When to and not to use your title Dr.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by nobycane, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: When to and not to use your title Dr.

    If a high school teacher has a legitimately earned accredited doctorate in her/his field, I wouldn't see why she/he shouldn't be called "Dr." I seem to recall in my high school accounting class, some authority figure in the school came in to introduce a new accounting teacher and said, "You will call him 'Dr.' "
  2. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    I used my international grace period a bit. One of my colleagues came in the office after a period of absence and said, "Hi Mr. Russ."

    I replied, "That's not quite correct......"

    After a bit of back and forth, she caught on. She hadn't realized I completed my defense, etc. So, we both got a laugh out of it.

    Our firm does not allow use of academic titles on biz cards, etc. On my personal bio, I mention I completed my DBA. The diploma is on the wall in my office. Other than that, I'm just plain old Russ to my colleagues and clients.

    When I'm teaching, I use the title Dr. on my faculty page and syllabus. I don't get my undies in a bunch if the students don't use it. They are adults.

    As for the physician/non-physician usage, Dr. is a title, not a profession. It has become synonymous with the profession, but I disagree with folks that state only the medical fields should use the title.

    However, I think one should think twice about using it in a medical facility. It can be confusing. The last thing a patient would need would be to see me in scrubs 'conferring' on a case, a la Leonardo DiCaprio in a "Catch Me if You Can" scenario. "I'm a DBA, Jim, not a saw bones. Call me if you have troubles with a Ferengi."
  3. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Re: Re: Re: When to and not to use your title Dr.

    The fact that she is not teaching in a college is irrelevant.

    It is a little arogant of her to force her peers to call her doctor, but some high schools have become waaaay too informal between teacher and student. Some teachers worry more about being popular or a friend than teaching. Adding a dose of formality by requiring students to address someone by "Dr." would be a good thing. Students might actually start to learn manners again.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If you know I have the title "Doctor," but purposely call me "Mister," I wonder why you're doing that.

    If you don't know I have the title "Doctor," but call me "Mister," I say nothing. Either works.

    I don't lead with "Doctor" with peers. I sometimes do it with students, but because I teach adults (in academia and in corporate training), I immediately disarm it by asking my students to call me "Rich."

    I really resent the notion that those of us who have the academic title "Doctor" are somehow wannabees for it. Absurd.
  5. David Williams

    David Williams New Member

    For a long time I avoided using the title; I had the idea it created an artificial barrier nor would I wear the lab coat I was issued. I guess that goes to coming of age in the 1960s. I still enjoy the occasional Greatful Dead tune but Jerry's pushing up daisies and the 'touch of grey' in my beard and the fact that my vocabulary includes words like ... portfolio ... tells me those days are long gone. I haven't a clue how to advise noby about the high school situation but I'll share what I've learned about using the title in a medical setting. It eventually dawned on me many patients are comforted and reassured by referring to their health care providers as doctor. Turing it around, I realized I was doing some a disservice by instructing them to address me informally. At this point I usually say something like “I'm Doctor Williams but you may address me as David if you like. I'm a doctor of psychology not medicine and I do things like testing and counseling.”

    I admit I engaged in John's grace period excess. My childhood best friend was living with the woman after whom they coined the term trailer trash. He wasn't home when I called with the news I'd successfully defended so I left a coded message; I instructed TT to have “Joe” call Doctor Williams for the result of his HIV test.

    I still won't wear the coat.
  6. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I was totally unaware that some people believe that only MDs have the right to be called "doctor," until I came to this website. Frankly, that stupid notion annoys me. :rolleyes: If one knows the history of the title "doctor," then categorily classifying all doctors as MDs seems ludricious. However, there are a lot of crass, uneducated people out there who feel that only MDs are a doctors. It's simply a sign of their ignorance, which is rampant. :rolleyes:
  7. buckwheat3

    buckwheat3 Master of the Obvious

    A lot of anxiety over the Doctor name dropping protocol; sure we can gracefully address a university professor or an MD as “Dr”, but how do we address a dentist, he’s a physician, right? Ohhhh I hate these hybrid moments during a social setting when you can hear a pin drop. Seriously, I call them all Dr. this an that, the dentist, the veterinarian, the college professor etc. after all they had the stuffing beat out of them earning it, but personally, if I were in their position, I would prefer the first name basis.

    If I knew before formally meeting the individual that they were a Dr of anything, I would address them as “Dr” until encouraged to do otherwise. For me, personally it doesn’t establish any type of social pecking order, but quietly acknowledges “I understand you went through hell.”


Share This Page