Earning the title of Doctor (Dr.) in your name...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ybfjax, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Miss Manners says it's rude to take any title to oneself, even Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms., let alone Doctor.

    She also explains that she herself observes this rule carefully; "Miss is her given name."
  2. DCross

    DCross New Member

    My General Practitioner did not do a dissertation.
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    The DM is a professional doctorate. There are several professional doctorates that do not require a disertation.
  4. Friendlyman

    Friendlyman New Member

    How different is a DM from DBAs and Ph.Ds in management? Are there any DL schools offering that program?
  5. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Doctors of Medicine came upon the title of Doctor long after academicians were using it. Because we are so accustomed to "Doctors" being those people we see when we need medical care, that we think it was theirs to claim. Not so – they were johnny-come-latelys to the title.

    That being said, I would never refer to myself as Doctor and don't require my students to refer to me as such either. I have no problems with my peers requiring its use in the classroom or when being addressed by students, but it is not important for me.

    I do use PhD after my name when I deem it relevant and appropriate to who may be seeing it and the context I am supporting. I know it is appropriate custom to introduce and be introduced as Doctor in an academic setting. I conform to these conventions when this acknowledgement is called for.

    However, in day to day life, I would never, ever consider to use the title or refer to myself as such. My cardiologist and I have an agreement, I won't call him one if he doesn't call me one.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I disagree with this. The DM is not a "professional doctorate" (as in "first professional doctorate"). It is an academic one. It would also be helpful to understand what constitutes a "profession."

    First professional doctorates are those that use the title "doctor," but are designed for entry into a particular profession. Examples included the MD (medicine), JD (law), DDS (dentistry), DMD (also dentristy), DO (osteopath), OD (optometry), DC (chiropractic), and DPM (podiatry). None of these require a doctoral dissertation.

    Then there are academic doctorates, with the Ph.D. being the best-known. Some might argue that it is superior to the other academic doctorates, but I disagree. Other academic doctorates include the DBA (business administration), EdD (education), DPA (public administration), DM (rare, but it's in management), DA (also rare; focuses on teaching in a particular field), and DD (divinity). These degrees are not designed to enter a specific profession; graduates from them go on to many different fields.

    One way to discern between the Ph.D. and the other academic doctorates is that the Ph.D. should be based on original research, and that the research itself is the key. The other degrees might also have dissertations based on original research, but they can also have dissertations (and other, equivalent doctoral projects) that are based on existing data, and/or take a practical route to the degree (like designing, implementing, and evaluating the results of a project). But these distinctions are not absolute. Some people earn the Ph.D. with alternative methods, and some people earn one of the other doctoral designations by doing a dissertation with original research.

    An academic doctorate (like the DM example used) without a dissertation would be highly suspicious. It would be interesting to see the nature of the projects Colorado Tech requires.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I agree totally with marilynd on this one: the title "doctor" is ours, and there is nothing wrong with its use professionally by holders of academic degrees.

    I suspect a Ph.D. has a stronger claim to that title than does an optometrist, for example. But one doesn't hear such quibbling about their use of the title "doctor."

    I also agree totally with Paul's description of his use/non-use of the title.
  8. Ike

    Ike New Member

    Much ado about nothing! Beaucoup d'agitation au sujet de rien! Mucha dificultad sobre nada! Veel ado over niets! Muito ado sobre nada!
  9. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    This is getting me interested in the history of advanced education in ancient and medieval times. I don't know a lot about it, but here's my impressons:

    I don't think that institutions like the Platonic Academy in Athens granted degrees similar to our own. Even during the depths of the "dark ages" (roughly 500-1000AD), a university of a sort existed in Constantinople, but it seems to have emphasized rhetoric, teaching ancient literature as a guide to style, the school's purpose being the production of literate officials and courtiers, emphatically not original scholarship.

    In the West, the renaissance of the high medieval period (post 1000AD) saw an explosion of universities, each with different origins and emphases. Perhaps the earliest of them was what was to become known as the University of Salerno in southern Italy. It always remained primarily a medical school.

    The high medieval period's leading University was the University of Paris. I think that originally, the revival of learning in France emphasized theology and came to be centered in several of the urban cathedral schools. (In earlier centuries these had taught rudimentary reading and writing to parish priests.)

    As some of the cathedral schools became centers of advanced theology, they stopped teaching the elementary subjects and required that candidates for advanced work already be versed in the seven liberal arts, which were understood to be preparatory subjects. (In this period, the seven liberal arts were grammar, logic and rhetoric (the trivium [hence our word "trivial"]) and arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music (the quadrivium).

    So a whole collection of private and free-lance 'arts masters' gathered around the cathedral schools, teaching in rented rooms above inns and places like that. And eventually a few cities like Paris collected a critical mass of these arts masters, becoming international destinations for students seeking education in subjects extending well beyond theology. The teaching of the liberal arts took on a life of its own, with masters taking it upon themselves to teach advanced subjects like the newly rediscovered works of Aristotle.(Aristotle created a sensation in the medieval intellectual world.)

    Finally, around the year 1200, these arts masters formed themselves together in the manner of a trade guild, and their new organization became the University of Paris. The church saw the obvious danger in all this free thought concerning secular and pagan subjects, and quickly granted the burgeoning university a Papal charter, implicitly placing the new institution under the direct authority of the church.

    (Aristotle was periodically proscribed, with little success, and teaching Aristotle was even made grounds for excommunication, until Aquinas made him safe for Christianity. Ironically Aquinas did that job so well that Aristotelianism eventually became the official philosophy of the Catholic church.)

    It's interesting that the University of Bologna in Italy, another early university, arose around the production of legal doctors, not doctors of theology as at Paris. Like Paris, the teaching of the preparatory liberal arts was farmed out to a horde of arts masters. But in Bologna the students who hired the masters were the ones who organized themselves into a guild (actually two, one for Italians and one for foreign students, they eventually merged), in order to get good prices and ensure that their masters were honest and qualified. So this university was a student creation. Soon after this, secular rulers (Frederick II was the first, I think) saw the advantages of education and most subsequent medieval universities were royal creations.

    OK, I guess my point is that the early universities generally started out as professional schools around which everything else gathered and evenually crystalized.

    As the liberal arts blossomed, many students entered to obtain general educations in preparation for gentlemen's careers. The best of them were "determined" as a master of arts which obligated them to stay on for two years to teach. Then they typically entered the service of a feudal lord. A small number remained as professional teachers. If a man wished to become a civil or canon lawyer, or a doctor of medicine or theology, he had to stay on for the advanced professional course.

    It really wasn't unil the 15'th Renaissance that you started seeing new subjects from the liberal arts (like mathematics) being made into advanced courses modeled on the centuries old professional courses. Even then, the practical emphasis remained, as we see in all the people like Leonardo di Vinci who combined art, scholarship and practical work in architecture and military engineering.

    As I understand it, the Ph.D. granted as the result of original research resulting in a dissertation, is a relatively recent innovation, originating in 19'th century Germany I believe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2004
  10. UMUC offers a DM by DL.
  11. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    UMI has this to say about how American dissertations got their start:

    The American dissertation is a relatively new phenomenon, derived from the German model of graduate education encountered by the thousands of young Americans who studied there in the 19th century. These scholars, many of whom took faculty positions on their return, brought back the German emphasis on freedom of thought, intensive research, and the reporting of results.

    The first American Ph.D. program was initiated at Yale University in 1860, with requirements that included at least one year of study on campus, an examination, and a dissertation based on original research. The first recipient was James Morris Whiton, whose dissertation in Latin on the proverb "Brevis vita, ars longa" was accepted in 1861. Handwritten, it was six pages long.

  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree with Rich, the DM should be regarded as an applied research doctorate. The same thing with DBAs, they are research doctorates that require an applied business problem research rather than new theory development that is the goal of a PhD..

    This new breed of DMs without dissertation concerns me, it is more like a super MBA rather than a DBA. At the end of the day, if you are not able to conduct research that can be published on a peer reviewed article then you are not a real doctor.
  13. DebTormey

    DebTormey New Member

    Re: To dissertate or not to dissertate?

  14. obecve

    obecve New Member

    I agree with Rcih's general description of using the title. I do use it as part of my business cards and signature on work related documents (it is expected in rehabilitation counseling and in my role in state government). In those circumstances I use the initials after my name. I rarely am introduced as Dr. O'Brien. There are a couple of exceptions. When I testify in front of the legislature, in court, or in Congress I am introduced as Dr. Michael O'Brien. It is expected to establish credibility up front. Actually 99.9% of the time I go by Mike. Interestingly when I first assumed my current postion, there was an expectation among staff that I should use the title. Many were cought off guard and some were offended when I did not use the title.
  15. ybfjax

    ybfjax New Member

    The implication of the "name" of the degree...

    I originally had a good reply to this thread, but I accidentally closed the browser window (it was long, too!). I had several comments to make on what has been said on the doctorate topic.

    Are you implying that business management fields (organizational behavior, hotel mgmt, restaurant mgmt, human resources, project, etc.) are NOT professional fields? I totally disagree.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=profession defines profession as "An occupation, such as law, medicine, or engineering, that requires considerable training and specialized study. " as well as several other definitions. It is not limited to law, medicine, etc.

    As with the other professional doctorates in law and medical, business is a lot more about performance (staying afloat, making a profit) than writing an extensive research paper. Especially in the case of business, a research paper on the theory of how a business could be profitable is much less useful than actual hands-on projects with existing companies (or starting up a new company) which would teach students in a simulated environment how to manage a particular aspect of a business.

    Learning from someone that has actually done it (not thinking about doing it, or theorizing on how it can be done), now that's professional :D

    Quick side note: The grading issue (for a professional DM) would be more difficult. Would you get an 'A' for just effort and participation, or would your grade be on actual profit/performance of the company or simulation?

    Another side note: I had the doctorate in management pamphlet from CTU in a .pdf file. But it's too big to attatch to the board. And they seemed to have taken it down from their website. You must now call for more information.

    But it did bother me how some of these posts seem to over-emphasize the specific degree. As long as it is a valid doctorate, who cares what type it is? As long as it is appropriate for the profession of practice, right?

    I've recently participated in other discussions that debated the name of the school and even the name of the degree major. I'm not saying that these things don't have some level of importance, but there is a point where it gets ridiculous.
  16. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    The meaning of the word "profession" has shifted significantly over the last fifty years or so to the point where it embraces virtually occupation with a post secondary educational requirement. That's okay; language does evolve.

    A traditional profession, however, had more than an eduational requirement. A member of a profession received an exclusive franchise to practice. Thus, law and medicine (and in a way the clergy) were professions. What separated these professions from, say, engineering or accounting was that the public expected pro bono work on behalf of impoverised citizens in return for the exclusive franchise. Few poor people need engineering services or tax accounting but many, many poor people need medical and legal assistance.

    The educational, licensure, and pro bono requirements still bind the various medical practitioners and lawyers but as the soaring cost of a professional degree is less and less borne by the society and more and more the obligation of the medical or law student, the pro bono obligation becomes harder to jusitfy and much harder to do as a practical matter.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not "implying" those business-related occupations are not professions. I'm saying it.

    Again, it is helpful to understand what constitutes a profession.

    Nosborne makes good points.
  18. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

    using "Dr" as title

    In Latin Doctere means teacher so a PhD could use the term doctor and do. I use this expanation with my physicians who say I-a PhD- am not a doctor. No, not a doctor of medicine but a doctor of philosophy. The precursor to the JD was the LL.B. or bachelor of laws. The law schools changed the degree to sound more like the 3 year degree of D.O.s, doctors of optometry. A competitive thing. Professors of law with a JD are not called doctors but professor. They are not considered as leanred as a PhD
  19. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

    using "Dr" as title

    In Latin Doctere means teacher so a PhD could use the term doctor and do. I use this expanation with my physicians who say I-a PhD- am not a doctor. No, not a doctor of medicine but a doctor of philosophy. The precursor to the JD was the LL.B. or bachelor of laws. The law schools changed the degree to sound more like the 3 year degree of D.O.s, doctors of optometry. A competitive thing. Professors of law with a JD are not called doctors but professor. They are not considered as leanred as a PhD
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Yes, and the precursor to the M.D. was the M.B.

    You'll find that J.D.s in academia are treated as Ph.D.s are, if several posts to this forum are any indication. The regalia is not the same but the pay pretty much is.

    Who cares, really? What difference does it make?

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