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  1. #1
    ybfjax is offline Registered User
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    Earning the title of Doctor (Dr.) in your name...

    What does it take to legally use the title of Doctor?

    I used to think that it only applied to those in the medical profession. I've heard from some that it only applies to Ph.D holders. But others have said only a doctorate (any kind) is necessary to use the title.

    I looked it up here http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=doctor

    According to the definitions posted, Any doctorate or "highest academic degree awarded" from a college or university qualifies you to use the title.

    Then I guess technically lawyers are doctors (J.D. - Doctorate in Jurisdiction).

    I encourage all to post replies on what they know within their professional circles on the appropriate use of the title.

    Please advise.

    PS: What exactly is an honarary degree? How is this different from a "regular" degree?
    Please advise.

    Respectfully,

    Josh G.
    [SIZE=1]
    Current Plans: [url=http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/milpers/1910-108.htm]Early Release to further education.[/url]

    AAS in Aviation, 4.00 and BS in General Business, 3.68; Excelsior College.
    MS Management, Colorado Technical University 4.00 (finished!)

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  2. #2
    TescStudent is offline Registered User
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    But isn't LLM and Doctor of Juridicial Science higher than JD?

  3. #3
    Floyd_Pepper is offline Registered User
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    IMHO, you call doctor to two types of people:
    - Medical doctors, also vets or detists, but not, for example, chemists.
    - Those who have a doctoral degree - that is, a PhD, DBA (doctorate in business administration ), etc. The issue is explained lengthy at Wikipedia:

    The title of Doctor is used both by and of those holding research doctorates or some professional (usually medical) degrees, but according to convention is not used by or of those holding honorary doctorates. Additionally, in the United States while a person with a research doctorate would use the title "Doctor" in an academic or research/development setting, and in publication, he would generally not use the title if working in a corporate setting. In some countries the term "doctor" may by used as a title of respect even if the person being addressed has no doctoral degree, e.g. holders of a bachelor's degree in Portuguese-speaking countries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctorate

    JD, on the other hand, is not the highest degree in its profession, but in fact the "first" one - after which one could have LLM (or another sort of masters) and a PhD in law.

    It is wrong to use JD as a doctor's title, and there had been even some story about someone who received his degree in the States and came back to Europe (former USSR, but kill me now and I won't remember where it had been. Maybe Armenia), used the title "Dr." until the press started to mock him about it.

  4. #4
    ybfjax is offline Registered User
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    did a yahoo search....

    I just did a yahoo search shortly after posting the initial post and also came across Wikipedia. It does have an excellent explaination on both the honorary degree, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorary_degree and doctorate degree, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctorate.

    I was unaware that the JD was not the highest degree in law. So technically you are correct. Then why call it a JD and not a JM?

    Colorado Tech University has a D.M (Doctorate in Management). No dissertation. All applied projects. I wanted to know if there were any specific requirements to using the title doctor.

    According to both Wikipedia and Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=doctor any person in possession of a doctorate degree from an institution recognized by the US Dept. of Ed. should qualify that person to use the title.

    Still interested to know some other opinions from other members.
    Please advise.

    Respectfully,

    Josh G.
    [SIZE=1]
    Current Plans: [url=http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/milpers/1910-108.htm]Early Release to further education.[/url]

    AAS in Aviation, 4.00 and BS in General Business, 3.68; Excelsior College.
    MS Management, Colorado Technical University 4.00 (finished!)

    [url=http://www.123collegedegree.com]A Bachelor's Degree in under one year? 100% regionally accredited.
    [/url]
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  5. #5
    AnthonyD is offline Registered User
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    If you legitimatelly earn a DM (Doctor of Management), then you would be entitled to use "Dr." before your name. What concerns me, however, is that the school you are talking about offers a Doctorate degree that does not require a dissertation.

    Personally, I don't think I would be able to truly appreciate the value of having Dr. in front of my name unless I felt that I had really put in the work to earn it like everyone else.
    Anthony D.
    BBA, University of New Brunswick
    MBA, University of Guam (2005)

  6. #6
    ybfjax is offline Registered User
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    To dissertate or not to dissertate?

    Originally posted by AnthonyD
    Personally, I don't think I would be able to truly appreciate the value of having Dr. in front of my name unless I felt that I had really put in the work to earn it like everyone else.
    I, too, used to think that all Masters degrees required thesis' and that all Doctorates required dissertations prior to being awarded the respective degree. I was wrong.

    There is the theoretical/research approach, Ph.D, that requires the dissertation. Then there is the applied professional approach, for doctors, lawyers, business administration , ministry, health administration, etc. No extensive scholarly work, but more hand-on approach to determine mastery of the particular subject area

    The Wikipedia definition < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctorate_degree > breaks down more accurately the different types of doctorates:

    USA only: First-professional doctoral degrees are first degrees in a given field and include: Chiropractic, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Osteopathy, Pharmacy, Podiatry, Psychology and Veterinary medicine. There are many others. First-professional doctoral degrees such as the M.D. and J.D. do not require completion of a thesis/dissertation or publication of a coherent body of literature.
    In my case, one of the "many others" would be the D.M. that Colorado Technical University offers. Check out other regionally accredited distance learning doctorates here: http://www.dantescatalogs.com/DEDC/I...pe.asp?RecID=5

    And the Masters that I am enrolled in, is also applied (no thesis) THANK GOD!

    Anybody can look good on paper (Ph.D). It makes better sense that a cardiologists must actually prove in a real life situation that he/she can properly dianose and work on a heart before being granted the privilige to practice (M.D).

    Besides, can the quality of the degree program really be determined by the program's incorporation of a thesis or dissertation? Just because we didn't know of an alternative method doesn't negate the legitmacy of that method (doesn't make the newly discovered "method B" [applied] any worse than the better-known "method A" [philosophical/theoretical])

    BTW, I have more information on that JD.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juris_doctorate . The article seems to admit that the JD is a legitimate doctorate-level program, yet frowns upon using the title of Dr. in reference to those that are actually in the profession of law. But technically, you could call yourself a doctor if you were in possession of a J.D.

    Doctors of law who are admitted to the practice of law often append the suffix Esq. to the end of their names, but are not commonly referred to as "Doctor". (While the Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate, similar to the Medicinæ Doctor (Doctor of Medicine), legal convention has not universally accepted the use of such title among lawyers in the U.S.)
    The more you learn to know, the more you learn that you really DON'T know.
    That's how I feel almost every day when I learn something new.
    Please advise.

    Respectfully,

    Josh G.
    [SIZE=1]
    Current Plans: [url=http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/milpers/1910-108.htm]Early Release to further education.[/url]

    AAS in Aviation, 4.00 and BS in General Business, 3.68; Excelsior College.
    MS Management, Colorado Technical University 4.00 (finished!)

    [url=http://www.123collegedegree.com]A Bachelor's Degree in under one year? 100% regionally accredited.
    [/url]
    [/SIZE]

  7. #7
    jtaee1920 is offline Registered User
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    Use of titles

    In general, it is in poor taste to use any title when referring to yourself. In fact, an editorial article recently published in Forbes pointed out you shouldn't include degree designations such as MBA , PhD, etc... on business cards or other correspondence unless academically warranted.

    In the end, titles are only good for an ego boost. With that in mind, instead of trying to make yourself sound important, just lease a BMW...

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  9. #8
    ybfjax is offline Registered User
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    Re: Use of titles

    Originally posted by jtaee1920
    In general, it is in poor taste to use any title when referring to yourself. In fact, an editorial article recently published in Forbes pointed out you shouldn't include degree designations such as MBA , PhD, etc... on business cards or other correspondence unless academically warranted.
    Never heard of that before.

    But I generally do not list my degree credentials in the signatures of my e-mails. I have them on this forum, the forum at http://www.usnavyocs.com, and my website, http://www.123collegedegree.com for obvious reasons (all these sites deal with earning a degree towards some goal).

    I wish less people in the military emphasized rank and put more emphasis on getting the job done !) But the military is a special case; rank really DOES make a difference.

    But really though, if you earned a certain title (Dr., CEO, Academic Advisor, Marketing Manager, Team Leader, etc.) there is nothing wrong with using it properly. The problem comes in when you think people owe you something just by virtue of rank (title). My aunt would always say "...it's not what you do, but how you go about doing it..." You must earn the respect of those below (and above) you.


    In the end, titles are only good for an ego boost. With that in mind, instead of trying to make yourself sound important, just lease a BMW...
    Good point. Or hang around someone who is already famous. Or wear fancy clothes; that's always an ego boost.
    Please advise.

    Respectfully,

    Josh G.
    [SIZE=1]
    Current Plans: [url=http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/milpers/1910-108.htm]Early Release to further education.[/url]

    AAS in Aviation, 4.00 and BS in General Business, 3.68; Excelsior College.
    MS Management, Colorado Technical University 4.00 (finished!)

    [url=http://www.123collegedegree.com]A Bachelor's Degree in under one year? 100% regionally accredited.
    [/url]
    [/SIZE]

  10. #9
    Andrew Maz is offline Registered User
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    Dr practitioner vs Mr surgeon

    in the English-speaking world, a (male) surgeon is called Mister, whilst medical practitioners are called Doctor. Surgery also takes place in a theatre, not an O.R.

  11. #10
    Anthony Pina is offline Registered User
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    Re: Earning the title of Doctor (Dr.) in your name...

    Originally posted by ybfjax
    What does it take to legally use the title of Doctor?

    A legally conferred doctoral degree.

    I used to think that it only applied to those in the medical profession. I've heard from some that it only applies to Ph.D holders. But others have said only a doctorate (any kind) is necessary to use the title.


    The "others" are correct. MDs, PhDs, ThDs, EdDs, DBAs, ODs, and many others can legally refer to themselves as "doctor".

    I looked it up here http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=doctor

    According to the definitions posted, Any doctorate or "highest academic degree awarded" from a college or university qualifies you to use the title.


    That is correct.

    Then I guess technically lawyers are doctors (J.D. - Doctorate in Jurisdiction).


    JD usually refers to the degree Doctor of Jurisprudence or Juris Doctor. It used to be call LLB (Bachelor of Laws), but attorneys complained that they should not receive a second bachelors after doing three years of post graduate work. The LLB was changed to the JD and many law schools offered to "doctorize" their old LLB grads. It was a good deal (trade in your old bachelors for a nice new doctorate).

    I encourage all to post replies on what they know within their professional circles on the appropriate use of the title.


    I am an administrator at a state university. In academia, we are enamored by titles. I know several faculty in the fields of business, sociology and justice studies whose highest earned degree is the JD. They are typically addressed as "doctor" and receive doctoral-level pay. Interestingly, faculty in the school of law with JDs never seem to use the title "doctor", which reflects the legal profession (I have never heard attorneys refer to themselves or other attorneys as "doctor").

    PS: What exactly is an honarary degree? How is this different from a "regular" degree?


    An honorary degree is not an earned academic degree. It is bestowed upon some famous or noteworthy person (such as a generous donor to the college) in recognition of some service to the institution or to humanity in general. Perosnally, I believe that it is inappropriate for holders of non-earned (honorary) doctorates to refer to themselves as "doctor", but many do.

    Tony Pina
    Northeastern Illinois University

  12. #11
    Anthony Pina is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by TescStudent
    But isn't LLM and Doctor of Juridicial Science higher than JD?
    The Doctor of Judicial Science (SJD) is definitely higher than the JD. The Master of Laws LLM, is a little trickier, since it is a holdover from the days when the law degree was a second bachelors degree (LLB). In the "good ol' bad ol' days", a person going into the legal profession would earn a four-year BA or BS degree and then a three-year LLB degree. The LLB was a generic law degree, without a specialization (like the MD degree). If one wished to specialize (in taxation , for example), she or he would do some post-graduate work in that specialization and earn a master of laws degree (LLM).

    When the LLB was changed from a bachelors to a doctoral degree, the LLM masters was not changed. So, in a way, you could say that the LLM is a "higher" degree, since it is earned after the JD. It is probably more accurate to say that it is a degree for attorneys who wish to specialize.

    Tony Pina
    Last edited by Anthony Pina; 11-08-2004 at 07:38 AM.

  13. #12
    Anthony Pina is offline Registered User
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    Re: Dr practitioner vs Mr surgeon

    Originally posted by Andrew Maz
    in the English-speaking world, a (male) surgeon is called Mister, whilst medical practitioners are called Doctor. Surgery also takes place in a theatre, not an O.R.
    While this is true in many English-speaking countries, it does not hold true in the USA.

    Tony Pina
    Northeastern Illinois University

  14. #13
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
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    One of my more distinguished law school classmates took a tenure track position at a state university (but not a law school) a few years ago. To my utter astonishment, this new professor is in fact referred to as "doctor". This person's sole doctorate is the J.D.

    NO law school professor is ever called "doctor" even if he or she holds a Ph.D. or J.S.D. Even the California correspondence law schools do not use the title.

    No lawyer I know or have heard of ever uses the title. The ABA issued an ethics opinion thirty years ago stating that J.D. holders could not use the title in practice because it implied a superior level of education over the LL.B. whereas the degrees are precisely the same. The ABA has apparently abandoned this position recently, however.
    Nosborne48
    J.D. University of New Mexico
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    (For all the good it does me!)

  15. #14
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
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    It should also be pointed out that, notwithstanding the title question, the J.D. is generally treated in the academic world as an earned doctorate. It is the only MANDATORY degree for tenure track in a law school and, as Dr. Pina points out, even outside the law world, the degree commands doctoral salaries. T

    he J.D. is NOT a doctorate but it is the FUNCTIONAL equivalent.
    Nosborne48
    J.D. University of New Mexico
    LL.M. In Taxation, Taft Law School
    Enrolled Agent and Attorney
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  17. #15
    BillDayson is offline Registered User
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    Re: Earning the title of Doctor (Dr.) in your name...

    Originally posted by ybfjax
    What does it take to legally use the title of Doctor?
    An inflated ego?

    If somebody wants to call themselves "doctor", they don' need no stinkin' degree. Like your shoe tells you: Just do it!

    As far as I know, here in the United States, in most cases use of the title "doctor" is not regulated by law. Anyone can use the title, no matter what earned degrees they actually have or don't have.

    Exceptions are certain regulated professions, particularly those in medical areas. Here in California, that stuff is laid out in the state's Business and Professions Code.

    Whether or not use of the title is socially acceptable, whether or not it will earn you respect or expose you as a pompous and arrogant jerk, depends on context and the subtleties of social usage.

    I've noticed that scientists, where possession of real earned Ph.D.s is routine and expected, rarely if ever refer to each other as "doctor" or put "Ph.D." after their name. An exception might be introducing a speaker in front of a formal gathering or something.

    But I've noticed that many clinical psychologists in private practice advertise by putting "Ph.D." after their name. (This is a regulated profession, so check the law on licensing and on who can use what titles first.)

    A pattern seems to me to be that titles are used sparingly in professonal contexts among peers, but they are used more often to mystify the general public in hopes of gaining competitive advantage or deference to authority.

    My personal opinion is that pretentious insistance on the use of doctoral (or clerical) titles is more often than not a sign of pomposity. It is a signal that somebody is trying to establish status heirarchies at my expense, and it suggests to me that I probably should warm up my bullshit detector.

  18. #16
    nosborne48 is offline Registered User
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    Ain't it the truth?

    And what is it about school superintendants with Ed.D. degrees? They, along with psychologists and chiropractors, seem endlessly concerned that they be "properly acknowledged" as "doctor".
    Nosborne48
    J.D. University of New Mexico
    LL.M. In Taxation, Taft Law School
    Enrolled Agent and Attorney
    (For all the good it does me!)

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