Should the "Doctor" title really be an issue?

  1. 0
    The number one arguement against DNPs using the title Doctor, especially in the clinical setting, is that it might confuse patients. Ignoring the fact the most DNPs clarify that they are not medical doctors, should this even be an issue?My thoughts:- Most patients already think they are seeing a doctor even if you tell them you are a NP or PA- Even if they think you are a MD (so long as you aren't intentionally trying to make them think that) what difference does it make? You might not be trained to the same standards but you are trained to do your job. It's not like you are a carpenter pretending to be a plumber.
  2. 49 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from SycamoreStudent
    The number one arguement against DNPs using the title Doctor, especially in the clinical setting, is that it might confuse patients. Ignoring the fact the most DNPs clarify that they are not medical doctors, should this even be an issue?My thoughts:- Most patients already think they are seeing a doctor even if you tell them you are a NP or PA- Even if they think you are a MD (so long as you aren't intentionally trying to make them think that) what difference does it make? You might not be trained to the same standards but you are trained to do your job. It's not like you are a carpenter pretending to be a plumber.
    I don't understand the problem. If someone is going to see a pt and they announce themselves as doctor, then I see the problem. I introduce myself as a student registered nurse anesthetist to my PTs. My CRNAs introduce themselves as a nurse anesthetist. I have never heard them say nurse anesthetist with a MSN in anesthesia.

    Yes, doctor is an earned title and it should be part of your title but I personally would not introduce myself as Dr to a pt.
  4. 12
    Quote from SycamoreStudent
    The number one arguement against DNPs using the title Doctor, especially in the clinical setting, is that it might confuse patients. Ignoring the fact the most DNPs clarify that they are not medical doctors, should this even be an issue?My thoughts:- Most patients already think they are seeing a doctor even if you tell them you are a NP or PA- Even if they think you are a MD (so long as you aren't intentionally trying to make them think that) what difference does it make? You might not be trained to the same standards but you are trained to do your job. It's not like you are a carpenter pretending to be a plumber.
    It is funny it only really becomes an issue when nurses call themselves Doctor. I don't hear an uproar from physicians when chiropractors, psychologists, and/or podiatrists call themselves doctors but the moment a nurse introduces themselves as Dr. X the nurse it is suddenly a crisis of patient confusion and safety. A doctorate is an academic degree, and there are numerous types of doctorates that a person can earn. Any person that earns a doctorate may have a reasonable expectation to be called by Dr. "X". Being a non-physician and being called a doctor does nothing, but harm a select few physician egos.
  5. 1
    I agree with both of you. As long as they state that they are a nurse with a doctorate. It should not be a problem at all. It is the future of health care. Primary care will be handed down to NPs such as outpatient care and clinics by 2015/2016.
    carolinapooh likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from rtx723
    I agree with both of you. As long as they state that they are a nurse with a doctorate. It should not be a problem at all. It is the future of health care. Primary care will be handed down to NPs such as outpatient care and clinics by 2015/2016.
    Why do they even need to say they are a nurse? Physicians don't clarify usually. As long as you aren't saying that you are a physician I don't see the problem.
    carolinapooh and hikernurse like this.
  7. 6
    I just have to point out that as a male, it doesn't matter what degree you have. You walk into many patients rooms and you are a doctor despite how many times you correct the patient that you are a NURSE. I can only imagine it will be worse when I finish my NP.
    SE_BSN_RN, Jory, MandaRN94, and 3 others like this.
  8. 4
    When I get my DNP...you can bet I will love using the term I worked hard to earn: Dr to my patients! I give out business cards to my patients in my NP job. So everyone knows I am an NP but with a (soon) doctorate!
    SE_BSN_RN, hikernurse, MandaRN94, and 1 other like this.
  9. 2
    I'm a 3rd year medical student with a PhD in engineering (MD/PhD program). I NEVER introduce myself as Dr. ____ when I see patients because it would be confusing and dishonest since I am not a medical doctor. The ONLY people who should go by Dr. in a clinical setting have the following degrees: MD/DO, DDS/DMD, DPM, +/- OD. If you're at a vet hospital or clinic then a DVM can go by "doctor". There is a reason some states protect the use of the term "doctor" in a clinical setting: it's not to diminish the worth of degrees, it's to not confuse and mislead patients. For this reason, I've never heard a physical therapist or pharmacist go by "doctor" in a clinical setting (or in any setting) even though they have doctorates. DNPs shouldn't use the term "doctor" when introducing themselves to patients for the same reason I don't introduce myself as Dr. ____.
    esperanzita and jvttlus like this.
  10. 5
    Quote from mudphudstudent
    I'm a 3rd year medical student with a PhD in engineering (MD/PhD program). I NEVER introduce myself as Dr. ____ when I see patients because it would be confusing and dishonest since I am not a medical doctor. The ONLY people who should go by Dr. in a clinical setting have the following degrees: MD/DO, DDS/DMD, DPM, +/- OD. If you're at a vet hospital or clinic then a DVM can go by "doctor". There is a reason some states protect the use of the term "doctor" in a clinical setting: it's not to diminish the worth of degrees, it's to not confuse and mislead patients. For this reason, I've never heard a physical therapist or pharmacist go by "doctor" in a clinical setting (or in any setting) even though they have doctorates. DNPs shouldn't use the term "doctor" when introducing themselves to patients for the same reason I don't introduce myself as Dr. ____.
    You are talking apples and oranges. An engineer is never going to provide medical treatment or give a medical opinion to anyone (unless they have further training, like yourself) if they did that would be dishonest. In a setting where a DNP is giving treatment, they will be qualified to give that treatment. It is neither dishonest, nor confusing. If a Physical therapist (with a DPT) wants to use the title of Dr. within their scope of practice there should be no issue. A DNP working in family practice in most states can pretty much do everything a Physician can do and is trained to give much of the same advice.
    hikernurse, Jory, elkpark, and 2 others like this.
  11. 7
    Quote from mudphudstudent
    I'm a 3rd year medical student with a PhD in engineering (MD/PhD program). I NEVER introduce myself as Dr. ____ when I see patients because it would be confusing and dishonest since I am not a medical doctor. The ONLY people who should go by Dr. in a clinical setting have the following degrees: MD/DO, DDS/DMD, DPM, +/- OD. If you're at a vet hospital or clinic then a DVM can go by "doctor". There is a reason some states protect the use of the term "doctor" in a clinical setting: it's not to diminish the worth of degrees, it's to not confuse and mislead patients. For this reason, I've never heard a physical therapist or pharmacist go by "doctor" in a clinical setting (or in any setting) even though they have doctorates. DNPs shouldn't use the term "doctor" when introducing themselves to patients for the same reason I don't introduce myself as Dr. ____.
    I've worked with psychologists in PM&R and they introduce themselves as, "I'm doctor Jones, I'm a psychologist." I'm currently working with and surrounded by psychologists and at least one pharmacist who call themselves "doctor." Never been a problem.
    hikernurse, Jory, elkpark, and 4 others like this.


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