"Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Pavonis, May 8, 2013.

  1. Kestra

    Kestra Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    What a stupid thing to be irritated by. It's their title.
     
  2. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    See, you've got it backwards. We learned the word from him - the Doctor gave us the word which means healer and wise one. :devil:
     
  3. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Any idea as to why?

    I understand some professors try to be "friends" with their students, and want to erase any perceived boundaries between them by being informal in address. I think it works about as well as when parents try to be "friends" with their children.
     
  4. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reminds me of adults who don't want to be called Mr./Ms. Lastname because, "That's my father/mother," or who act as though "Sir" or "Ma'am" were an insult.
     
  5. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My principal holds a PhD. It is appropriate to address him professionally as "Doctor." Many of our students call him "Mister." He takes no offense and offers no correction.

    I did my undergrad at Wisconsin. Most of our instructors in the School of Music allowed (asked, some begged) us to call them by their first names.

    I'm working on my MM in MuEd at the University of Florida through their distance program. We are REQUIRED by the program to address our professors professionally, "Dr. <so and so>" or "Professor <so and so>" unless otherwise requested by the professor. All three professors that I've had so far even sign their emails "Dr. LAST NAME." THAT'S pretentious, if you ask me. Perhaps it's a Southern thing.
     
  6. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Signatures in e-mails are a cue as to how to address the individual in replies. If I want someone to address me by my first name, I sign my e-mail with my first name. If I want them to address me as Dr. P., then I sign it with Dr. P. It is not a matter of trying to brag or be pretentious, it's just a signal as to the level of familiarity that should be acknowledged.
     
  7. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am well aware that signatures in emails are clues for address. What's pretentious is demanding that masters candidates, many of which are successful in their fields and careers, address our professors as "Dr." It's especially obnoxious when my undergrad institution was the exact opposite with its undergrads. I'm cool with expecting some know-nothing freshman theory student to call you "Dr. Theory," but I'm not cool with expecting a seasoned educator with almost 15 years of experience (and some of it teaching college prep theory) to address you as "Dr. Theory."
     
  8. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Speaking of signatures, I like yours, Maestro.

    Tora Ziyal, M.Div. ;)
     
  9. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Maestro, are you miffed that your own expertise is not being acknowledged and feel that you're being put on the same level as a freshmen?
     
  10. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I emailed my brother, who has a Ph.D. and teaches history (he's currently at Oxford), on this subject and got the following response:

    As for physicians, I always address them as "Dr. Suchandsuch", no matter how long I've known them and even if they're younger than I am. I just feel they deserve the professional courtesy of being addressed by title. Frankly, I think there's a bit too much informality these days.

    And what about these Doctors?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hubby is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). He doesn't use the title"Dr." becuase he figures most people will think "MD."

    I have a Juris Doctor, and I sure don't call myself "Dr. propita." The closest I'd be is "propita, Esq." I know anyone can be called "esquire," but in the US, it is traditionally used by attorneys. Fair? I don't know, but if you saw someone's name as "John Doe, Esquire," wouldn't you assume he was a lawyer?

    I was told that teachers who had doctorates--of any kind--qualified to be titled "Professor" as opposed to "Mister/Mrs./Miss./Ms." I never had a problem referring to them as professor, figuring they'd done the work for the honorific.
     
  12. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A fair issue, no?

    Perhaps, given that I'm a band conductor, I should demand everyone (IRL) address me as "Maestro."
     
  13. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    You could do that, Maestro, but you'll inevitably be compared to the Seinfeld episode.
     
  14. Kestra

    Kestra Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I am not in your position but I don't imagine that I'd feel the same way. I don't think that there's anything demeaning about having to use someone's full title.
     
  15. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Asking to be addressed in a particular way isn't supposed to make others feel inferior; it's just a matter of respect.
     
  16. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or "Professor."

    [​IMG]
     
  17. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I remember I had a professor who made me laugh when a student wanted to get his attention and went, "Professor?" and he replied, "Student?" He was a creative writing teacher, though, and they're weird (but awesome).

    I teach extracurricular classes for high school students struggling with the SAT and I always introduce myself on the first day with my first and last name; it's interesting to see what they end up using.

    I also do home instruction, one-on-one or two-on-one, and I always have my students call me Donald. It never occurred to me to be called anything else until one day a parent introduced me to their kid as "Mr. [my last name]" which freaked me out and I was like, "You can call me Donald! Donald!"

    In general, I don't like formalities because I think they put distance between people and they do elevate someone in conversation which seems silly to me unless we're talking about the doctor's specific area. If I'm chatting with someone about John Milton then I'd certainly care if they had a PhD in English Lit but if their PhD is in Cryogenics then it doesn't really matter and it'd be odd if they brought it up.
     
  18. Flux Capacitor

    Flux Capacitor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This reminds me of a conversation I'd been a part of with some veteran buddies. They were discussing how someone once asked them their rank, and why they didn't introduce themselves as such (Staff Sergeant So-and-so instead of just So-and-so) and the general consensus was...why does it matter? Yeah, he might be a corporal or a lieutenant or captain in the military but unless he's introducing himself to a fellow officer while on duty....it's really not relevant, and would seem pretentious. IMO the same goes for this situation. I hold a rank of second degree black belt in Uechi Ryu karate but I don't go around introducing myself as Nidan James.
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    And this is the part that I just don't get. "Levels of familiarity."

    I have a name. Whether I'm your spouse, your best friend, your boss, your professor, your neighbor, or a complete stranger, I still have the same name. Respect is not determined by what you call me; it's determined by how you treat me.

    I could be the ultimate Supreme King of the Universe, and I'd still just want my subjects to call me by my first name.
     
  20. Kestra

    Kestra Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    It's a cultural thing for me, to an extent. I think of it as showing respect by maintaining that formality. We don't call elders by their names in my culture; I very rarely call my older siblings by their first names.
     

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