"Doctor" - MDs vs PhDs

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

  1. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I still think you're missing the point, Pavonis. It doesn't matter what you're called. You're behaving as if these students are going to be crazy hormonal teenagers that are incapable of discipline. They're in college now; they deserve to be treated like adults. They will still be immature, especially if they're undergrads, but you have to treat them like their purpose is to learn. This isn't like high school where they're forced to attend and will act out because they're bored. They chose to go to college.

    You're worried about them respecting you, but I already get the feeling that you don't respect them.

    The main point I'm trying to make is this: you're the one that they are going to be addressing. What do you want to be called? Because I guarantee that they don't care either way. The level of respect you receive will be based on the kind of teacher you are. Respect based on title is purely artificial and ultimately meaningless.
     
  2. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Is this a generational issue? I'm in my thirties, and so are all my friends and most of my colleagues. In my experience, we're all on a first name basis, and respect each other for being good scientists and researchers. What do other generations do to show respect?


    Will they, though? I'm not an old grizzled English prof wearing tweed jackets with elbow patches, a bow tie, and a pipe. Though perhaps I should adopt that style....

    Well, thank you, Spot's Meow for your insight. I'll keep it in mind. I took the position at a teaching-oriented university to teach, not to intimidate. Still, I do want some distance between myself and the student body, because I want to avoid any problems that might arise from too much familiarity - bias in grading, for instance, or claims of preferential treatment of one student over another.
     
  3. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Of course they will. They're not idiots. And to these 18-19-20 years olds, someone in their mid-30s will probably seem ancient anyway. :p

    Maybe you should conduct an experiment. When you start the class, introduce yourself as Doctor Billybob Pavonis (or whatever your actual name is) and see what they call you.

    My guess is that most of them will call you either Professor Pavonis or Mr. Pavonis by nature, because that's what they've been used to in their education thus far.

    Though let's be real. 99% of your students won't call you anything. Your name is *raises hand.*
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I think I'll try that, RoJoHen. Thank you. I guess I should've considered that from the beginning, and overthought the matter.

    Still, I'd rather start with the assumption that they'll be a bunch of undisciplined hormonal teenagers and be pleasantly surprised when they prove themselves not to be, than to assume they'll be disciplined adults and be disappointed when they demonstrate that they're not.
     
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I imagine you will have a healthy mix of both.
     
  6. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, it does. Never heard it growing up in NJ, but it's normal here in MD.

    But buying an honorary degree doesn't? ;)

    You'll have both disciplined and undisciplined students, no matter what their ages. And, yes, you've over-thought the name/title thing by now.

    Now, go enjoy your first class!
     
  7. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    People who say a PhD isn't a "real doctor" just demonstrate how ignorant they are.
     
  8. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I find it somewhat interesting that you're eager to dismiss my concerns about graduate school address, Dr. Pavonis, while at the same time dismissing my interest in being addressed by a title that I have also earned.

    Or perhaps, I find that to just be indicative of the pretense you have over your doctorate.

    Did you address your professor in graduate school as "Doctor," or were you more familiar?
     
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Fun fact: Graham Chapman (of Monty Python fame) was an actual medical doctor.
     
  10. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I mostly meant in terms of a professional situation. I have worked in offices where most of my colleagues were much older than me and there was a great deal of concern about the hierarchy, about knowing your place and treating those in power positions with a great deal of reverence. Although I participated and played by the rules, it wasn't a culture that I could understand, and it seems that way for a lot of folks my age. I've read a few articles that point this out as well, such as this one (not the most reliable source but makes some great points about transparency, hierarchy, and money). You may very well be a part of this generation as well, I'm just pointing out some trends that I have noticed. And letting you know that your students really won't care what they call you, the title will be very meaningless to them.

    Of course they will! I think you are still stuck in the mindset of teaching as a TA while a grad student. The students feel more familiarity towards you in that situation and are more likely to think that they can take advantage by gaining favor with you. Even if you look young, the students know the difference between a TA and a professor, and right from the bat will feel more separated from you.

    Also, it does seem like you have a rather negative view of these young people. You haven't even met them yet! Don't judge them based on their age, assuming that they will all be selfish, disrespectful, and whiny. Treat them with respect and they will do the same for you.
     
  11. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    You misunderstood me, Maestro. I wasn't dismissing your interest in using your title. By all means do so. I was merely pointing out that you would inevitably be compared to the episode of Seinfeld in which a guest character insists on being called "Maestro". Just an observation, not a judgment.

    Actually, I called them "Professor" until they told me we could be on a first name basis. Reasonable, no?
     
  12. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    There's a whole system and it varies by region. I call my sister "Didi," for example, but it's a general term for older sister. If you have multiple older sisters (or cousins, they fall in the same category), you differentiate more. My older cousin is Bordi, and to my younger cousins my sister is Mezdi and I'm Chhordi. They basically mean eldest sister, middle sister, and smallest/youngest sister, while all being used for elders.
     
  13. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hubris is forgivable in the name of fun. That's why I participate in the Karaoke Idol at work. :borg: Or are you going to lecture me that I'm not qualified??? :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  14. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ :lol: By now I've read your post about just doing it for fun.
     
  15. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I have my bachelor's degree in English and I'm also single. However, graciously, I usually don't make people refer to me as "Bachelor" unless we're in a formal setting.
     
  16. Sigokat

    Sigokat Commander Red Shirt

    I meant my last name. So they would address me by Rank and Last Name, i.e. Major K...... (not wanting to put my last name here). Or they would say, Sir. But the civilians, like the Doctor in this case, would generally call us by our Rank and Last Names, however since my last name seemed to difficult for her to even attempt to learn, she shortened it to Major K.
     
  17. Maestro

    Maestro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I really prefer "Mr. Awesome" to any other possible title. But only in informal settings.
     
  18. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Like the bedroom.
     
  19. Bisz

    Bisz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think titles are important and should be used based on context. They are used to show respect, they are used to differentiate professional settings from social settings. They are part of what makes society... society.

    I can't imagine calling a bona fide professor by their first name in a university setting. Even when our class was out drinking with the profs we still called them Professor. Unless you established a personal relationship with that specific person which allowed you to be familiar with them they were still a person with a Ph.D, charged by the university to instruct us. They earned their doctorate through years of study and proved their competence through a defense of their thesis, and again worked hard to become a faculty member at the university.

    That doesn't mean they deserve my respect, but it does mean that I owe them the public show of respect. I don't think its elitist at all, its part of what makes us civilized, structure... we're not all equal, no matter how much some people would like to pretend.
     
  20. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I had dinner tonight with a friend who's taught both grad students and undergrads at three universities over the past decade, and I was telling him about this conversation. He was very surprised to hear that in some places students address faculty members by their first names. They don't anywhere he's studied or taught.