On Being Called Doctor

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by me again, Mar 5, 2012.

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  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    That depends what you do with them. My two master's degrees prepared me for my doctorate program, which kind of synthesizes the two academic fields.
     
  2. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    The convention is to refer to someone as "doctor" outside of academia and "professor" inside of academia for a person holds an academic doctorate (PhD, etc . . . .). Personally, the public acknowledges a person as "doctor" not because he or she should expect it, but that they demonstrates that caliber. On a business card, I think it's tacky to put "Dr. So & so." Just put your name and list your credentials. A little humility is required here since we really don't know everything. I'm fine with the "Mr., Ms. Mrs. when you don't know people, first name when you do.
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I've worked in American higher education for nearly a decade and that not exactly my experience. "Doctor" is an honorific that comes from having earned a degree, and can be used both within academia and outside it. "Professor" is an honorific that comes from holding a particular class of faculty position, and can be used both within academia and outside it, although more often within it. But there's not a convention about this.
     
  4. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    I never heard of a university professor referred to as "Doctor." They are referred to as professors. Non academic PhD's are referred to as "doctors." Perhaps we're saying the same thing but I this is indeed a convention.
     
  5. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    Sure there is a convention. Perhaps it's more prevalent in the Northeast: "A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom." (Wikipedia). Phds outside of academia are called doctors; those inside of academia are usually called professors.
     
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I work outside of academia and all the people that I know who have doctoral degrees (of any description) are called by their first names. Anyone who objects gets laughed at, usually to their face, always behind their back. Check your ego at the door.
     
  7. thomaskolter

    thomaskolter New Member

    I have an idea if someone wants you to call them "Doctor" then call them "Doctor"? What is the big deal anyway?
     
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I have no idea Doctor Thomas Kolter!

    Signed - Doctor Randell
     
  9. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I'm in a B&M graduate level class now where a fellow student has made it clear to all the other students that she has a PhD. It's even listed in her email i.e. "Dr. So & So @blowhard.com." She even made it a point to mention that she has a PhD in education and not an EdD because the PhD required a years worth of more statistics than the EdD. I have remained silent on the fact that I too have a doctorate, but I'd love to mention it to her one of these days. Vanity.
     
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Are you suggesting that anybody who wants to be called doctor should be called doctor regardless of whether they've actually earned the title?
     
  11. cgarretson

    cgarretson New Member

    I would only do this if the one with said degrees was a female with other qualifications .... :D *buh dun tsh*
     
  12. Delta

    Delta Active Member


    The Japanese use the word "Sensei", which means "born before" and signifies that one who is older teaches with wisdom.

    "Sensei (先生?) is a Japanese word that is literally translated as "person born before another".[1] In general usage, it means "master" or "teacher",[2] and the word is used as a title to refer to or address teachers, professors, professionals such as lawyers, CPA and doctors, politicians, clergymen, and other figures of authority."

    Sensei - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  13. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    It would be interesting to know where your colleague received her Ph.D. in education, because it would be the only institution in the country (perhaps in the world) where a Ph.D. in Education would require a year's more statistics than an Ed.D. In most programs, the requirements for the Ph.D. and Ed.D. are not significantly different (although Vanderbilt and a few others have undergone efforts to distinguish their Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs).
     
  14. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Having worked in higher education for 25 years as a member of the faculty and/or administration at community colleges, private universities and state universities in multiple states, it has been my experience that, within academia, referring to those with doctoral degrees as "doctor" in commonplace. This is true in reference to faculty and administrators. A faculty member may be referred to as "Dr. so-and-so" or "Professor so-and-so" (even if that person holds the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Administrators (Dean, Provost, etc.) with doctorates are also commonly called "doctor," not professor.
     
  15. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I'll ask her where she graduated from and will get back with you.
     
  16. distancedoc2007

    distancedoc2007 New Member

    I would say it is polite and appropriate to address someone that you know has a doctorate as "doctor," at least when you first meet them (ie. in the same social contexts where you would otherwise use "Mr." or "Ms") It is up to that person to then defer if they choose ("Please call me Bill"). From that point on they are "Bill" to you unless you are introducing them at a function etc. I'd personally be embarrassed to be called "doctor" all the time, though once in a while is a bit of a tickle. Also, I notice it's fun for a couple of docs to refer to each other over-the-top as "doctor" as a joke just for the fun of it. If nothing else, it's a shared joke about "what a waste of time and effort THAT was!" :)
     
  17. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    URL: Yeshiva University provides the highest quality Jewish and secular education of any Jewish university in the world. Our commitment to Torah Umadda means striving for excellence in all academic and Jewish learning.

    No further information and nothing is corroborated. I'm not in a position to question her without appearing to be rude or overly inquisitive -- at least not yet.
     
  18. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    If I complete my PhD in Applied Computer Science I don't expect my coworkers to call me Dr. That would be ridiculous. They would probably just call me shithead instead, however, if I was lecturing at a conference and was introduced as Dr. that would be fine.
     
  19. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    According to Yeshiva's website, it offers an Ed.D. in Jewish Education and Administration, but not a Ph.D. Comparing the required research courses for the Ed.D. with a number of Ph.D. programs offered by Yeshiva shows very little difference (only 1 or two courses), Unless one only took two courses per year, there seems to be little justification for a statement that a Ph.D. in education requires an additional year of statistics. And to extrapolate that to all Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs in education only serves to demonstrate that your colleague, while probably quite knowledgeable in her discipline, has little knowledge of of the topic of degree comparison.
     
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, doctorates in the computer field are not used at all.
    Calling yourself Dr only makes sense if you need to do so as the example you stated for a conference presentation where you need to put emphasis on your academic credentials. Besides this, people would just laugh about you if you insist to call yourself Dr if you are just a programmer, a computer teacher or anything related to computers.
    The same thing for business, I don't see people calling their accountants "Dr" or their personal finance advisors "Dr". It is ridiculous as well.
     

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