When is a DNP a Doctor?

Discussion in 'Topics in Healthcare' started by IknowImnotadoctor, May 22, 2018.

?

When should a DNP call themselves Doctor?

  1. Always; they hold an earned Doctorate

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  2. Only after clarifying they are a Nurse Practitioner at the bedside

    1 vote(s)
    3.6%
  3. Only away from the bedside in administrative or educational roles

    18 vote(s)
    64.3%
  4. Never; they aren't Doctors

    8 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. IknowImnotadoctor

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    I'm curious what this forum has to say. I'm mostly interesting in hearing well thought out viewpoints to support your vote. I have an open mind on this subject, please convince me.
     
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  3. Melchizedek

    Melchizedek Pilgrim Fulfilling a Personal Legend
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    They ARE doctors. They ARE NOT physicians.
     
  4. RangerBob

    Physician

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    As pointed out above, they are doctors. Most of the NPs I worked with in residency/fellowship were great and did not ever try to mislead patients (they introduced themselves as "RangerBob, nurse practitioner"). But they did earn their title. (I'm sure others will argue about how "easy" the degree is, and while I'm sure some DNP programs are easy, some aren't, and it's not like ours is the most difficult doctorate anyway)

    People only think of physicians when the word "doctor" is used because for the most part, we are the only doctors the general population really interacted with throughout history. Your average farmer had no reason to speak with a doctor of theology, philosophy (the first doctorates), or whatever. Now there are many more doctorates and it's more common to run into a doctor of xxx.

    Still, I agree it adds to confusion in a healthcare setting. But the truth is most patients think med students are doctors and residents are med students (and that most female physicians are nurses, especially at the VA), so even having large "Physician" ID tags and clearly introducing yourself really doesn't make that big a difference. I believe posting pictures with names at the bedside helps though--I think that should be standard in every hospital to be honest.
     
  5. VA Hopeful Dr

    VA Hopeful Dr Senior Member
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    Yep.

    PTs and Pharmacists are doctors now. But I've yet to meet one of either that introduces themselves as such.

    Academically speaking, all of these people are doctors. With patients, none of them should be introducing themselves as Doctor.
     
  6. atomheart

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    This is a really bad survey. Like written by someone who doesn't understand how nursing students think.

    First of all the 'threat' of nurses that call themselves doctors is bullcrap. I have yet to meet a DNP bold enough to call themself a doctor in front of patient and physician. Sure I've read stories here about them, but I haven't talked to a single DNP or nursing practitioner student who thinks they're a doctor. I have instead talked to several who are intimidated, ashamed, or afraid of the term to the point of talking down about being called a doctor. Even if they were to be called doctor, they know in their minds they're just not: "IknowImnotadoctor". Cognitive dissonance kicks in. These nurses don't want to be known as 'doctor', but instead for everyone in the medical field to be "equal" and to instead be a "provider" of services. The number of nurses I've seen using this term FAR outnumber those who want to be called doctor.

    Second, they are afraid of the cultural significance of the term, but none of these students think the term "doctor" means anything. That's that's the first challenge I offer them: tell me what a doctor--what a physician--is. None of them can tell me what function a physician performs. They believe that a nursing practitioner is interchangeable with a physician assistant which is interchangeable with a physician. Anyone can learn any of the clinical skills regardless of education. The intention of the term "provider" is to enshroud the origin of one's credentials to the point that a patient treats everyone the same. They would rather the term "doctor" leave medicine completely.

    The chip on the shoulder of any given DNP student is large enough to alter the meaning of "doctor" and "nurse".
     
    #5 atomheart, Jun 12, 2018 at 4:18 PM
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018 at 4:54 PM
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  7. IknowImnotadoctor

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    I know how nursing students think. This survey wasn’t created for them, it was created for SDN. Doctor means teacher. Doctor does not mean physician.
     
  8. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    I agree with you on the pharmacists and PTs.

    But in the interest of intellectual honesty and consistency, where do we draw the line? How do we draw the line? I don't have a problem introducing a clinical psychologist, who has a PhD, as "Dr. Psychologist." I don't have a problem addressing a dentist, who has a DMD or a DDS, as "Dr. Dentist," either. So I'm not really sure why I have a mental block against addressing a PT, who has a PhD, as "Dr. Physical Therapist" or a DNP as "Doctor Nurse Practitioner." Is it the whole "who has final responsibility for the patient" thing? Probably, but is that too arbitrary a line?
     
  9. VA Hopeful Dr

    VA Hopeful Dr Senior Member
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    Because they are new doctor level degrees.

    Clinical psychology has always been doctor, same with dentistry, optometry, podiatry.

    Everyone else is a Johnny-come-lately.

    Edit: PTs don't have PhDs, they have DPTs
     
  10. Stagg737

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    If this is legitimately true it makes me wonder how little clinical experience you have, as I've encountered numerous NPs who insist on being called "Doctor" and who are appalled when others don't recognize that.

    Imo the setting matters. I fully respect PhDs, pharmD's, DPTs, etc as individuals who have earned the title doctor. However, in a hospital or clinical setting the term "doctor" has a specific connotation which is basically equivalent to physician. We can argue that such implications of the vernacular are inappropriate, but these are the expectations of the public. Given this norm, I don't find it appropriate to refer to DPTs, PharmD's, etc as "doctor" in the presence of patients or even the general public within the walls of a hospital or clinic even if I do believe they have earned that title.
     
  11. Goro

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    Be prepared for the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who believe specific terms are meant only for God's True Anointed.

    A professor of economics with a PhD is entitled to be called "doctor". But obviously, s/he is not a physician. Ahhh, Melchizedek beat me to it!
     
  12. VA Hopeful Dr

    VA Hopeful Dr Senior Member
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    This thread has actually been quite civil. Amazing what not being in Allo does for a discussion
     
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  13. IknowImnotadoctor

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    Currently the vote is 11 to 7 concerning whether someone who earned a doctorate is even a doctor. That meets my expectation from what SDN would say.
    Yes, the people who have posted have been very civil. I would like to hear the arguments from the people who don’t think DNP’s are doctors in any sense of the word or in any environment.
     
  14. Goro

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::woot::woot::woot::woot::woot::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::=|:-):
     
  15. VA Hopeful Dr

    VA Hopeful Dr Senior Member
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    No, you wouldn't. You've seen them in some of the more nasty threads you've been caught in before.
     
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  17. Cryc_to_the_point

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    My line is based on who is in the house of medicine in the medical setting.
     
  18. GypsyHummus

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    I agree. It can be confusing. Should PT be called doctors in a clinical setting? What if PAs have to get a doctoral degree in the next couple years? Will they be able to supervise themselves?

    Final responsibility for patient can mean a number of things. PTs basically have final responsibility in treatment plans. Is it people who can prescribe medication?

     
  19. It's lupus!

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    Just a thought. A doctoral degree is a terminal degree. Therefore NP, PA, DPT, PharmD and the like are just receiving a degree indicating they have reached the terminus of their education for their role. While verbage can be an issue in terms of the general public I do find it strange that there are people concerned with the title. Social change is slow, but it might be time to define ourselves (not me yet) as physicians and eventually that will be the expectation. The use of doctor is extending to more whether anyone likes it or not. Might as well get comfortable, yeah?

    Sent from my Pixel XL using SDN mobile
     
  20. QueenJames

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    My high school sub had a PhD. So we called her "Dr."

    My micro professor also had a PhD. So we called him "Dr." too.

    They can be called "doctor" all they want.

    They will never be "PHYSICIANS".
     
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  21. GypsyHummus

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    Then that begs the question, what constitutes a physician? People that diagnose and treat illness independently? Optometrists, Dentists, podiatrists, NPs do that.

    Is it the standardized clinical testing that makes a physician a physician? If so, there are DOs that wouldn’t be considered “physicians” as they have taken the COMLEX and not USMLE.

    I think eventually, the goal post will be moved.

     

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