Dr...for a professional degree?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Michael Burgos, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    I recently came across this article which argues that those who have a professional doctoral degree ought not to refer to themselves as Dr. Rather, the article asserts that only those with research degrees ought to utilize the title. This seems like a rather arbitrary viewpoint, especially given that this writer makes allowance for EdD holders to use the nomenclature. An EdD degree in the US is generally considered a professional degree. Similarly, MDs are universally identified as Dr. as are others who hold professional doctorates (e.g., DC; DDS; DNS; DPA).
  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    It’s simply an opinion piece on a person’s blog. Clearly he’s not a fan of D.Min degrees, or perhaps a few individuals with them…
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  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    An Ed.D is a research degree; their research just tends to be more applied than theoretical. Some D.Min programs involve substantial research and some don't. As more schools create programs like VUL's DHA, people might start to question if these are truly doctorates or glorified master's degrees.

    The M.D. is a first professional degree. He does have a point with the J.D. It has doctor in its name, but almost no one considers it to be a doctoral degree, and people don't address attorneys as doctors.
  5. Asymptote

    Asymptote Active Member

    Should anyone really be called “doctor” if they haven’t done a habilitation, though?
  6. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    As someone said, it is an opinion piece. Meh. EdDs are generally considered research degrees though could be professional. I have seen DMins employed at Harvard and another ivy league school in the medical department (pastoral care) and they are called "Dr." by those institutions. There is a long history of clergy being called "Doctor".

    Some of the current pettiness and vapid pontification about professional Doctorates relates to Dr. Jill Biden and people finding excuses to run her down or claim she doesn't deserve to be called doctor. It is amusing when people without Doctorates speak definitively about what it takes to earn an EdD (call them easy) and who should be called doctor.

    This guy's opinion piece is obviously not aimed at Biden since it is a decade old. On the other hand, not sure he has a doctorate (or graduate degree). Perhaps he is jealous, annoyed by someone, or simply ill informed.
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  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    We usually don't. But others do.

    The academic title doctor far pre-dates the professional title doctor. It's not even close.

    The problem with these arguments is that we who hold such degrees get accused of referring to "(our)selves" as "doctor." Yeah, if I went around calling myself that it would seem pretentious. But I don't. And how other people refer to me isn't my issue.

    When I'm called "Dr Douglas," I immediately disarm the situation by asking to be called by my first name. And if I'm called "Mister Douglas," I say nothing because that is also correct.

    But the insecurities of others can be pretty laughable. When I was the Chief Talent Officer of a large directorate of a large government agency, the chief of staff--who held no college degree--would call every other senior member of the staff by their first name, but would call the only doctor on the team--me--"Mister Douglas." It was really stupid and she did it all the time. I don't ever recall--after several years working with her--having her call me by my first name, nor do I ever recall her calling anyone else "Mister" or "Ms." It was petty and dumb.
    He does not. He either has or is working on a master's at Southern New Hampshire.

    If one holds an academic doctorate or first professional doctorate, yes. Or no. Do what you want.
  8. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    A friend earned a title of Veterinarian completing it in 5 years in Soviet University.
    After immigrating to the US, he completed all the requirements, took Kaplan exam prep courses and eventually passed all the exams and clinical etc, became Licensed Veterinarian in the US and owns two pet clinics in NY.
    He is refereed to as Dr Alex, his foreign 5 year degree from agricultural Institute is evaluated in the US as equivalent to a first professional degree in Veterinary Medicine.
    The US DVM is usually 4 year college graduate with additional 4 to 5 years of Veterinary School education.
  9. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Well-Known Member

    I am currently in the VUL program and I believe it has a good structure. Now is it considered a first professional degree yes which is also a terminal degree. A Ph.D. is a terminal degree but focuses on Research. A professional degree may require practicums, capstones, research, or projects to complete the degree. At VUL it requires studies beyond a masters degree to get a doctorate degree which also has more requirements such as completing 60 credits beyond your master's degree which can be completed by completing the VUL required doctoral courses and a combination of one of the following two (additional masters credits obtained prior or through an externship with completed required hours and submitted work). Programs are shifting and I think a doctorate still requires a heavy amount of work and knowledge at the end of the day. Doing the work and being able to call yourself Dr in the is earned. The degree-granting institution and accreditation declared the degree to be a doctorate degree. People just get so deeply invested in it in terms of who deserves the title, if you did the work in an appropriate field you should be able to use that title in that field. The VUL degree is the "highest" degree in Healthcare administration that can be obtained other than a Ph.D. so respectfully it's still a doctorate and the person deserves every right to be called doctor as long as they explain what their doctorate is in and they are not claiming to be a medical doctor for benefit. Often times the title is used in educational settings, places of employment, and in documents.

    When we look at the JD it falls between in a strange place because you go for a JD after getting a bachelor's but there is a higher degree after which is an LLM and they have a Doctor of Juridical Science (DJS/ SJD). The JD is equivalent to the foreign degree of LLB which is a bachelor's in law. I believe that Universities became cash cows and wanted to gain financial income further changing the name to Juris Doctor... The JD degree is in a very gray area...
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
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  10. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Umm, the DHA is not a first professional degree. It is a professional doctorate. A first professional degree is one that is required to practice in a particular field, i.e., M.D., Pharm.D., J.D., D.C, D.D.S., D.V.M., and so on.
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  11. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the correction. Meant to place professional terminal degree haha
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It's like getting a second master's degree. My second master's degree required more work than VUL's DHA. I had to complete a comprehensive exam and a culminating research project. VUL's DHA doesn't even have a real practicum based on how it's been described by students.

    I'm not mad at people for playing the game, though.
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  13. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    All doctorates are not created equal. Choose wisely!

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  14. Futuredegree

    Futuredegree Well-Known Member

    Goes for any doctorate degree, each has value in its respective field. Now picking and choosing a school is different based on reputation and industry acceptance. What might work for one person might not work for another. I know a few people with doctorate degrees from top schools struggling to find a job and others from small schools who do great.
  15. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I've only met a few Canadian doctors with their MBBS. I understood what it meant, but I know that many people use MD as a shorthand for doctor even if you have a DO. I wonder if it's improper to use the shorthand MD even if you don't hold that specific degree but are otherwise a licensed physician. Similar to your friend who is a licensed vet but may not hold an actual American-style DVM.
  16. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    If I change my name to Washington and then go to chiropractor school, I'll be Washington, DC. I can paint my practice swiss coffee and call it The White House.
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  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Nor are all situations, which is part of why I find it limiting when people talk about schools and money and not much else.

    Whether one doctorate or another is better is a highly personal and complex decision.
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  18. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    In the U.S., it is common to see medical doctors with MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) being referred to as M.D.

    I think it's very appropriate for those with MBBS to carry the M.D. designation. However, when it comes to someone with a D.O., I don't think it's appropriate to use M.D.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I think the litmus test is whether the alteration brings clarity or obfuscation. IMHO, a DO using the MD title confuses things because they are materially different.

    When a Mexican university awards the doctorado, they're not issuing a Doctor of Philosophy. However, both degrees are the same thing; using "PhD" brings clarity.

    I hold a Doctor of Social Science from the University of Leicester. It is not a PhD (which they award), even though it has the same academic rigor, contribution to scholarship, and credits as a PhD. The school even says it is equal to a PhD. (Leicester considers it a scholarly degree, not a professional one, even with the non-PhD title.) For all intents and purposes, it is a PhD. Except that it is not. The British system accommodates and issues the PhD, so using that title vice "DSocSci" would add confusion. Thus, no.
  20. Courcelles

    Courcelles Active Member

    Limited to residents of NYS, but http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/med/med-mdconferral.htm they will give an MD to licensed physicians who are non-MDs who graduated outside the US. Kind of is an interesting wrinkle in that one.
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