Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What kind of doctor?

So who gets to be called doctor? When I hear the term doctor in a medical setting, they damn well better be a medical doctor or psychologist - someone who can make me better. I know there are lots of others in the medical world with a doctorate but they aren't medical doctors. These include nurses, physical therapists, and more.

I find the use of the honorific doctor to be overused. I think professors can use it or other people who promote education, learning, science or things like that. One of my aunts and two of my uncles were professors. We never called them doctor.

But in the business world it can be over used. I worked for a scientific instrumentation company in the 1990's. It was full of people with doctorates. Only a few bothered to use their title. Some of them put their degrees on their business cards. Most of them could have cared less. There were a few (egotistical) co-workers who were royal pains as a result. One of them was a jerk. Another one had two doctorates and a law degree. We called him doctor-doctor-lawyer-a*****e because he was such a pain in the rear end. On a slightly more humorous note, one coworker with a doctorate in physics said to me he used to be cool even though he had his PhD. I offered him tape for his glasses. And according to HR, the more education people had the less they could understand the health insurance policy. HR had to explain it to their spouses. And their lack of common sense could be astounding compared to their level of education. But they were nice people who were very smart.

In the medical world, I know there are lots of people who are required by their positions to have their doctorate but that doesn't mean I am going to call them Dr. Their job title is not a doctor of anything. Their job title is nurse, physical therapist or whatever.

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