Can we have the Dr.(M.D) vs Dr.(PhD) debate, please?

Tandem21's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 687

We've all been to the doctor and without question call them 'doctor' and rightfully so. Now, what about those who hold PhDs? We've all met numerous PhDs, and most of them outside of academia, (that I have met at least) would never want anyone to call them Dr. That being said I feel like we're seeing more of this "ehemm... it's doctor" stuff as of late... Twitter and LinkedIn people saying "Dr. Firstname Lastname" with a PhD in organizational leadership or something....

What are your thoughts?

Comments (59)

Oct 2, 2019

I think phd's deserve to be called dr

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Oct 2, 2019

Agreed. If you have a PhD you are a "Dr." but not a "Doctor" in written language. In spoken language you are called "Dr. [Name]" but not just "[Name] is a Doctor."

Even easier on the old name cards/email signature is if Mrs. PhD is called "Dr. Laura, PhD." and Mr. MD is called "Dr. Phil, M.D."

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Oct 3, 2019
Tricky Triangles:

I think phd's deserve to be called dr

Nope. I wasn't in the room when some people got together and decided here, A, is what we deem an accredited institution; and here, B, is what we deem a respectable field of study; and here, C, is a level of contribution which if you attain in said field, we start to acknowledge this tremendous accomplishment in any context you present yourself in by calling you, here, D, for Doctor.

Preposterous. Pound sand, academic. Your name is Dave and you are here for an oil change.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/

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Oct 8, 2019
GoldenCinderblock:

Nope. I wasn't in the room when some people got together and decided here, A, is what we deem an accredited institution; and here, B, is what we deem a respectable field of study; and here, C, is a level of contribution which if you attain in said field, we start to acknowledge this tremendous accomplishment in any context you present yourself in by calling you, here, D, for Doctor.

Preposterous. Pound sand, academic. Your name is Dave and you are here for an oil change.

I don't understand. It's the same thing with a medical doctor, too? You don't get a say in which institutions give out degrees, you don't get a say in the curriculum, or the testing. So... why is one better than the other?

Getting a PhD is just as much of an achievement as an MD.

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Oct 3, 2019

U know what I'm sick of? Bullshit users giving bullshit monkey shits for valid opinions. Give me my fukking banana back, thank you very much

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Oct 4, 2019

Taking my banana back

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Oct 2, 2019

Very liberal college english prof had a phD in something gender studies related. I still remember getting bitched at my first time I used Mrs

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Funniest
Oct 3, 2019

I wonder if that was because you called her Mrs. instead of Dr. or because you ASSUMED her gender hahahahaha

thots and prayers

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Oct 4, 2019

+1 this was underrated.

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Oct 4, 2019
2and20:

I wonder if that was because you called her Mrs. instead of Dr. or because you ASSUMED her gender hahahahaha

Or assume she was married.

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Oct 5, 2019

Lol. Some of those fields really shouldn't be a legitimate academic field. Obviously a PhD in STEM vs PhD in Gender Studies (I refuse to recognize it a s a real field) are very different.

  • Psychology? Yes because you actually have to go through extensive phase of scientificallly robust experimentation.
  • Sociology/history/... ? Yes.
  • Literature? Maybe if you extensively study certain works and make robust and well thought contributions.
  • Gender Studies? Nope. All you do is bitch about how fucked up the system is and discuss ways to fight the big man.

Finance Data Science

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Oct 8, 2019
ExchangeGuy:

Lol. Some of those fields really shouldn't be a legitimate academic field. Obviously a PhD in STEM vs PhD in Gender Studies (I refuse to recognize it a s a real field) are very different.

  • Psychology? Yes because you actually have to go through extensive phase of scientificallly robust experimentation.
  • Sociology/history/... ? Yes.
  • Literature? Maybe if you extensively study certain works and make robust and well thought contributions.
  • Gender Studies? Nope. All you do is bitch about how fucked up the system is and discuss ways to fight the big man.

Who cares what it is? For all you know, the dissertation process is more rigorous in gender studies than it is in physics.

Attaining a PhD is a reflection on your expertise on a subject, not a referendum on the subject itself. Seems like a lot of butthurt monkeys who are pissed they'll never achieve that level of accomplishment want to shit on as many people as possible to make themselves feel better about working in an intellectually and ethically bankrupt industry.

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Most Helpful
Oct 2, 2019

People with PhDs and M.Ds spend several years of their lives developing an expertise in a specific subject. This "Dr." designation represents these years of hard work and expertise. It doesn't matter how meaningful their area of expertise is, they still know a lot about it and that should be recognized.

Yeah, it sucks when you have PhDs or even doctors who are adamant or a little too obsessed with being called Doctor but ultimately, this is just one way they are recognized for their hard work and years spent in their specific subject. Bankers aren't the only ones obsessed with prestige :)

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Oct 5, 2019

Agreed.

But I don't have to like the ones who insist. Humility is often responded by respect. Demand for recognition may be responded by disdain.

Finance Data Science

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Oct 2, 2019
Entrepreneur Hero:

People with PhDs and M.Ds spend several years of their lives developing an expertise in a specific subject. This "Dr." designation represents these years of hard work and expertise. It doesn't matter how meaningful their area of expertise is, they still know a lot about it and that should be recognized.

Yeah, it sucks when you have PhDs or even doctors who are adamant or a little too obsessed with being called Doctor but ultimately, this is just one way they are recognized for their hard work and years spent in their specific subject. Bankers aren't the only ones obsessed with prestige :)

I will say that many of us want acknowledgement of our accomplishments. Is a Ph.D. in Gender studies more prestigious than your CFA Charter? (short answer: NO)

I've met Econ/Finance doctors (and wrote alongside some of them who were amazing) and met other Ph. D.s who were jokes. There is no way to paint all this with a broad brush.

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Oct 3, 2019

I completely see your point. I'm just saying from an objective point of view that the PhD degree is a designation given to people who have achieved an expertise (in some sense) in a subject.

Would people respect a PhD in Finance over a PhD in Gender Studies? Most probably would because they see Finance as more meaningful to get a degree in than Gender Studies. Regardless though, the PhD in Gender Studies is deemed to know a whole ton about Gender Studies.

As for your note about some PhDs being jokes, of course there will always be some people who somehow are PhDs or even M.Ds who you will wonder how the heck they deserved to get that designation.

Again, totally get your point but regardless of what subject they are experts in, they are still experts and that PhD degree represents that.

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Oct 3, 2019
Entrepreneur Hero:

As for your note about some PhDs being jokes, of course there will always be some people who somehow are PhDs or even M.Ds who you will wonder how the heck they deserved to get that designation.

Again, totally get your point but regardless of what subject they are experts in, they are still experts and that PhD degree represents that.

I agree completely with the first statement quoted, but not with the second. (They sort of disagree) I had a theology professor in college who had mastered the 'holier than thou' part of the job, but not the theology part.

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Oct 4, 2019
Entrepreneur Hero:

I completely see your point. I'm just saying from an objective point of view that the PhD degree is a designation given to people who have achieved an expertise (in some sense) in a subject.

Would people respect a PhD in Finance over a PhD in Gender Studies? Most probably would because they see Finance as more meaningful to get a degree in than Gender Studies. Regardless though, the PhD in Gender Studies is deemed to know a whole ton about Gender Studies.

As for your note about some PhDs being jokes, of course there will always be some people who somehow are PhDs or even M.Ds who you will wonder how the heck they deserved to get that designation.

Again, totally get your point but regardless of what subject they are experts in, they are still experts and that PhD degree represents that.

They don't get equal level of respect because of the significant difference in the level of intelligence, difficulty and time required to complete each PhD. It is even worse especially if it is a type of PhD that one deems absolutely unnecessary.

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Oct 3, 2019

Who gives a shit?

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Oct 3, 2019

You apparently. At least enough to read the post and comment.

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Oct 4, 2019

face palm

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Oct 3, 2019

I tend to refer to the PhD's I know as "Professor"

Granted, I work in Healthcare so it's actually an issue (to @CRE point)

Oct 3, 2019

I'll call someone Dr when they can give me drugs. Until then, no.

I'll let NPR explain:

https://www.npr.org/sections/publiceditor/2018/09/...

Oct 3, 2019
PteroGonzalez:

I'll call someone Dr when they can give me drugs. Until then, no.

I'll let NPR explain:

https://www.npr.org/sections/publiceditor/2018/09/...

Does that mean that you call your coke dealer 'Doctor?'

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Oct 3, 2019

Sounds like we have the same guy.

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Oct 3, 2019

On a slightly related note why is pretty much most subjects are " PhD in X" but the next stage after MBA is DBA rather than PhD in Business Administration?

To be fair I've only seen one person with a DBA and he was like head of education management at a business school

Oct 3, 2019

A Doctorate in X is more practice based and a PhD is more research based. A PhD in music is for research and academic around generally music history / theory. A Doctorate of Music Arts is more about performance. Someone with a Doctorate in Nursing likely still works as a nurse in a hospital, but someone with a PhD in Nursing does research.

DBAs aren't popular because no one's going to trust your business acumen because you got a PhD. Most people seeking a doctorate in a business field are going to do research which is why they mostly do a PhD in X business related field

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Oct 4, 2019

Thanks never even knew there was a specific difference. So are you saying both DBA and PHD in BA wouldn't be trusted? Although I can't imagine someone getting jolly at the idea of someone who spent eg 9-10 years studying business administration Vs 4yrs college and 5-6 in eg consulting

Oct 3, 2019

I think many of us here have the cerebral horsepower to have gotten into a humanities/arts PhD program. A much smaller cohort of us has enough of that to get into an MD program, even the Carribean ones or Hollywood Upstairs Medical School.

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Oct 4, 2019

Bankers and finance guys in general are more on the logical side of thinking whereas Medical School is just all memorization, which logical people often struggle with as they try to make sense of things that are just the way they are.

Oct 4, 2019
Blake w Mitch and Murrary:

I think many of us here have the cerebral horsepower to have gotten into a humanities/arts PhD program. A much smaller cohort of us has enough of that to get into an MD program, even the Carribean ones or Hollywood Upstairs Medical School.

Hey! The Camden NJ branch of Hollywood Upstairs Medical School (And Rite-Way Driving School) is where I got my MD!

Oct 4, 2019

It's Doctor Michael Burry...

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

Oct 4, 2019

maybe we should come up with a delineation for using Mister. I mean I get the same honorrific as some incel who's never done a single deadlift. perhaps there should be some title for the Low T, soft jawed dudes who are more like Pat from SNL than another man.

see how absurd that sounds? if you spend your time worrying and complaining about others, it means you're not focused on bettering yourself. if you're comfortable with the person you are, who gives a shit what others are doing?

Oct 4, 2019

Okay, as a PhD in Finance working in industry (former professor) let me weigh in. It's nice to be called Dr. but definitely not expected or required. I prefer my first name, and am just as happy with Mr.

Amongst biz school PhDs there is an unwritten rule that those who want to be called Dr. or worse demand to be called Dr. are generally worthless and insecure. As for MDs I think that's a different ball game, so I won't judge or apply the comment.

Any PhD with accomplishments in biz or academia shouldn't care, and will actually tell you not to use Dr. all the time (especially in industry settings).

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Oct 4, 2019

Okay, as a PhD in Finance working in industry (former professor) let me weigh in. It's nice to be called Dr. but definitely not expected or required. I prefer my first name, and am just as happy with Mr.

Amongst biz school PhDs there is an unwritten rule that those who want to be called Dr. or worse demand to be called Dr. are generally worthless and insecure. As for MDs I think that's a different ball game, so I won't judge or apply the comment.

Any PhD with accomplishments in biz or academia shouldn't care, and will actually tell you not to use Dr. all the time (especially in industry settings).

Oct 4, 2019

People who care about this type of stuff are fucking losers and need to get that stick out of their ass

Oct 8, 2019

.

Array

Oct 8, 2019

"Doctor" a medical professional e.g. Dr. Stinkypinky

"PhD" someone who knows 3-years worth of a subject.

Where you can tell there is an actual difference, ask a "doctor of physical therapy" if they want to be called doctor, they all say no. Doctor's are medical professionals. If you are a student in a classroom, sure call the professor doctor.

Oct 8, 2019
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Oct 9, 2019