Last night on Twitter I commented that I think that the rote insistence that Jill Biden be referred to “Doctor Jill Biden” is kind of silly (that’s how President Obama referred to her). This elicited a remarkable amount of anger. I then made things worse by explaining that Jill Biden isn’t a “real” doctor. She holds a doctorate in education. That invited even more bile. Some came from academics who insist that the title “Doctor” is commonplace on American campuses, even for people with doctorates in education, and therefore there’s nothing wrong with the president’s use
Comments: Where did I get the idea she is a pediatrician?
Only the elite academia worry about such things. Most people working in the real world think it´s quaint these non medical doctors appoint themselves this title. Maybe we should start calling plumbers and elections House Doctors.
Perhaps I missed it but the column didn´t state that Jill was insisting on the honorific but that others in academia were. However...If I were Jill I would insist upon being called by my maiden name. I would not care if I were addressed as ´Doctor´ or not.
Vanity, vanity. I have an academic ´doctor´ cousin who puts it on all his correspondence even to friends. He is long retired and never taught his subject. He doesn´t have a clue that this is amusing to the rest of the family.
My personal physician signs his emails to me from ´Dave´. I think most real doctors are aware of their worth and don´t need the honorific in social situations.
And have you noticed that MLK is almost always referred as ´Doctor King´ by the media in an attempt to enhance his standing. They never, of course, mention that he plaigarized his doctorate thesis to get the title.
People who are accomplished and are secure with individuals usually never broadcast their education credentials. But when you are married to Joe Biden, perhaps you have to preface your name with a title.
If I were in the room with you, Jonah, I´d bend the knee and then lead a standing ovation for you. Every word is point on. No one with an IQ that cracks 65 would want to call attention to the fact that he or she held a doctorate in education and use the "doctor" to impress the lumpen proletariat.
The first night that I was seated as a member of a very large Board of Education the overweening university professor in a well known prestigious liberal arts college who held a doctorate in education introduced himself—right after he insulted me. I can still seen this pompous little man standing there complete with his thin beard, de rigeur glasses, bow tie, , sallow skin, and professorially superior attitude as his pulled himself up and said, "I don´t believe I´ve met you. I´m doctor Sager (with heavy emphasis on doctor). Then, with Obama like hubris, he stood and waited to let that credential intended to impress and bowl me over sink in and waited for my reply. I answered, "Doctor? Doctor of what?" He looked as though he couldn´t believe what he was hearing and then with an increased emphasis on doctor said, "doctor of education!" I paused a few seconds and then did my best to make it appear as though I felt badly to hear that as I leaned over and patted his forearm and said, " that´s okay...your secret´s safe with me."
The Ph.Ds I know look at the Ed.D degree as a joke because at many institutions they are handed out to anyone who can afford the tuition. The degree exists for the sole purpose of overpaying third rate public school teachers. The first rate teachers opt for an advanced degree in the subject matter they will be teaching.
I asked my great uncle, a renowned economist, whether I should introduce himto my young adult friends as Dr. X or Professor X. He replied with his gentle smile, "My deah, in this field the doctorate goes without saying, and not calling attention to it saves no end of ´organ recitals´ by those who mistake me for a physician."
Except for my students, only my dad called me "Doctor." And yes, there is a great difference between an EdD. and a Ph.D. An Ed.D. typically is earned by a practitioner who is not interested in pursuing further research or becoming faculty member at a college or university.
But there is also a vast difference in what leads to a Ph.D. in social sciences in general, depending on the quality and integrity of the people running those programs. I´ve read dissertations that passed elsewhere but would not have qualified for a master´s level term paper at top-notch institutions. Mrs. Biden should, at the least, blush when someone refers to her as "Dr." Ramona (the Pest)
My son-in-law is a chemical engineer and does not like it when anyone refers to him as ´doctor.´ A few years ago, I was at a party and had the most interesting conversation with an older gentleman about just things. Nothing specific, just had a good time. it wasn´t until a few weeks later when I asked my son about this man and I found out that he had a Ph.D in physics and taught at a University in Texas. He was just an interesting person to chat with and never gave a hint about his eduction or degree.
I have a Ph.D. I never use the title "Doctor" outside of my professional status. However, calling an M.D. a "real doctor" rankles me, because the Ph.D. is by far the older degree.
Ph.D.´s were writing, researching, and teaching in the great universities of Europe when "real doctors" were still giving haircuts and bleeding people. "Doctor" is an academic degree, not limited to the healing professions; they are more correctly called physicians.
I have friends and family with PhD´s and the first time I wrote them after they aquired them I used the title Dr. jokingly and never after that and they never objected. Jill is a twit of the first order.
Well #26, I think most of us common folk have an idea of what a doctor is, & could care less about the others. You say doctor to me, I think of a doctor. What happens in academia & what they call themselves really has nothing to do with the ever day real world. If Biden´s wife wants to look silly, let her, I´m sure no one will make the mistake of asking her for a diagnosis.
My dad had a Ph.D. from Harvard and professionally was "Doctor X." He was a department chairman and later university vice-president. Some people called him "Doc" or "Doctor" for fun, and he was well liked. But other than job-related, he just used his name.
We have an M.D. in the family, and I worked for years for an M.D. They are not "real" doctors. Lots of pursuits have doctors in the profession... chiropractors, scientists in many fields, etc. Some physicians are D.O.´s, not M.D.´s.
It is widely recognized that the "Education" field is lame and deficient in a number of ways. Not trying to insult Bill Cosby, but education departments are often weak.
I am the holder of a Ph.D., from the best university in the world for my major concentration. And I have noticed, over the years, that the people who address me as ´Doctor´ seem to do it to make themselves feel good. The origin of the word ´doctor´ is ´docere´ which means to teach. Finally, in my opinion, the doctor of education degree is nearly at the bottom of the academic totem pole.The only degree lower is the doctorate in ´leadership´ (whatever that is.)
In the academic world, where doctorates are the rule, only M.D.s and those with Ph.D´s in education call themselves doctor. The latter are the objects of derision, but most are too simple-minded to realize it.
Some older professors, especially emeriti, might be also addressed as doctor by younger faculty as a sign of respect.
The left love academia as they are not destined for the hated business world. So they stay in school until there 30´s looking for a university or government job, or one in the unions, a non-profit, or for a lefty think tank.
This drives me nuts! Come up with a different title. When I yell doctor, I want an MD, not an expert in English Literature. I´ll never forget going to my son´s back-to-school open house and one of the parents of a kid in his class corrected the teacher with "Doctor..." when she called him "Mr...." Pure freaking arrogance. Of course he is a big liberal Obama supporter.
There is an inverted snobbery. Professors at Ivy league universities never use "Doctor" to one another. It is presumed that they have the degree; they are very careful to refer to one another as "Mister." At lesser institutions, where many of the faculty may not have the degree,faculty often insist on being called "Doctor." Ph.D.s working in business or government frequently use the title because it impresses "the suits." Personally, I only use it when I´m in a hospital because "turnabout is fair play" and it sometimes makes the staff a little more careful.
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