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Ph.D. or PhD on business card

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by oscarthewild, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    "giving him or her more credit that he or she has earned"

    Well, given his premise that physicians who call themselves doctors give themselves more credit than they deserve, but psychologists who earn a PhD deserve full credit, there is a problem here. He is basing this on schooling, and therefore I am as well. You might not agree with this, but by defending his assertion I am assuming that you do. I think medical school compares to just about any academic training in difficulty.

    Medical school is both an academic and a technical education. A Ph. D. is a research degree which indicates that the holder has made some original contribution to human knowledge. An MD, on the other hand, indicates that one has received adequate training to practice medicine.

    Which one provides more good for the human race is debatable, but they're not really comparable from an academic standpoint.
     
  2. Violinist

    Violinist Senior member

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    First of all, I don't hold a Ph.D yet. Secondly, the title "doctor" is reserved by the US DoEd and NSF for people holding doctorates (which are, on average, 6-7 year degrees) rather than four-year professional degrees like the M.D., so physicians who have an M.D. are incorrect in calling themselves "doctor" but physicians with both an M.D. and a doctorate of some kind can rightfully call themselves "doctor". Thirdly, Doctor philosophiae is the title of the most common academic doctorate, and doesn't only refer to those with doctorates in philosophy, so the assumption that someone with a Ph.D. wrote a philosophy dissertation is most of the time incorrect.

    My discipline is clinical psychology, which I think (but what do I know, since I'll be poor and worthless when my schooling is finished) MIGHT stand a chance of helping people, with, say, psychological disturbances?

    In terms of academia, the doctorate is the highest degree attainable and confers the title of Doctor. The M.D. is not the highest degree attainable and does not confer the title of Doctor. That's my point.

    I don't mean to discount the difficulty of medical training, or the achievement of someone with an M.D. I have a lot of respect for physicians, but I think the average person has little respect for actual Doctors (regardless of the color or year of their Ford Tempo).


    You're forgetting the years of residency every doctor has to complete. They operate under a level of scrutiny that probably no other profession deals with, since it's life and death, not some glorified book report on King Lear or whatever.

    Also, I was referring to PhDs in general. I'm sure you'll be great as a psychologist.

    If I were in the army, I'd definately refer to my superiors appropriately. For me, governmental positions are different. I'd certainly use the terms Senator, Governor, Prime Minister, Mr. President etc...
     
  3. alflauren

    alflauren Senior member

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    I'm a J.D. You're welcome to call me doctor, and it only took me three years to get. [​IMG]
     
  4. not really

    not really Member

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    My argument is that those holding "M.D." degrees aren't doctors at all, but rather physicians. The title "Doctor" is an academic title reserved for those at the height of education, that being, the Doctor of Philosophy degree and the dissertation production/defense that goes with it, so calling someone with an M.D. "Doctor" is giving him or her more credit that he or she has earned.

    I'm gonna be such an ass when I've got those three letters..


    Hundreds of years before PhDs were first conferred, by German Universities, physicians were called 'doctor'. In most anglophone nations MD is a higher degree on par with PhD.
     
  5. kwiteaboy

    kwiteaboy Senior member

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    Hundreds of years before PhDs were first conferred, by German Universities, physicians were called 'doctor'. In most anglophone nations MD is a higher degree on par with PhD.

    True, but I was referring to the American system. In several countries (Ireland, for instance), medicine is a bachelor's level degree completed in six years, plus residency, whereas the M.D. refers to a doctorate that indicates the holder has contributed to the medical body of knowledge. I found it very strange when I studied in Ireland to be hanging out with 17-18 year old medical students.
     
  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Honestly, who cares? I come from a family of doctors, both Ph.D.s and M.D.'s. Outside of professional or academic capacities, no one cares. Back to the original question, "Ph.D." is correct.

    Violinist, I hold a Ph.D. in a very technical field. However, if you think, for one moment, that King Lear is easy to understand, then I'd have to conclude that you really are intellectually shallow.
     
  7. Violinist

    Violinist Senior member

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    Honestly, who cares? I come from a family of doctors, both Ph.D.s and M.D.'s. Outside of professional or academic capacities, no one cares. Back to the original question, "Ph.D." is correct.

    Violinist, I hold a Ph.D. in a very technical field. However, if you think, for one moment, that King Lear is easy to understand, then I'd have to conclude that you really are intellectually shallow.


    LA guy... I never made such an inference. I've been through Lear 4 times to date. I'm sure that someone like you with such stellar breeding and qualifications in such a technical field can detect sarcasm and hyperbole. It was an oversimplication of an industry which depends on the frenzied production of a monolithic amount of work, a great deal of which is of dubious significance.

    And this whole debate is about the people who do care. I think the titles are useless out of the professional context, but there are some here who believe their PHD will entitle them to some type of pseudo aristocracy. Also, in the past I've made feelings clear about physicians who insist on being called "doctor".
     
  8. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Senior member

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    Actually, physicians, at the end of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th (iirc, I could have the timeline mixed up,) sought to distinguish themselves from surgeons (not particularly well regarded at that time, to say the least) by adopting the honorific "Doctor" taken from the prestigious "Doctor of Philosophy designation.
    It's my understanding that the British still separate physicians who practice medicine from surgeons, not by degree but by title. Physicians practicing medicine are referred to as Dr. Smith, whereas surgeons are referred to as Mr. Smith. I intend to go into surgery and I kind of like that system.

    Also, it was, and still is, a goal of mine to make it through life without ever introducing myself to someone as Dr. Hopkins_Student. However, while I once thought this was possible, I'm beginning to get a feeling that patients really want more of an authority figure than a caretaker in their physician, so introductions of Dr. Hopkins_Student may be necessary.
     
  9. vincent

    vincent Senior member

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    It's my understanding that the British still separate physicians who practice medicine from surgeons, not by degree but by title. Physicians practicing medicine are referred to as Dr. Smith, whereas surgeons are referred to as Mr. Smith. I intend to go into surgery and I kind of like that system.

    Also, it was, and still is, a goal of mine to make it through life without ever introducing myself to someone as Dr. Hopkins_Student. However, while I once thought this was possible, I'm beginning to get a feeling that patients really want more of an authority figure than a caretaker in their physician, so introductions of Dr. Hopkins_Student may be necessary.


    To your patients you are doctor.

    It's funny that they do it that way in Britain, since over here the surgeons are like the gods or whatever.
     
  10. seanchai

    seanchai Senior member

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    The only people I will expect to address me as Dr. Mullins are my twin brother and my future daughter's boyfriend. [​IMG]
     
  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    The only people I will expect to address me as Dr. Mullins .... and my future daughter's boyfriend. [​IMG]

    Well, any daughter's boyfriend will address me as "Dr. LA Guy, sir" and I will refer to him as "that boy" [​IMG]
     
  12. Strokeman

    Strokeman Active Member

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    Hundreds of years before PhDs were first conferred, by German Universities, physicians were called 'doctor'. In most anglophone nations MD is a higher degree on par with PhD.

    This is the order of academic standing at Oxford (at least according to Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees...demic_standing

    D.Phil. is above 'M.D.' but below 'Doctor of Medicine'. DDs and DCLs rank above all.
     
  13. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    For my 2 cents:

    When I was a college professor, I did not have Ph.D. on my cards. Who am I trying to impress since virtually all of us had 'em?

    Now that I work in the gov't my new cards will have Ph.D. on them. I've earned it and I work with many people who do not hold the degree.

    As for physicians--you'll just have to accept that they are called "Doctor". Sure the history sides with professors, but that's a bit old now. My only complaint (actually, to say the least, it goes waaaaay beyond a complaint) is when people tell me I'm not entitled to the, er...title of Doctor. I will then proceed to shove it down their throats. And I get a bit peeved at JDs who try to claim "Doctor" also (you hear my Alf?). If you don't hold an SJD, I don't want to hear it. [​IMG]

    Do grad students teach courses? Of course. How else do you think all of those sections are going to get taught. Except it seldom is the case that a student teaches a professor's course. They teach their own courses. It's how you earn money in grad school. And how you get teaching experience, afterall.

    Should you have people with only MA/MS etc teach the intro courses rather than the PhDs teach them? Yup, makes sense. If you have one person with an MA in econ and another with a PhD, who knows about intro micro? Both. Who knows the advanced specialized stuff like Game Theory or Industrial Organization or whatever? The PhD.

    There you go, my first post in ages since I started my new job. Now I have to go to bed. I'm tired. [​IMG]

    bob
     
  14. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    You're just jealous. You probably spent around 5 years getting your doctorate, not to mention another 2 for your masters.

    We lawyers got our doctorates in 3 years, total. It's such a sweet deal.
     
  15. mano

    mano Senior member

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    My intellectual capacity has nothing to do with this. In fact, if you think ones intellectual abilities are measured by education, then you probably have some issues to sort out. I still think if you have the gonads to call yourself Doctor if all you've done is write some forgetable paper which someone MIGHT reference in a frenzied last ditch effort to hand in a 1000 word undergrad paper 20 years down the road, then I think you should probably visit a urologist to see if your manhood measures up.
    LOL! To celebrate my Ph.D. my wife and I went to an upscale restaurant. The maitre' D greeted us with, "Welcome Mr. Mano..." and immediately interrupt him pointedly correcting, "It's Dr. Mano." Although the restaurant was only half full, he correctly showed us to the absolute worst table in the joint. I'm glad I learned my lesson quickly. Now I only make my wife and kids call me doctor. FWIW, in the field of psychology, Ph.D. is most always used to differentiate between M.D. (psychiatrist), MSW/LCSW (Masters of Social Work/Licensed Clinical Social Worker), M.A., M.Ed., Psy.D., Ed.D....ad infinitum. I do agree that intellectual ability should not be measured by academic degree. I know plenty of extremely bright people who were too busy achieving elsewhere to go to school beyond college. That being said, please don't minimize or diminish the "gonads" it takes to earn a Ph.D. unless you've actually completed the academics and dissertation process. My dissertation is, indeed "forgettable." But it took a year to complete and taught me a discipline of thinking and instilled a scientific approach to my profession that I would not have otherwise had. I performed a legitimate piece of research that is now a hard-bound book and sitting collecting dust on three bookshelves; mine, my parents and the library of the grad school I attended. I'm not an academic by any stretch, but the Ph.D. was the only way I could practice as a psychologist. Professionally, I am doctor mano and am proud of the four post-grad years and countless 70 hour weeks it took to earn the highest academic degree offered on this planet. You're a "violinist," and it's probably fair to assume that's what you call yourself because you've played countless "forgettable" scales and melodies and learned and mastered musical theory and technique that was unpleasant and of little interest to you. So, if you have the "gonads" to call yourself violinist, I'm guessing you've paid your dues and believe you've earned the right to be regarded as such.
     
  16. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    So, how long will it take me to get my Doctor of Love certification? [​IMG]
     
  17. Violinist

    Violinist Senior member

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    LOL!

    To celebrate my Ph.D. my wife and I went to an upscale restaurant. The maitre' D greeted us with, "Welcome Mr. Mano..." and immediately interrupt him pointedly correcting, "It's Dr. Mano." Although the restaurant was only half full, he correctly showed us to the absolute worst table in the joint.

    I'm glad I learned my lesson quickly. Now I only make my wife and kids call me doctor.

    FWIW, in the field of psychology, Ph.D. is most always used to differentiate between M.D. (psychiatrist), MSW/LCSW (Masters of Social Work/Licensed Clinical Social Worker), M.A., M.Ed., Psy.D., Ed.D....ad infinitum.

    I do agree that intellectual ability should not be measured by academic degree. I know plenty of extremely bright people who were too busy achieving elsewhere to go to school beyond college.

    That being said, please don't minimize or diminish the "gonads" it takes to earn a Ph.D. unless you've actually completed the academics and dissertation process. My dissertation is, indeed "forgettable." But it took a year to complete and taught me a discipline of thinking and instilled a scientific approach to my profession that I would not have otherwise had. I performed a legitimate piece of research that is now a hard-bound book and sitting collecting dust on three bookshelves; mine, my parents and the library of the grad school I attended.

    I'm not an academic by any stretch, but the Ph.D. was the only way I could practice as a psychologist. Professionally, I am doctor mano and am proud of the four post-grad years and countless 70 hour weeks it took to earn the highest academic degree offered on this planet.

    You're a "violinist," and it's probably fair to assume that's what you call yourself because you've played countless "forgettable" scales and melodies and learned and mastered musical theory and technique that was unpleasant and of little interest to you. So, if you have the "gonads" to call yourself violinist, I'm guessing you've paid your dues and believe you've earned the right to be regarded as such.


    Sorry, the comparrison makes no sense. The accolades of a violinist or any musician is only as good as their last performance, therefore there is no permanent piece of paper which legitimizes me except for my Bachelors and my upcomming Masters (both of which mean absolutely nothing, save for in the academic industry). Also, I've never introduced myself as a violinist, ever, maybe because it doesn't have any cachet, and also because I see no need to introduce myself in a way that invokes my profession in a non-professional setting.

    I'm glad that waiter taught you such a valuable lesson, and I hope that other people continue this type of teaching.
     
  18. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Sorry, the comparrison makes no sense. The accolades of a violinist or any musician is only as good as their last performance, therefore there is no permanent piece of paper which legitimizes me except for my Bachelors and my upcomming Masters (both of which mean absolutely nothing, save for in the academic industry). Also, I've never introduced myself as a violinist, ever, maybe because it doesn't have any cachet, and also because I see no need to introduce myself in a way that invokes my profession in a non-professional setting.

    I'm glad that waiter taught you such a valuable lesson, and I hope that other people continue this type of teaching.


    Indeed, you are correct that an academic degree academically legitimizes the person who earned it. How sad that you live a life in which you believe you're only as good as your last performance. [​IMG] If you don't value your BA or MA, that's your choice.

    BTW, you do, in fact introduce yourself as a violinist every time you post here.

    There's a Jewish tradition I've follwed since my children (now in HS and college) were in kindergarten. Every first day of school, I give them some candy wrapped in a napkin, along with a note, "This is to remind you that learning can be sweet."

    Best of luck with the lessons life teaches you. May your learning be sweet.
     
  19. Hanseat

    Hanseat Senior member

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    ...
    Professionally, I am doctor mano and am proud of the four post-grad years and countless 70 hour weeks it took to earn the highest academic degree offered on this planet.


    Not to be too much of a smartass but at least in Germany there's a post-Ph.D degree, which is required to become a Professor. Basically, you write a second doctoral-thesis and have to be published and all that.
    If you lecture at university w/o being a professor (and being paid for it, just hoping to become a professor before age 45) you're a PD or (Privatdozent), if you've decided not to go into teaching after all you're Dr. habil. John Doe. The habil. stands for your Habilitation or post-doctoral degree. [​IMG]
     
  20. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Not to be too much of a smartass but at least in Germany there's a post-Ph.D degree, which is required to become a Professor. Basically, you write a second doctoral-thesis and have to be published and all that.
    If you lecture at university w/o being a professor (and being paid for it, just hoping to become a professor before age 45) you're a PD or (Privatdozent), if you've decided not to go into teaching after all you're Dr. habil. John Doe. The habil. stands for your Habilitation or post-doctoral degree. [​IMG]


    Impressive. I learned something new today. Sweet!
     

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