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Old May 8 2013, 10:12 PM   #16
Pavonis
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

sidious618 wrote: View Post
When I was in college we referred to most of our professors by their first name.
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
sidious618 wrote: View Post
When I was in college we referred to most of our professors by their first name.
Same here, and they all held PhDs.
Did calling your professors by their first name make you more comfortable in the course? Were you more at ease asking questions and attending office hours? Did the profs insist on being informal, or did it develop naturally, i.e., they didn't insist on a title, so you defaulted to a first name basis?
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Old May 8 2013, 10:13 PM   #17
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

I just don't think they liked being addressed by title. I know I wouldn't.
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Old May 8 2013, 10:17 PM   #18
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

I prefer to project authority by being organised, crystal clear with the students what I want and expect and by the quality of my lectures and seminars - I'm not sure how "Call me Dr. X" is suppose to do that?

I've known a lot of profs. who couldn't teach a dog how to lick shit so I try to avoid that.
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Old May 8 2013, 10:24 PM   #19
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
I prefer to project authority by being organised, crystal clear with the students what I want and expect and by the quality of my lectures and seminars - I'm not sure how "Call me Dr. X" is suppose to do that?

I've known a lot of profs. who couldn't teach a dog how to lick shit so I try to avoid that.
Yeah, I don't really think students give a shit what they're supposed to call you as long as you're a good teacher. It really boils down to how you want to be addressed.
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Old May 8 2013, 10:38 PM   #20
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
I prefer to project authority by being organised, crystal clear with the students what I want and expect and by the quality of my lectures and seminars - I'm not sure how "Call me Dr. X" is suppose to do that?

I've known a lot of profs. who couldn't teach a dog how to lick shit so I try to avoid that.

Well, I figure "Call me Dr. X" or Professor X is better than being on a first name basis with the students because we're not friends, so we shouldn't be so familiar, and the students are not my colleagues. Of course, I wouldn't substitute a title for organization and clarity of content in the course, but we'll see whether I can "teach a dog to lick shit" or not. I'll let you know.
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Old May 8 2013, 10:42 PM   #21
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

I have a doctorate in Psychology. I do not ask people to call me "Doctor". My first name is fine. I get "Doc" sometimes, or "Doctor B" as a nickname, and that's fine too.

My employer wants me to identify myself in correspondence, voicemail greetings, etc. as "Doctor", but that is for their own prestige (what little there is to have) not mine.

I think "Doctor" rightly applies to all who have finished the highest level coursework in their field. Doctors of Medicine are "physicians", etc. But I do think introducing yourself outside of your work environment as "Doctor" is a little pretentious.

JMHO
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Old May 8 2013, 10:51 PM   #22
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

But is it pretentious because we want to avoid all titles to promote egalitarian ideals, or because there is something specific about the title of Doctor that its use by non-physicians comes off as pretentious?

"Hello, I'm Dr. Throckmorton Throttlebottom, nice to meet you". It is simple statement of fact, so where did the pretense enter?
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Old May 8 2013, 10:55 PM   #23
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Pavonis wrote: View Post
But is it pretentious because we want to avoid all titles to promote egalitarian ideals, or because there is something specific about the title of Doctor that its use by non-physicians comes off as pretentious?

"Hello, I'm Dr. Throckmorton Throttlebottom, nice to meet you". It is simple statement of fact, so where did the pretense enter?
I guess I'd say, outside of my professional realm, why is relevant? Does the lady at the bank or my next door neighbor need to know that I've earned a doctorate?

I don't have really strong feelings about it, and I suppose everyone has a right to identify how they prefer to be addressed. So it's not a big issue for me, but I don't do it because I think it's unnecessary in my personal life.

Again, JMHO
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Old May 8 2013, 11:16 PM   #24
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Well, it's not relevant at all. As I wrote previously, I don't bother introducing myself as Dr. P.; only other people use my title when introducing me (and I never asked them to do it, either). And yet, physicians get away with it, i.e., they're real doctors, even the ones that just install breast implants and do tummy tucks.

It's hard to reconcile the respect physicians get when they reveal their title as Doctor So-and-So with the "pretentiousness" that is perceived when a PhD does the same. And yet, for all the supposed respect physicians receive, they have to shell out a lot in malpractice insurance and put up with a lot of second guessing by laymen.

Physicians and professors tend to be respected professions, but while both carry the same title, one is "allowed" to use it, and one is frowned upon when using it. It's an odd dichotomy. Does it perhaps stem from a disrespect for intellectualism, or is it merely that everyone tends to see physician "doctors" regularly, whereas professor "doctors" aren't encountered much once outside of college?
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Old May 8 2013, 11:34 PM   #25
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Pavonis wrote: View Post
or is it merely that everyone tends to see physician "doctors" regularly, whereas professor "doctors" aren't encountered much once outside of college?
I think it's more that we just don't call them "physicians." We call medical doctors "Doctor" because that's their job. When we get sick, we don't say "Go to the physician." We say "go to the doctor." It has nothing to do with their education or degree; it's what they do for a living. In this case, the word "doctor" has a double meaning, and I think you're concerned with the wrong one.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:41 PM   #26
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
or is it merely that everyone tends to see physician "doctors" regularly, whereas professor "doctors" aren't encountered much once outside of college?
I think it's more that we just don't call them "physicians." We call medical doctors "Doctor" because that's their job. When we get sick, we don't say "Go to the physician." We say "go to the doctor." It has nothing to do with their education or degree; it's what they do for a living. In this case, the word "doctor" has a double meaning, and I think you're concerned with the wrong one.
"Doctor" comes from the Latin word "to teach" and therefore means "teacher".

The academic use of the word "Doctor" is much more "correct", historically, than the medical use.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:44 PM   #27
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Pavonis wrote: View Post
or is it merely that everyone tends to see physician "doctors" regularly, whereas professor "doctors" aren't encountered much once outside of college?
I think it's more that we just don't call them "physicians." We call medical doctors "Doctor" because that's their job. When we get sick, we don't say "Go to the physician." We say "go to the doctor." It has nothing to do with their education or degree; it's what they do for a living. In this case, the word "doctor" has a double meaning, and I think you're concerned with the wrong one.
"Doctor" comes from the Latin word "to teach" and therefore means "teacher".

The academic use of the word "Doctor" is much more "correct", historically, than the medical use.
I'm not talking about history. I'm talking about how words are actually used today. We don't address people by their college degrees.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:45 PM   #28
Pavonis
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Your point is a good one, but raises the question - when did physicians become doctors? How did they manage to co-opt the title so thoroughly that only physicians are "real" doctors?

There's no reason that we can't say "go to the physician", since it's just as clear and concise as saying "go to the doctor", but we just don't. Just one of those quirks of language and culture, I guess.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:52 PM   #29
Tora Ziyal
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Pavonis wrote: View Post
It's hard to reconcile the respect physicians get when they reveal their title as Doctor So-and-So with the "pretentiousness" that is perceived when a PhD does the same.
Actually, if I met a physician in a social setting where other people were using just their names -- no Ms. or Mr. -- I would think it pretentious of him or her to use Dr.
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Old May 8 2013, 11:56 PM   #30
Pavonis
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Re: "Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

But, if it is a statement of fact, why is it considered pretentious?
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