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

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

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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

    That expires at some point, doesn't it?

    IIRC, the only people that can legally use military rank titles (and wear the military uniform) forever more, with no expiration date, are Sergeant-Majors (and their other service equivalents, be they Chief Master Sergeants, Master Petty Officers, etc.), and those with the rank of bird Colonel and above (Captain in the Navy & Coast Guard).
  2. SergeantChelonis

    SergeantChelonis New Member

    You know what? You can use "Doctor" as your title no matter what now in society. You know why? Ever heard of the rapper "Dr. Dre"? Who opposed him for using that name? No one important, that's for sure, and he's still a doctor today. Better believe it. You know, the title doctor has largely become rather meaningless over the years anyway, because you can be a doctor of history for example. Just like my college professor Dr. Jeff Hunt. How??? How can you be a DOCTOR and not be in the medical field at all? That's what I want to know. Oh. So if something bad happens in history, you must consult someone with a doctorate in history I guess?
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Thanks for that perspective. Somehow though I think that if I went to work next week and started telling everyone that they need to call me Dr. Kizmet because "If Dr. Dre can do it, so can I." well I'm really not sure how well that would go over. What do you think Dr. Chelonis?

  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    In Canada the term "Doctor" is regulated, you need to be a registered health care professional to use it in public. On the other hand, the term PhD is not regulated.

    In Ontario, we had few legal battles between government and few natural medicine associations as naturopaths will join the legal medical profession and will be able to use "Dr" in their titles. The problem is that few unaccredited associations are still legal as they practice non regulated therapies such as reiki, spiritual healing, etc. To solve the problem, some of these associations have decided to open schools overseas or make deals with natural medicine schools in India, Sri Lanka, etc and grant to their members "PhD"s, although non accredited you can technically use them in your business cards as there is no regulation against the use of a PhD title but against the "Dr" title.

    In Canada, there is no rule against me calling me John Doe PhD with a PhD from an unaccredited school but I cannot call my self Dr John Doe even with an accredited PhD unless I belong to a legal medical profession.
  5. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Non legally speaking, in Canada many people with Phd, D.ed demand that they be called Dr. This or Dr. That. I had a boss who had a D.ed and she wanted to be called Dr. Pebbles.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, but not in paper. If your Boss uses Dr. Pebbles in a business card, she will be getting a call from the college of doctors asking her to stop using the Dr title or else.
  7. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Unless it was in academia, that would be my cue to find a new job. Dr. Pebbles is a flake. In the medical field, MD, DO, fine, appropriate; in the halls of academia, but pretty much only on campus, fine. Otherwise, you have a very odd and insecure person who'd probably be better just to move on from (That said, I have gone pretty much out of my way to identify here as a member of the academy, and a full-time one at that, so perhaps there are some insecurity issues there--oh well, probably guilty as charged of hypocrisy).
  8. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Interesting to see this post resurrected after so many years. I went back and read the old posts from 2004 and 2005. I would make many of the same posts today (acknowledging that I was writing from a purely US context).

    Little has changed since then, except that the US Department of Education has now replaced the clearly-worded statements in the Structure of US Education (which established differences between research doctorates and other degrees) with three categories of doctorates (research, practice and other), leaving it up to institutions how they will classify their degrees. The doctoral degree is now the wild west.
  9. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    In the US. As long as the purpose is legal.

    For that matter, you can call yourself Engelbert Humperdinck if the name is not used to defraud.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    It seems to me that this is an exaggeration. "The wild west" means having no rules at all. And I never exaggerate. Ever. And I also never use absolutes. Ever.
  11. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Prior to 2010, the US Dept. of Ed. classified post-graduate degrees as Master's Degrees, First Professional Degrees, Intermediate Graduate Qualifications and Research Doctorate Degree. Each of the classifications were well-defined, including a list of the degrees that fell under each of the categories. This has been replaced by the following:

    Doctor’s Degree-Professional Practice: A doctor's degree that is conferred upon completion of a program providing the knowledge and skills for the recognition, credential, or license required for professional practice…Some of these degrees were formerly classified as first-professional and may include: Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M.); Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.); Law (J.D.); Medicine (M.D.); Optometry (O.D.); Osteopathic Medicine (D.O); Pharmacy (Pharm.D.); Podiatry (D.P.M., Pod.D., D.P.); or, Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), and others, as designated by the awarding institution.​

    Doctor’s Degree-Research/Scholarship: A Ph.D. or other doctor's degree that requires advanced work beyond the master's level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research, or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include Ed.D., D.M.A., D.B.A., D.Sc., D.A., or D.M, and others, as designated by the awarding institution.​

    Doctor’s Degree-Other: A doctor’s degree that does not meet the definition of a Doctor’s degree-research/scholarship or a Doctor’s degree-professional practice.​

    Particularly considering the last definition, it would not be an exaggeration to say that "Doctor's Degree-Other" is the"wild west." It appears remarkably rule-free and does not appear to impose any limitation at all for what an institution can call a doctorate.

    I am a father of six children, so I have been known to use absolutes on occasion and have even exaggerated once or twice :)
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    OK, well then let's go rope some dogies.
  13. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    My nomination for "Newbie First Post of the Year" :lmao:
  14. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    That surprises me. My impression is that it's legal and even common for Canadian scientists (and scholars of all sorts) for be referred to as "Dr. Smith" or whatever it is, even in writing. That's how it's done in the United States, and maybe I'm falsely assuming that Canada operates the same way. Again, my impression is that the use of the title "doctor" is only regulated in Canada in certain professional contexts, the health professions most notably. Wikipedia seems to agree (for what that's worth):

  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I have a friend and colleague who lives in Toronto. He has a PhD from UToronto but doesn't work on academia (data scientist). Whenever I see written correspondence from him I am always a bit fixated in his address labels:

    "Mr. Neuhaus's Colleague, PhD"

    I don't know how much of that is trying not to run afoul of Canadian laws versus just not being into the whole title game. I also had a high school teacher with a doctorate who specifically requested that students not refer to him as "Doctor" despite the administration insisting he be listed on class schedules as such. Some people just aren't into it.

    I think, at a minimum, Canada just has a stronger culture of the title of "doctor" belonging to healthcare professionals and academics and, even on the case of the latter, it seems much less common.

    When I was at Scranton (as an undergrad) the norm was a professor with a doctorate was "doctor" and a professor with a non-doctoral terminal degree was "professor." As a grad student I've noticed a shift toward preferring "professor" as a title.

    I don't like using obituaries to make my point. Seems a bit selfish of me. But I found this one...

    In Memoriam

    I can't help but feel that, in the states at least, it would have been highly likely that write up would have used the title "doctor" at least once. still, I don't think Canadian academics are lacking any sort of prestige being relegated to the title of "professor."
  16. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    ...or some doctors.
  17. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Here's some examples of Canadian academics named 'Smith' being referred to as 'Dr. Smith', despite their not being medical professionals.

    Dr. Clayton Smith | Faculty of Education

    Faculty welcomes Dr. Bryan Smith | Faculty of Education

    Dr. Gordon Smith, Vice-Dean

    Jannes Smith

    Dr. David Smith - Ryerson's Faculty Of Arts - Ryerson University

    Dr. M.A. (Peggy) Smith, R.P.F. | Lakehead University Faculty Website

    These examples could be multipled endlessly. My point is that as far as I know, referring to academics with legitimate earned doctorates as 'Dr. So-and-so' is a common practice in Canada and doesn't seem to be in any way illegal or unethical.

    I still think that restrictions on use of the title 'doctor' in Canada are limited to the medical and health context.

    (I might be gravely mistaken, but I don't think so.)
  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    There are some people who erroneously believe that the title of "doctor" should only be used for physicians. With that in mind, what titles could be used to replace the following academic titles:
    - Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
    - Doctor of Education (EdD)
    - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    - Doctor of Arts (DA)
    - Et al.

    Also, which term was invented and used first:
    - Medical Doctor (not to be confused with the title "physician") or
    - Doctor of Philosophy
  19. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    A country that does seem to have pretty draconian regulations on the use of the title "Doctor" is Germany. If Wikipedia is to be believed, they automatically recognize all doctorates awarded in EU countries. As for the United States,

    "PhDs that were awarded in the United States are recognized if the awarding institution is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "Research University (high research activity)" or as a "Research University (very high research activity)."


    Which is basically absurd. The Carnegie classifications aren't an indicator of the quality of doctoral programs, they are a way of dividing American universities into various categories based on the number of doctoral programs they offer. So the Germans will only allow people educated in the United States to be referred to as "doctor" if they graduated from a university with a lot of doctoral programs.

    That eliminates small specialist schools, such as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, which is legendary in the genomics world with eight Nobel laureates. (And it isn't RA!)


    The Scripps Research Institute (extraordinary in biochemistry and molecular biology with multiple Nobel laureates) isn't on Carnegie's lists either.

    Oh well, it's Germany's loss...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2017
  20. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    - Maven of Business Administration (DBA)
    - Maven of Education (EdD)
    - Shaman of Philosophy (PhD)
    - Shaman of Arts (DA)

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