EC3

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Just an observation, but it seems like everyone and their sister is trying to find a way to become a "doctor". Nurse practitioners with PhDs, Pharm Ds, PTs with PhDs...it's getting ridiculous the sense of entitlement (and insecurity?) displayed by healthcare workers. Apparently a PhD from some online college is now sufficient education to become a doctor. I guess they don't care that "doctor" in a clinical setting implies a medical degree...who are we to belittle their PhD, right?

I'm not a big title jockey, but this kind of stuff peeves me. Many of these people could not have gotten into medical school yet now they want to find a backdoor into the profession and want the respect of being a doctor (not that there is much to begin with...). I'm not suggesting that I or other physicians are genuises, and in fact medical school is not conceptually challenging. It's just that these folks think that because they've been in healthcare for "X" amount of years or because they've taken a few online classes that they earn an honorary MD or something.

Maybe I'm just pissed off, though, that I had to study my ass off in high school, undergrad, and medical school and now work 70 hours a week while earning a gross income less than an RN...and I'm still not called doctor. Maybe if I can get a few online classes under my belt and then act all pissy when i'm not called "Doctor".
 

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My personal favourite would have to be chiropractors. They are not even remotely doctors, yet call themselves "doctor".
Yeah... I agree. Its funny b/c my genetics professor was just ranting about this the other day saying how she refuses to call a Chiropractor "Doctor". :laugh:
 
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In Georgia, it's illegal to refer to yourself as "Doctor So-and-So" in a healthcare setting unless you are a licensed physician, chiropractor, dentist, etc. Nurse practitioners with PhD's can't refer to themselves as doctor in a healthcare setting or they will be fined and possibly jailed for the offense.

Funny you mention the thing about chiropractors. In Georgia, there are three people who can legally pronounce someone: a physician, a coroner, and a chiropractor.
 

GeneralVeers

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In Georgia, it's illegal to refer to yourself as "Doctor So-and-So" in a healthcare setting unless you are a licensed physician, chiropractor, dentist, etc. Nurse practitioners with PhD's can't refer to themselves as doctor in a healthcare setting or they will be fined and possibly jailed for the offense.

Funny you mention the thing about chiropractors. In Georgia, there are three people who can legally pronounce someone: a physician, a coroner, and a chiropractor.

Chiropractors should be banned altogether, unless they want to actually tell patients what they really do. They don't actually manipulate the spine, as that would kill people. No, most of us aren't walking around with "subluxations" because we'd all be dead. No, you can't cure back pain or sciatica with a massage.
 

tybalt

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Chiropractors should be banned altogether, unless they want to actually tell patients what they really do. They don't actually manipulate the spine, as that would kill people. No, most of us aren't walking around with "subluxations" because we'd all be dead. No, you can't cure back pain or sciatica with a massage.

I met a 30-something patient who was told by a chiropractor that she needed to come see him weekly for the next 6 months so he could work on fixing her scoliosis... She came to the clinic I was working in to get a referral letter so that she could send it to the insurance company showing that her MD supported this treatment... of a very mild disease that wasn't even compromising her in any way!!!!!!

I get that some people feel Chiropractors have "some success" with neuromuscular complaints of scoliosis -- whatever. But to get a patient to actually believe he/she could straighten her spine??? Come on. :laugh:

Needless to say, the patient did NOT get her letter. Clearly.
 

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This is actually pretty sad. The old school PharmDs had every right to be called Doctors of Pharmacy. They had to a bachelors in pharmacy. That let them basically do what every pharmacist does in every CVS out there (actually more, since many of them trained in compounding and other lost pharmacy skills).

The really hardcore then went on to do four more years of pharmacy training. They got the PharmD and were/are superstars. They have significant clinical skills and go far beyond the what the Bachelors types know/do. What we have now are nothing more than the old bachelors types that now do an associates degree before getting their "docotrate." While I can understand the "Dr." confusion, the old school PharmDs really do deserve the moniker "Doctor."

I see a fair number of the Canadian PharmD students. They are old school up there and the PharmD programs are very competitive. Those PharmDs make our current crop of PharmDs look like blathering idiots.
 

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It's always amusing when someone prefaces with "I'm not ______ , but..." then follows it up with a completely contradictory statement.

The thing about titles is that the only people that really care about them are the people that have them. Despite introducing yourself as a medical student, how many times did you have a patient refer to you as a doctor? How many times have you seen a female physician introduce themselves as Dr. so and so and the patient still thinks they are a nurse?

You're ranting about an assumed sense of entitlement among non-physicians, but your average intern initially doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground, yet they all have MD or DO behind their name. Titles or lack there of don't necessarily correlate to ability. I've seen numerous NPs and PAs that are more knowledgeable and provide better patient care than many residents do. I've seen a junior nurse bring to the attention something that a well-respected attending (and the rest of the team for that matter) missed. These are people you're working with, not competing against.

Since when did the point of working hard and going to medical school become simply for the validation of our peers and the people we treat? If you're seriously that concerned about what you or other people are called or what your salary is compared to them then it's probably time to chill the hell out and re-evaluate.
 

EC3

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It's always amusing when someone prefaces with "I'm not ______ , but..." then follows it up with a completely contradictory statement.

The thing about titles is that the only people that really care about them are the people that have them. Despite introducing yourself as a medical student, how many times did you have a patient refer to you as a doctor? How many times have you seen a female physician introduce themselves as Dr. so and so and the patient still thinks they are a nurse?

You're ranting about an assumed sense of entitlement among non-physicians, but your average intern initially doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground, yet they all have MD or DO behind their name. Titles or lack there of don't necessarily correlate to ability. I've seen numerous NPs and PAs that are more knowledgeable and provide better patient care than many residents do. I've seen a junior nurse bring to the attention something that a well-respected attending (and the rest of the team for that matter) missed. These are people you're working with, not competing against.

Since when did the point of working hard and going to medical school become simply for the validation of our peers and the people we treat? If you're seriously that concerned about what you or other people are called or what your salary is compared to them then it's probably time to chill the hell out and re-evaluate.

Nothing contradictory. I don't care if anyone calls me a doctor or not. My rant is about people who try to masquerade as something they are clearly not. I don't care if you're the world's best NP, you're still not a physician... going and getting a random PhD to earn the title of "doctor" smacks of insecurity. That's where I have the problem. Nothing wrong with being an NP, PharmD, PT, etc... but there is something wrong with being so insecure that you resort to trickery in order to play doctor.
 

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Nothing contradictory. I don't care if anyone calls me a doctor or not. My rant is about people who try to masquerade as something they are clearly not. I don't care if you're the world's best NP, you're still not a physician... going and getting a random PhD to earn the title of "doctor" smacks of insecurity. That's where I have the problem. Nothing wrong with being an NP, PharmD, PT, etc... but there is something wrong with being so insecure that you resort to trickery in order to play doctor.

Agreed and it's just like the "white coat is completely meaningless" thread. Why does every respiratory therapist, surgical tech, nursing student insist on parading around in their long white coats (which they don't need the pockets for since there's never anything in them)?

They only do it and insist on having every little association acronym or other degree after their name because they have this complex about not looking important enough even though they've never achieved at a high level.

I'm not the smartest guy, but I work my tail off to get to where I am. And until graduation next year, I might as well go around as announcing myself as Tiger26, BA, JMS, SOB
 

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In a clinical setting MDs, DOs, and DMDs/DDSs (with the caveat that they tell the patient they are a dentist) are the only people who should introduce themselves as "Doctor." Regardless of what academic or professional degree a person has earned, the vast majority of patients equate "Doctor" with MD/DO. When a DNP introduces himself/herself as "Doctor" the patient is led to believe they are an MD/DO, when a DNP has no more privileges than a normal NP. Likewise, a nurse with a PhD has no larger a scope of practice than an RN with an associate degree. A nurse with a PhD who introduces himself or herself as "Doctor" to a patient deceives the paitent into believing that can do things that they are not legally allowed to do.

Now in an academic setting (lecture, conference, meeting, etc) I will call a PhD in nursing a "Doctor." The same goes for a DNP, DPT, PharmD, JD, etc. In the academic realm there are many types of doctorates given out, and in those setting you are acknowledging the work that the person did to acheive that degree (the discussion of online PhD factories for all fields can be discussed later).
 

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It's always amusing when someone prefaces with "I'm not ______ , but..." then follows it up with a completely contradictory statement.

The thing about titles is that the only people that really care about them are the people that have them. Despite introducing yourself as a medical student, how many times did you have a patient refer to you as a doctor? How many times have you seen a female physician introduce themselves as Dr. so and so and the patient still thinks they are a nurse?

You're ranting about an assumed sense of entitlement among non-physicians, but your average intern initially doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground, yet they all have MD or DO behind their name. Titles or lack there of don't necessarily correlate to ability. I've seen numerous NPs and PAs that are more knowledgeable and provide better patient care than many residents do. I've seen a junior nurse bring to the attention something that a well-respected attending (and the rest of the team for that matter) missed. These are people you're working with, not competing against.

Since when did the point of working hard and going to medical school become simply for the validation of our peers and the people we treat? If you're seriously that concerned about what you or other people are called or what your salary is compared to them then it's probably time to chill the hell out and re-evaluate.

I've also met numerous NPs and PAs that were outshined by medical students. NPs have a very, very, very basic understanding of pathophysiology, anatomy, pharmacology, and other basic sciences. They have a perceived competency by medical students because the have learned to use algorithms from their supervising physician. If you were to take an NP that was an "expert" at cardiology (because they always know what to do with bread and butter post-MI patients) and move them over to a neurology service they are more clueless than a third year medical student on the first day of rotations.

The MD/DO degree acknowledges a certain level of competency and knowledge across the full spectrum of medical science. That's something that is next to impossible to attain without going through the full four years of medical school. Here's a little-known fact: Someone can become an NP after completing a two-year associate's in nursing (and passage of the NCLEX for RN status) and a two-year online NP degree. You can also get a BS or BA in any field (art education, business, home economics, liberal arts, etc) and then enter into a 2 year NP program. Mid-levels play a vital role in our healthcare system, but let's not equate mid-levels to MDs.
 

AmoryBlaine

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It's always amusing when someone prefaces with "I'm not ______ , but..." then follows it up with a completely contradictory statement.

The thing about titles is that the only people that really care about them are the people that have them. Despite introducing yourself as a medical student, how many times did you have a patient refer to you as a doctor? How many times have you seen a female physician introduce themselves as Dr. so and so and the patient still thinks they are a nurse?

You're ranting about an assumed sense of entitlement among non-physicians, but your average intern initially doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground, yet they all have MD or DO behind their name. Titles or lack there of don't necessarily correlate to ability. I've seen numerous NPs and PAs that are more knowledgeable and provide better patient care than many residents do. I've seen a junior nurse bring to the attention something that a well-respected attending (and the rest of the team for that matter) missed. These are people you're working with, not competing against.

Since when did the point of working hard and going to medical school become simply for the validation of our peers and the people we treat? If you're seriously that concerned about what you or other people are called or what your salary is compared to them then it's probably time to chill the hell out and re-evaluate.

A myth that we should stop perpetuating. Anyone who gets an MD knows a whole lot. Most of the "dumb ole intern" stuff comes a) when the intern doesn't know how to navigate some silly hospital system issue or b) when the intern is presented with an extremely complex (i.e. MICU) patient.

At least in my program, I don't see interns (in any specialty) bumbling around like lost children.

As for the "Doctor" thing, eh. If an NP wants to get an online PhD or however it works fine. Everyone is always going to know who the MD/DOs are at the end of the day. If ancillary staff want to muddy the waters and make things more confusing for patient care then that is, I suppose, their perogative.
 
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Definitely. PharmD's have a Ph.D. in something...they are "learned" as the old-school descripter goes. No one has ever been able to explain to me what a chiropractor has really learned about or knows.

the old school PharmDs really do deserve the moniker "Doctor."
 

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Definitely. PharmD's have a Ph.D. in something...they are "learned" as the old-school descripter goes. No one has ever been able to explain to me what a chiropractor has really learned about or knows.

The Pharm.D. is a professional doctorate like the MD - there are Pharm.D./Ph.D. programs but there isn't much research in most Pharm.D. curriculums.

That being said, outside of academia I don't really see where pharmacists need to be called "doctor". I started a thread a couple weeks ago in the pharmacy forum noting that I may be "part of the problem" as I was mocking a non-preceptor Pharm.D. I encountered on rotation who insisted she be addressed as Doctor.
 

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Interesting thread. Only on SDN do I hear physicians griping about things like who gets called doctor, who gets to wear white coats and all other things accessory to working in medicine. I wonder if this is a regional thing, or if it's an SDN thing.

I can't help but have a hunch that if you graphed these things, MD vs. DO debates, and all the rest, that you'd find it interest/concern/fear were inversely proportional to how far the person is from med school. Or maybe its just age? I dunno.
 

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Interesting thread. Only on SDN do I hear physicians griping about things like who gets called doctor, who gets to wear white coats and all other things accessory to working in medicine. I wonder if this is a regional thing, or if it's an SDN thing.

I can't help but have a hunch that if you graphed these things, MD vs. DO debates, and all the rest, that you'd find it interest/concern/fear were inversely proportional to how far the person is from med school. Or maybe its just age? I dunno.

With all due respect you're a medical student (based on your profile) and have yet to complete your training. When you put in the full 8 years of school and 3-4 years of residency then you will be able to provide an informed position. After spending 11 years in training, I agree that people who spend 2-4 years training for a job should not be able to refer to themselves as "doctor". It's definitely something that's earned, and patients respect this title. When it's watered down by those with lesser training it tends to lose some of its meaning.
 

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I advocate for us all to wear top hats, speedos, and call ourselves Medicalboopies I think that will fix the problem of Doctor-Siphoning.
Seriously though this is an awesome thread. I have no problem with the white coats and stealing of title, I just want them all to have to get up in the middle of the night every 15 minutes to talk to people about tylenol and poop. Oh yeah and also help pay my $250,000 of debt thats all I ask. I will even help iron the white coat for them.
 

GeneralVeers

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I advocate for us all to wear top hats, speedos, and call ourselves Medicalboopies I think that will fix the problem of Doctor-Siphoning.
Seriously though this is an awesome thread. I have no problem with the white coats and stealing of title, I just want them all to have to get up in the middle of the night every 15 minutes to talk to people about tylenol and poop. Oh yeah and also help pay my $250,000 of debt thats all I ask. I will even help iron the white coat for them.

What about taking on a share of my malpractice fees?
 

PokeHer

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For those that have such an issue with this, when you were in medical school did you introduce yourself as "medical student" or "student doctor?" How do you feel when a medical student refers to themself as "student doctor?"
 

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In a clinical setting MDs, DOs, and DMDs/DDSs (with the caveat that they tell the patient they are a dentist) are the only people who should introduce themselves as "Doctor."

I'm obviously playing Devil's Advocate here as I've been doing in the rest of the thread, but when you see a patient with tooth pain do you tell them you are not a dentist after introducing yourself as "doctor?"
 

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I'm obviously playing Devil's Advocate here as I've been doing in the rest of the thread, but when you see a patient with tooth pain do you tell them you are not a dentist after introducing yourself as "doctor?"

I introduced myself as "Student Doctor Wilco" or just "Wilco" as an MS. Nowadays I either say, "My name's Wilco, and I'll be the doctor taking care of you today." Or, "Hi I'm Dr. Wilco". I don't give it much thought either way. I don't derive much pleasure from being called doctor, and with my new appointment in a school of medicine I have not taken to calling myself Professor Doctor Wilco. I just don't care. However, I think it's dishonest to call onself any title when it's clear that such a title is more likely than not to be misinterpreted. Would it be appropriate for a police Leiutenant to walk into a barracks and refer to herself as Leiutenant? No. In fact, it's probably illegal to do so. I don't care if my position is made less impressive by other's who "play a doctor at work", but I do care if people are intentionally misled.

So yes, when I treat dental problems I always make sure to explain to the patient that they have a dental problem & need to see a real dentist for definitive treatment - it doesn't hurt my ego one bit.
 

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I'm obviously playing Devil's Advocate here as I've been doing in the rest of the thread, but when you see a patient with tooth pain do you tell them you are not a dentist after introducing yourself as "doctor?"

I sure do! I say that I am NOT a dentist, and they should go see a DENTIST for their toothache since there is nothing I can do for them in the ER (other than give them what they want to cure their vicodinemia)
 
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For those that have such an issue with this, when you were in medical school did you introduce yourself as "medical student" or "student doctor?" How do you feel when a medical student refers to themself as "student doctor?"

About the same as when I hear a nursing student call themselve a "student nurse". It just about sums up their role and education level.:cool:
 

EC3

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For those that have such an issue with this, when you were in medical school did you introduce yourself as "medical student" or "student doctor?" How do you feel when a medical student refers to themself as "student doctor?"
Either is appropriate.

And I think some of you are misunderstanding. It's not just being called "doctor" that is the issue. It's the mindset of these individuals that they are so driven to obtain a degree just so that they can earn a title. They are degree seekers for the sake of superficial recognition and then use their titles to masquerade around playing doctor, often making a big deal of the fact that they're a "doctor."

I'm an actual MD and I don't make a big deal about people calling me doctor. I think it's ridiculous that some nurse with internet access who's taken a few extra classes finds it necessary to require others to call him/her doctor.
 

EC3

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I'm obviously playing Devil's Advocate here as I've been doing in the rest of the thread, but when you see a patient with tooth pain do you tell them you are not a dentist after introducing yourself as "doctor?"
If I was moonlighting in a dentist's office, then yes. Otherwise, your scenario doesn't make much sense. When someone comes to the ER or their doctor's office, the expectation is that they're going to see a physician.
 

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I think it's silly that we care so much. Looking at the situation from the bottom of the totem pole back in my EMS days, it seemed like everyone wanted to be a doctor because of the perks, ie: the doctors could get away with treating everyone else like crap and patients are less likely to question you. Not saying every doctor is a jerk, obviously, but it's pretty easy to see how you fix many of your problems by calling yourself a "doctor."

I offer a couple of anecdotes:
1.) I'm a medical student on sub-i in PICU. I had a patient that needed an art line and when we went in to tell her, the patient's grandmother said, "Well, it better not be the medical student, I want someone who knows what they're doing." So, the resident on the service asked if he could do it instead, of course they said he could since he was a "doctor". Funny thing about it: I've done 4 (though only 4) and this was the resident's first...Sometime's I just love irony.

2.) On my EM sub-i we had a lady come in and brought with her 2 grocery bags full of 21 herbal supplements that had been recommended to her by her chiropracter. No one could believe that this lady would be so crazy as to take this many meds and especially ones given by a chiropracter and it was mentioned by several that this "doctor" should be sued for malpractice for harming this lady financially and physically by instructing her to take all these "meds". This lady and her quack doc were the laughing stock of the ED staff. Sadly, I was right there with them thinking how ridiculous this lady was to ever consider taking this many meds. 2 patients later, I had a lady come in on 24, all prescribed by M.D.'s and not a person thought this was at all out of line. I was humbled.

I'm not trying to be pretentious or anything. I'm just echoing the sentiment of others on this forum in saying we really need to take a serious look at our own motivations and practice patterns before we judge others.
 

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I'm a medical student on sub-i in PICU. I had a patient that needed an art line and when we went in to tell her, the patient's grandmother said, "Well, it better not be the medical student, I want someone who knows what they're doing." So, the resident on the service asked if he could do it instead, of course they said he could since he was a "doctor". Funny thing about it: I've done 4 (though only 4) and this was the resident's first...Sometime's I just love irony.

I would argue this worked out best for education purposes since the resident should have already done a bunch during his/her intern year. However, pediatric art lines are pretty hard to come by. I've only done two during residency and none during medical school or attendinghood. Adult arterial lines, however, occur frequently. I'm the only one in my group who places them in the ED. I love doing them. Something about sliding that wire from an Arrow kit. Absolutely love 'em. Probably done 75+ during residency and attendinghood (when people couldn't get them during residency, they usually came to me).
 

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With all due respect you're a medical student (based on your profile) and have yet to complete your training. When you put in the full 8 years of school and 3-4 years of residency then you will be able to provide an informed position.
Valid point. Which is why I ask again if there are any attendings on this thread over the age of 35 who find that things like white coats, titles, and MD vs DO still really chap their hide.

Out of curiosity, how long out of residency are you? Curious if these feelings persist many years after residency.

This whole business just feels more like an age thing than anything. I've heard long conversations about white coats before, but it always seems to come from med students/residents/young attendings. I just think that at a certain age, it's kind of hard to give a $hit about the small stuff.
 
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notdeadyet

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After spending 11 years in training, I agree that people who spend 2-4 years training for a job should not be able to refer to themselves as "doctor".
By 11 years, I'm guessing you're referring to 4yr UG + 4yr MS + 3yr Residency, yes? Who is on the 2 yr track? For Nurse PhD's, the one's I've talked to on that path did 4yr BSN + 2yr MSN before going the PhD route (don't know how long that is). Who gets a PhX title two years out of high school? That does suspicious.

Again, might just be me and might be the fact that I came to medicine late. Maybe if I went straight through to medicine and didn't work in any other field, titles/initials/coats might mean more. Everyone has their own priorities. It's all good.
 

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Valid point. Which is why I ask again if there are any attendings on this thread over the age of 35 who find that things like white coats, titles, and MD vs DO still really chap their hide.
I'm in that group. I don't care about any of that stuff except there are two issues I see that are problematic:

-I think it's wrong for midlevels to get some degree like "doctor of nurse practice" or whatever, then go out and present themselves to the public as physicians. That's just wrong, fraudulant and it's a way to try to create a physician equivalent out of work experience.

-Second I hate to see people who really want to be docs going these other pathways to what they think will be physician equivalents when they should really just go to med school. I know a guy who is absolutely bright enough to get into and through med school. But because he's a little older he's afraid of the time committment. So he went to nursing school, got a job and is now doing the prereq time to get into CRNA school. Yes he'll have shaved off about 2-3 years and he'll have less debt but he really wants to be a doc. He will certainly be unhappy with CRNA and I'll betcha he becomes one of those guys who loudly advocates for CRNA automony and recognition as equal to the anthesiologists. He really should have just sucked it up and gone to med school.
 

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Again, might just be me and might be the fact that I came to medicine late. Maybe if I went straight through to medicine and didn't work in any other field, titles/initials/coats might mean more. Everyone has their own priorities. It's all good.

Same thing.... mostly.

As we've seen on this thread alone, it depends on the individual, and what they symbolically put on it. For us medicine types we are told from day-one, at our white coat ceremony (yup! we have a Ceremony for that because its so symbolically important to us), that the three (four if you count professor) lengths mean something - that they arent just to keep sputum off your pants. Nurse managers/supervisors might just think... well, I need to look more like the 'in charge' type. We, go through a lot to get the long coats, they dont (arguably) so it might bother us, while they dont think much of it. Its a matter of perspective, both of what the symbols mean, and how hard you think you've worked to get where you are.

The second thing, is about being called doctor. Thats an individual thing as well. (This reminds me of a scene from Patch Adams, where the girlfriend tells Patch that she wants to be called doctor.) I dont know what nurses, DPTs PharmDs, etc etc are thinking, and Im sure each thinks as an individual. Maybe for some of them, they want to be recognized for having an advanced degree, for not being a garden variety floor nurse, or being some kind of a doctor...
I personally dont care what you call me, and I think its silly to intoduce myself as Medical Student Jolly, or Student Doctor Jolly. "My name is Howell, and Im a med student..." is fine by me. But, from having lived a little before medical school, I call all MD/DOs 'doctor' whether they introduce themselves as such, or not. I also call older doctors "sir"... but thats just me, and its a matter of respect.

I have a friend who's a research immunologist for a pharm company... he goes to a an acupuncture-ologist/chinese herbalist once in a while. She had a doctorate in traditional chinese medicine from China, which is pretty useless here. But she did what she could in the US and got an accupuncture licence, etc etc. He calls her "doctor" out of respect, though hes pretty aware that she isnt, and he is.

And even from the perspective of older docs, Ive had a few of attendings who actually will call their students 'doctor' when they prove themselves, which i'll admit does give one a warm fuzzy feeling.
 

howelljolly

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I'm in that group. -Second I hate to see people who really want to be docs going these other pathways to what they think will be physician equivalents when they should really just go to med school. I know a guy who is absolutely bright enough to get into and through med school. But because he's a little older he's afraid of the time committment. So he went to nursing school, got a job and is now doing the prereq time to get into CRNA school. Yes he'll have shaved off about 2-3 years and he'll have less debt but he really wants to be a doc. He will certainly be unhappy with CRNA and I'll betcha he becomes one of those guys who loudly advocates for CRNA automony and recognition as equal to the anthesiologists. He really should have just sucked it up and gone to med school.

I knew an older paramedic, a brilliant guy who became faculty at a medical school, but never made it in as a med student (even after three rounds of apps). Its unfortunate that these types of people never get an opportunity, regardless of what they do.
 
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Tiger26

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For those that have such an issue with this, when you were in medical school did you introduce yourself as "medical student" or "student doctor?" How do you feel when a medical student refers to themself as "student doctor?"

I always introduce myself as the medical student since to me it just feels kinda fradulent to say "student doctor"--I know that it's an acceptable term, just I don't feel comfortable with it.

The thing is, though, that even when I graduate, I could care less about getting some high by introducing myself as doctor Tiger. The same thing happened when I became an Army officer after starting out as enlisted. Saying 2LT Tiger just didn't feel that right, but I went with it because that's what you do. The bigger issue is that you have to respect the office for which I was chosen. This isn't for me, but it's for structural organization so everything works as was intended. As some nurse phd who wants to go around introducing him/herself as "doctor nurse," I don't really give a damn about that person disrespecting me, but I'm appalled at the flippancy for which they disregard the office of "Doctor." Patients look to that as the highest level of medical intellect and ability for decisions on which their willing to base their lives and livelihoods. Without a clear demarcation, the situation has the potential for deadly outcomes . . . .
 

EMmedic

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I always introduce myself as the medical student since to me it just feels kinda fradulent to say "student doctor"--I know that it's an acceptable term, just I don't feel comfortable with it.

Using "student doctor" is frowned upon heavily where I go to medical school. The first week of MSI we had this long lecture about ethics and morals etc etc and they made it very clear that it was not ok for us to call ourselves student doctor. They actually told us we should correct an attending that introduces us as such and tell the patient we are a medical student. The administration said it is misleading and patients only hear the "doctor" part. Or they get confused and think you are a doctor but are still in training (like a resident I guess).
 

GeneralVeers

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Using "student doctor" is frowned upon heavily where I go to medical school. The first week of MSI we had this long lecture about ethics and morals etc etc and they made it very clear that it was not ok for us to call ourselves student doctor. They actually told us we should correct an attending that introduces us as such and tell the patient we are a medical student. The administration said it is misleading and patients only hear the "doctor" part. Or they get confused and think you are a doctor but are still in training (like a resident I guess).

I always told patients I was a student or medical student. Still, a medical student on clinical rotations has more justification to call themselves "doctor" than any NP, PA, or chiropractor.
 

Arch Guillotti

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He will certainly be unhappy with CRNA and I'll betcha he becomes one of those guys who loudly advocates for CRNA automony and recognition as equal to the anthesiologists. He really should have just sucked it up and gone to med school.

Have him come and visit the anesthesiology forum, he'll fit in perfectly:rolleyes:
 

NEATOMD

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As long as my wife refers to me as Dr NEATO, I don't really care what anyone else says :p: :smuggrin:
 
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deleted109597

I don't see why any school would get upset with "student doctor". I could see "doctor" only, but still.
You are a student doctor. The public has a misguided perception of what medicine is, and if you tell them medical student, you get all manner of stories about how their family member is in nursing school, PT school, podiatry school, etc. Student doctor stops all that.
 
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deleted65604

I agree with all that has been said above. Only people as intelligent as me have the right to be called doctor. You know that the rest of the world wishes they had as much prestige, power, and earning potential as us. We should band together as the only true band of people qualified to dictate life and death. Down with the lowly groveling peons!
 

WilcoWorld

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So, "Student doctor" is unethical, eh? I guess we better shut this site down then.

T'was nice knowin' ya
 

GoBuckeyes913

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I don't see why any school would get upset with "student doctor". I could see "doctor" only, but still.
You are a student doctor. The public has a misguided perception of what medicine is, and if you tell them medical student, you get all manner of stories about how their family member is in nursing school, PT school, podiatry school, etc. Student doctor stops all that.
Sadly, for me, it stops nothing. . . and I still get referred to as "nurse".
Other's have referred to me as "secretary", "nursing student", "ultrasound tech", and one even thought I was "that gal from Project Runway" (can't be that bad I suppose). :confused: I don't even bother correcting anyone, it's just not worth the time and effort.
 

Jeff698

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Valid point. Which is why I ask again if there are any attendings on this thread over the age of 35 who find that things like white coats, titles, and MD vs DO still really chap their hide.

Sadly, I'm 41 (sniff, sniff) and an attending several months out of residency. It still chaps my hide that non-physicians try to insinuate, directly or indirectly, that they're physicians by either using the title 'doctor' or wearing the long white doctor coat.

After 8 years of school, residency and now practice, I've been worn down by seeing this behavior so much. While it still irks me, I've realized that banging my head against the wall does nothing but give me a headache so I've quit mentioning it. It still irks me, though.

BTW, I don't wear a white coat at work. I do, however, introduce myself as Doctor Jeff698 to patients; plain old Jeff698 to all other non-patients.

As to the dentist thing... hell yeah, I make it as clear as I possibly can, repeatedly, that I'm not a dentist, ie the practitioner they should have gone to see. As DocB said, I'm just the hypovicodinemia-ist.

Take care,
Jeff
 

logos

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Using "student doctor" is frowned upon heavily where I go to medical school. The first week of MSI we had this long lecture about ethics and morals etc etc and they made it very clear that it was not ok for us to call ourselves student doctor. They actually told us we should correct an attending that introduces us as such and tell the patient we are a medical student. The administration said it is misleading and patients only hear the "doctor" part. Or they get confused and think you are a doctor but are still in training (like a resident I guess).

Thats funny because here we got the exact opposite speech about how introducing ourselves as a medical student was insufficient and confused the patients and we were only to use "student doctor". Not using the term on our OSCE (clinical tests with actor patients) were would told would result in a deduction of points. I'm at a large medical center and apparently there was some issue in the past with the patients confusing "medical student" with whatever the allied health and nursing students were introducing themselves as. This was the rationale given to us for requiring "student doctor" as the proper introduction.

Personally I find the term a bit awkward, if technically correct, and don't use it when in contact with patients. I do however make sure to always use it in our clinical video recorded "OSCE" tests.
 

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For what its worth, at Mayo, everyone wears the same length of white coat (medical students, attendings, residents, pharmacy students, pharmDs, NPs, PAs, etc). This breeds a sense of equality, which I think is quite nice actually. Obviously the responsibility levels vary, but that goes far beyond the fabric of your uniform. In our ER, the higher up the individual the most often that a first name is sufficient, and rarely is the title necessary. "Hi I'm Thyme, what brings you to the ER today?" Although I understand that we all worked very long and hard to become physicians, its not for the title; we worked that hard and long for the patients and the responsibility. The title is simply the word. If you are in the field for respect, I understand, but sometimes worrying about such things is related to an intrinsic undervaluing of one's self. This is obviously only opinion and from a resident, but if you take charge of, and inspire your team to be better each day, then your first name will carry all the respect and recognition that you'll ever need.
 
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kiterunner

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When I get my cavities filled, I call my dentist, doctor. When I take my dog/cat in for a check up, I call the vet, doctor. When in the lecture from college to med school, I called my professors, doctor.

I don't expect anyone but my patients to call me doctor and find it annoying when I go see the dentist or vet if they insist on calling me doctor likewise. Everyone from the techs, secs, etc I tell to just call me kite.

But in the the medical setting, a doctor is one that has completed medical education. Simple.

I am not an a-hole. I do not have a superiority complex. But it is misleading to the patient when midlevels call themself doctor even if they have an academic doctorate.

And ultimately in the medical setting, the buck stops with the doctor, the actual one that had medical education. So you might be the greatest mid level, pharmacist, doctor of ultrasonography technicians, etc, etc but I have the ultimate responsibility and malpractice for the patient.
 

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I understand the feeling of all you physicians out there when it comes to the use of the title "doctor" and I agree that most Americans connect the term "doctor" with physician. However, I do think that there are some other additional considerations. For example, how do you feel about an individual that has earned the MD/DO degree but does not possess a license to practice medicine, ie they earned their MD abroad or never completed an internship for reasons of pregnancy or marraige? Would they be considered "doctors" in a clinical setting because they have earned a medical degree yet they have no right to practice medicine? Furthermore, there are many PhDs that hold academic appointments in various clinical departmnets. In their respective departments, would they be considered "professor" as opposed to "doctor" in your eyes? In such a case, it is HIGHLY unlikely, if not impossible, that an individual that earned an online PhD would obtain such an academic appointment. PhDs in academia usually spend 5-7 years eearning the PhD degree and then an additional 2-6 years in post doctoral appointments. Considering the mean of these two time frames, the time spent in training for a PhD with his/her sights set on academia rivals the time spent in training for a surgeon. After that kind of time commitment, I think that these PhD have earned the title of "doctor". While I do think that it is quite rediculous that the term "doctor" is conveyed upon individuals that earn their "PhD" from unacrredited online "universities" aka diploma mills, I think that anybody that has earned a doctoral degree (MD, DO, PhD, DPT, DC, JD, DTh, ND, etc.) from an accredited university has every right to be called "doctor", no matter how rediculous that may seem. It is a point of respect in my mind.
 

KD1655

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Apollyon, thank you for correcting my spelling error!

Now, perhaps we can act like adults, have a serious discussion, and leave the spelling errors for the grammer school teachers. I am indeed interested in hearing your opinions regarding the issue at hand and not necessarily my lack of the use of the spell check!
 

ccfccp

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I think part of the issue was ressurecting a topic that was over a year old. This is also the kind of topic that always starts flame wars. However, I'm bored and sitting here waiting to be paged, so I guess I'll bite. :)

I remember when this topic was discussed and I think most people's point was that when the term "doctor" is used in a clinical setting, people assume that it is referring to an MD/DO (a practicing MD/DO...)

I called my profs Dr. Whatever in undergrad, and I called my PIs Dr. Whatever when doing research, but in an academic setting that's not going to confuse anyone. If anything that is more correct as the latin root of "doctor" is "doctere" or "to teach." I've never heard a pharm D called "doctor" in the hospital even though they are invaluable in the healthcare team. The concerns that most people had was with situations like DNPs and DPTs. In the end, unless the law has changed, these practitioners still need to report to someone. DPTs in the end, are still physical therapists. They're extremely good (most of them) at what they do, but they have an extremely limited scope of practice. The numbers on DNPs (as I remember them) are even scarier (for patients) because they want to be called "doctor" and to be able to practice independently. As a DNP you require 700 clinical hours. An average MD/DO will end up with between 12000-20000 clinical hours in residency, not including medical school or subsequent practice. Walking into a patients room and declaring yourself "doctor" typically means to patients the latter. Would you want someone who has the eqivalent training of a bad couple of months of residency independently practicing on your parents?

That being said, I've worked closely with a number of PAs and NPs and most are very good. The terminology, however, will confuse patients and in a clinical setting I think it's a bad idea.
 
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