Dr...for a professional degree?

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

  1. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Generally no but it depends on the setting (eg outside a hospital or Pharmacy) but even at that I have seen it used in a hospital setting. There was a gentleman in scrubs with a surgical cap. I looked at his hospital name tag and it said Dr. Fred Smith, DPharm.

    I think that is a wise course to identify yourself by saying that you are Dr. Fred Smith your Pharmacist so there is no question.

    That said I have seen a number of Medical doctors angry on Social Media about Nurse Practitioners and others earning doctorates and that is not even taking into consideration the "Dr. Title". While there may be some legit concerns there are also aspects of turf war. Some MDs/DOs feel other specialities are edging into their territory (and there is some truth in it as various specialties demand more privileges or increased scope of practice and insurance companies see them as cheaper alternatives).
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2022
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  2. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    "Dr. Fred Smith, DPharm."? Isn't that redundant? You might think this person has a DPharm and a second doctorate.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes and no.

    Yes, it is redundant. And clumsy. And mildly inappropriate.

    But no, I wouldn't be tempted to draw the two-doctorates conclusion. I've never considered using honorifics and post-nominals in that fashion, despite my, um, "condition." It would come off as silly. That's why I use only one or the other, like either "Dr Rich Douglas" or Rich Douglas, AA, AAS, BA, BS, MBA, PhD, DSocSci, Capt (ret), GS-15 (ret), PCC, SPHR, CPTD, BMF. But not both.

    Sure, my business cards are huge, but you'll never lose it in the bottom of your briefcase after the convention!

    (It's why VistaPrint made me drop my PMP designation. The cards wouldn't fit in a shipping envelope.)
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  4. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I noticed something interesting about your post. If you see something like "Dr. John Doe”, you will see the honorific "Doctor", right? On the other hand, if I see “Dr. Max Mustermann" (Max Mustermann is the German-speaking John Doe), then I see the academic degree "Doctor". In this context, it would be very interesting to know where the tradition of using the doctorate as a form of address came from.

    For the German speaking countries I know the answer. This tradition has existed since the late Middle Ages. For example, there are many historical documents from the first half of the 16th century in which Martin Luther is referred to as "Doctor Luther". With the introduction of the research doctorate at the beginning of the 19th century, the number of doctoral degrees awarded at universities in the German-speaking countries increased considerably.

    However, there is one important detail. Until the introduction of the bologna process and the associated degrees, there were very few post-nominal degrees at universities in the German-speaking world. The vast majority of traditional degrees in this part of the world were pre-nominal. This is particularly true for doctoral degrees. It was only with the Bologna reform that some universities introduced post-nominal doctoral degrees, but most universities still award the traditional pre-nominal doctoral degrees to this day.

    This is why I see a degree instead of a honorific when I see "Dr." in front of a name.

    As I said, I don't know the history of the doctoral title as an honorific in the USA. It really wouldn't surprise me if immigrants from German-speaking countries had played an important role. This would also kind of explain why there are some people in the USA (some of them here in this forum) for whom only a PhD or other research doctorate is a real doctoral degree. In the German-speaking countries - especially in Germany - this point of view is extremely widespread.
  5. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Not in that setting because it clearly differentiated him from an MD/DO.

    I have seen it cropping up more often. For example, someone who wants to let you know in a professional setting their preferred title but also making clear that they have a certain doctorate (eg DSW) and not an MD or PhD (Psychologist).

    I have even seen it in an academic setting (accredited and not for profit) where professors were listed as Dr. Joe Smith, PhD. Again, I assume to assert the doctoral title but also show what type of doctorate they have.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Using both "Dr" at the beginning and the post-nominal at the end is ham-handed and reeks of insecurity.
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  7. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    Finally, something we can agree upon.
  8. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I would be interested to know if you think the same would apply to "Dr. Dr. John Doe". In some European countries (e.g. in the German-speaking ones) this is common. Of course, the difference is that such a person actually has two doctorates.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    But that would be a crazy person, right?
    In the US it is not. In my opinion, it would come off just as badly as using the title and postnominal simultaneously.
  10. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen that as an option for titles. I've seen Dr. Prof. John Doe, though.
  11. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    In Europe there is only the version "Prof. Dr. John Doe".
    As far as I know, the reason for this is that at European universities, the title of professor has a higher academic rank than the doctorate. For example, at German universities you not only need a doctorate but also a habilitation to qualify for a position that leads to the title of professor.

    In an academic setting, this combination of titles is very common. But there is another environment where one often encounters a "Professor Doctor": university hospitals. In such hospitals, the professor title is a prerequisite for the position of chief physician. The correct German oral form of address for such a physician is "Herr Professor".

    Presumably - Or the person is Austrian. :D

    Of course, people with more than one doctorate are rare there, too, but for some reason I don't really understand, multiple doctorates seem to be noticeably more common in this country than in the other German-speaking countries. However, an Austrian would probably not use "Dr. Dr." in front of his name, but "DDr.". That's a purely Austrian spelling, which also stands for two doctoral degrees.
  12. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    The dean of a well-known institution took it to an extreme level: Prof. Mag. Dr. Dr. Dr. [name] LLD MBA MPA MSc.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I think I'll pass on that one. It looks like a typo.
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  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That, and I'm old enough that DDR makes me think of East Germany.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah - it does that - or maybe Doctor of Dental Reconstruction. :)
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  16. datby98

    datby98 Active Member

    Or Dance Dance Revolution. Certainly, it is not a real revolution.:D
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    But it IS a real Doctorate. PhD in Dance Studies.. Get yours here:

    I like dance. I think dance, along with fashion and music are three of the highest, most demanding and most engaging of art forms. Good that there are plenty of top-end doctoral programs in all three.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2022
  18. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I think a PhD in Dance Studies is one of those things I'll probably never fully understand. Isn't this subject one of those where a professional doctorate would make more sense?

    I certainly don't mean to belittle this major, but for me a PhD is a research degree. I think dance doesn't have that much to do with research, but it has of course a lot to do with art.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think it does. You have to know what went before - and what's been written about it - in a scholarly manner - to get the proper skills and knowledge to make something new and brilliant of it. Yes - to me, it's a highly cerebral thing, besides being heartfelt and intensely physical. Dance forms exist all over the world. Plenty of room for good scholarship -and research. Same with fashion and music.

    All three beat the crap out of learning to build better bombs or missile guidance systems.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2022
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  20. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    Google seems to think so too. If you search for "DDr." from an IP address in the German-speaking countries, you will only get results for East Germany. But there is also "DDDr." for people with three doctorates and you can google that. The first result I had was the website of the Austrian parliament with the biography of a former Austrian chancellor who died in 1964.

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