a PhD. There is no formal time span, but to write something to pass that committee the candidate generally needs between 3 and 6 chapters on a coherent topic (with the chapter publishable as standalone paper), or a comprehensive monography with similar amount of content. The quality and quantity of the work but not time is the issue (although the 4 year trajectories tend to be somewhat short for so much work). Arnoutf (talk) 19:31, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
This is talked about in the Doctor of Philosophy and Comprehensive examination articles. See particularly Doctor of Philosophy § United States - not all countries have a comprehensive exam, indeed in many the PhD is (as Arnoutf says) examined purely on the dissertation. Robminchin (talk) 20:09, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

See my answer to Arnoutf (talk) 09:46, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Dentists in the UK[edit]

David Wilkeson has removed text from the opening paragraph of the section on the United Kingdom saying that the title of Doctor is used by dentists, with the comment "Dentists are not qualified to use the title doctor in the UK".

The sentence in question previously read:

Doctor is commonly used in the United Kingdom as the title for a person who has received a doctoral degree or, as courtesy title, for a qualified medical practitioner or dentist who does not have a doctorate.[1]


  1. ^ "Doctor". Oxford Reference. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 

The text "or dentist" was removed. The reference here defines doctor as:

n.1. the title given to a recipient of a higher university degree than a Master’s degree (this is usually a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD or DPhil) degree). … 2. a courtesy title given to a qualified medical practitioner, i.e. one who has been registered by the General Medical Council (GMC). … Qualified dentists also use the courtesy title Doctor.

This seems quite clear to me that qualified dentists do use the title.

The more detailed description of the user of the title by dentists a few paragraphs later further notes that the General Dental Council (the regulatory body for British dentists) has permitted dentists to use the title since 1995, citing Liz Hunt (22 November 1995). "Dentist can take title of doctor". The Independent.  Again, I see no grounds for the claim that "Dentists are not qualified to use the title doctor in the UK".

If there are sources showing that dentists' use of the title is disputed, these should obviously be discussed (paying attention to WP:UNDUE), but it seems to me that the removal of "or dentist" is personal opinion in contradiction of authoritative sources. Robminchin (talk) 20:18, 17 June 2017 (UTC)