The Doctor looked like a room.
His program was stored on the buffer inside the walls.
His eyes, and other sense were sensors in the walls of sick bay.
He is not a holographic lifeform.
He is software.
His code is not stored inside the hologram.
The hologram is a muppet to the code on a buffer no different from any other device pushed by code.
Straight out of the box the Doctor was not sentient by Federation standards.
Straight out of the box the Doctor was sentient by Kes' standards.
Kes has unrealistic and wrong standards.
Kes would have blended in seamlessly with Smurf Village.
The Federation wanted a slave race.
They know how to make sentient AI, and they don't want to make sentient AI, because they want a slave race.
All that aside, accidents do happen.
Accidentally he may have become sentient at some point, but I am unwilling to commit to any date.