What do you think about nurses and PA's being called "Doctor"? - page 2

I am wondering what everyone thinks about Physician Assistants and Nurses with Doctorate degrees being called "Doctor"? I ask because there have been several times in the last few years that I... Read More

  1. Visit  wannabecnl profile page
    0
    My dentist is a DDS, and I call him Dr. so-and-so. Same with our vet, a DVM. Doctorate-level psychologists are absolutely called Dr. If my husband were a professor, he would be Dr. with his PhD. My father-in-law has an Ed.D., and they call him Dr. Doctor means doctorate of something, MD, or DO. Physician means MD. I think patients can understand that some "doctors" are physicians, and some are not.
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  3. Visit  BlueDevil,DNP profile page
    2
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    Unless you have the initials PhD, MD, or DO, and refer to yourself as a doctor (this includes therapists), you are a fraud and have absolutely 0 credibility, and should be ashamed of yourself not only as a person, but as a member of the healthcare team
    Or DNP, doctor of podiatry, optometry, dentistry, etc., of course.

    I'm not modest, so much as pressed for time. I don't care to explain it, so I'd prefer to side step the issue all together.

    OP, I didn't take the topic offensively. Dialogue is always a good thing, IMO. I am aware that it is a hot button issue. I am aware that there are many who don't think I ought to be able to call myself "Doctor" at all, and that I should not be able to practice as I do, and that there are people out there who would/will never deign to be a patient of mine for one reason or another. I have nothing to prove to them. I have proven what I wanted to, to myself. I am long past the point of caring about the rest. If I fail to convince the infidels that I am a safe, effective provider of primary care, and actually have a few pretty awesome things to offer, that's ok, I can live with that. I have my hands full as it is. My panel is full, my day is full, my life is full. I am just about self actualized over here, lol.

    I do not get into @#$$ing matches about the DNP. My only goal is to prevent other interested students and NPs from being disillusioned by negative comments, especially coming from people who do not hold a DNP, and have not matriculated into a DNP program. More often than not, those individuals really do not present a very thorough understanding of what the programs have to offer. Why they feel compelled to rail against what they do not understand, I'll never understand, but I cannot sit by and let ignorance dash someone else's dreams or curiosity. There are valid criticisms of DNP programs, and those should be heard and discussed. Inflammatory rhetoric from people with an axe to grind should be marked as what it is.
    Last edit by BlueDevil,DNP on Oct 10, '12
    Phoenixbyrd and KelRN215 like this.
  4. Visit  NRSKarenRN profile page
    0
    Quote from PalmHarborMom
    I am wondering what everyone thinks about Physician Assistants and Nurses with Doctorate degrees being called "Doctor"?
    See our previous threads for this often disucssed topic.

    2005: Should DNPs be called doctors? - Nurse Practitioners (NP)

    2006: Can you be called "Doctor" with a PhD in Nursing?

    2009: Nurses, physicians weigh in on new doctoral nurse degree

    2011: Who Gets To Be Called Doctor? - Nursing News

    2012: NPs practicing as DRs

    Nurses Masquerading As Doctors


    There are many different "doctor" types providing healthcare services and are permitted to use the title doctor if

    a. Licensed as: Medical Physicians & Surgeons; Podiatrists; Optomitrist; Pharmacist, Physical Therapist; Dentists and Oral Surgeons

    b. Received Doctorate degree in healthcare profession: Nursing, CRNA, Nurse Practitioner, Psychologist, Audiologist, Speech Therapist, Public Health etc.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 11, '12
  5. Visit  MedChica profile page
    0
    I'm not familiar with PAs, but if the NP has a doctorate? I really don't see the big deal.
    I've 1 or 2 friends with doctorate degrees. In education and I forget the other's field. Something business oriented.
    Anyway, they don't run around tooting their horns. But - it's appropriate to address them by their professional title, i.e., 'doctor'.

    On another note, if I choose to go to NP school? I'd shy away from the term while in a medical setting. If other people refer to me with that term...ok. For me to do it?
    Well, in that context, it smacks of misrepresentation. I also wouldn't want to confuse the pt's. When you say 'doctor' in a medical setting, it's synonomous with 'physican'. Everyone expects one thing and the nonphysican with a doctorate is something else.
    That's just me.

    ...but this is the internet. Things tend to differ in the real world, as BLUE DEVIL mentions. I wouldn't call myself that but I don't see that most are that anal about such a thing.
    When I was doing the radiology thing, I'd address the ER NP as I did the ER docs: 'Hey, Doc! Got a question for you -- ' LOL
    Everyone did. He did attempt to correct it, but it was a losing battle.

    There was a PA that we addressed with that title. In that instance, it's like 'step-promoting' someone to a higher position. They weren't _______ , but they should have been _____.
    It was a show of respect.
    The docs did it, too. Most physicians really aren't the ego-driven a-holes that some want to think they are.

    I've had an NP for a provider, too. I always called her 'doctor' or even 'My doctor, Nurse Paula..."
    The receptionist didn't even bat an eyelash at this.
    LOL
    Reflexivley.
    I knew that she was something of a nurse. However, she wasn't exactly a nurse. She had a PhD. She was functioning in a doc's slot as my medical 'provider'. She was making independant medical decisions and writing orders and such regarding my care.
    Whatever.
    Sounds like a 'doctor', to me. LOL
    Like someone else on this thread, I call my dentist 'doctor', too. I call my dog's vet a 'doctor', because he is.
    A doctor of puppies.

    I figure that those with doctorates can call themselves 'doctor'. Let the 'medical' doctors call themselves 'physicians', if differentiating themselves from the rest of the PhDs who worked just as hard for their 'stripes' is that big of a deal.
  6. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    0
    Quote from FLmed
    PAs should never refer to themselves as a doctor, even though they are often just as smart. It's not ethical for them to introduce themselves this way. As far as NP who has obtained a doctorate. They are a doctor and deserve this title and designation. I don't have a problem with them wanting to be referred as such. Just my opinion. With that said, I do see where you are coming from. Perhaps the introduction could be, "Hello, I'm Dr. Smith. I'm one of the nurse practitioners who works here." If the patients asks, the NP can further discuss why they are a doctor too.
    *** Wow, just wow. So an NP earns a doctorate and should be called doctor but a PA earns a doctorate and should "never" be refered to as doctor? Or mayby you are unaware that PAs can earn doctorates just as NPs can?
    I have worked with many PAs who held doctorats (also with new graduated PAs in the last few years who had associates degrees). In my case all of them were graduates of the US Army's Emergency Physician Assistant Residency program. None of them called themselves doctor and none were called doctor by staff. Same is true for those NPs & CRNAs who have doctorate degrees. Nobody calls them doctor and they don't refer to themselves as doctor in our health care system.
    However if an NP with a doctorate should be called doctor (and I don't think they should be) then for sure a PA with doctorate whould also be called doctor.
  7. Visit  Asystole RN profile page
    3
    Considering the title "Doctor" is a title of educational achievement, why would you hold a distinction between the educational specialty? Why can we not call all those who hold the educational achievement title of Doctor, Doctor?

    This argument in tantamount to saying that only Med Surg nurses should be called nurses and that L&D nurses must use some other title because, well because.
    Rebekulous, KelRN215, and elkpark like this.
  8. Visit  realmaninuniform profile page
    0
    "There are plenty of people on this board who have argued at various times, in the debate about NPs moving to doctoral preparation, that an NP with a DNP degree doesn't deserve the honorific, "Dr.," because a DNP "isn't a real doctorate." If you share that kind of thinking and that motivated your post, please keep in mind that that is purely your personal opinion. The degrees are just as "real" and legitimate as any other doctoral degree awarded by a legitimate, accredited school."

    There seems to be some misunderstanding here. I don't have a problem with addressing someone, anyone, as "Doctor" provided that they have the credentials, i.e. a phd, md, or do. Never once did I say a DNP isn't "a real doctorate." I was referring to the "doctors" of physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy. Most of which who have less than a common masters degree. None of which who have prescriptive authority for anything. As for PA's, they are not doctors, period. To the best of my knowledge their is no such thing as a doctorate in physician assistance. The very sound of it is an oxymoron.

    As for the other fields, a phd, is a doctor. I referred to many college prof's as doctors, not because they were medical doctors, but because they had earned their doctorate of philosophy in their field.
  9. Visit  realmaninuniform profile page
    0
    "Considering the title "Doctor" is a title of educational achievement, why would you hold a distinction between the educational specialty? Why can we not call all those who hold the educational achievement title of Doctor, Doctor?"

    This is not entirely true. The title "Doctor" is not just a title of educational achievement, particularly when it pertains to health care. Like nurses, md's and do's must pass boards. Just because you graduated college with a degree, doesn't earn you the title. It may however, earn you a prison sentence for practicing without a license.

    With that said, I'd like to elaborate a little more on the whole "doctor" title. MD's and DO's go through 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and 4 years of residency. That's a total of 12 years, plus passing medical boards for the designation. It seems a little bit unfair and wholly inaccurate for someone else to go through 4 years of undergrad and earn the same distinction of another field.

    I don't disregard anyone with a phd as not a real doctor, let me be clear on that. They have spent 8 years of their life or more in academia, and have contributed a significant piece of work to their field to earn their degree. I disregard those with 6 years or less of full-time college (less than a true masters degree) and no written work supporting their contributions who fancy themselves as a "doctor" of this or that.
  10. Visit  Asystole RN profile page
    1
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    "Considering the title "Doctor" is a title of educational achievement, why would you hold a distinction between the educational specialty? Why can we not call all those who hold the educational achievement title of Doctor, Doctor?"

    This is not entirely true. The title "Doctor" is not just a title of educational achievement, particularly when it pertains to health care. Like nurses, md's and do's must pass boards. Just because you graduated college with a degree, doesn't earn you the title. It may however, earn you a prison sentence for practicing without a license.

    With that said, I'd like to elaborate a little more on the whole "doctor" title. MD's and DO's go through 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and 4 years of residency. That's a total of 12 years, plus passing medical boards for the designation. It seems a little bit unfair and wholly inaccurate for someone else to go through 4 years of undergrad and earn the same distinction of another field.

    I don't disregard anyone with a phd as not a real doctor, let me be clear on that. They have spent 8 years of their life or more in academia, and have contributed a significant piece of work to their field to earn their degree. I disregard those with 6 years or less of full-time college (less than a true masters degree) and no written work supporting their contributions who fancy themselves as a "doctor" of this or that.
    The title of doctor pertains to, and only to, the educational achievement of the individual. The term Doctor has nothing to do with licensure.

    A Medical Doctor who does not have a license to practice is still entitled to the title of Medical Doctor. The title of nurse is a title of licensure, not of educational achievement.
    KelRN215 likes this.
  11. Visit  elkpark profile page
    3
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    There seems to be some misunderstanding here. I don't have a problem with addressing someone, anyone, as "Doctor" provided that they have the credentials, i.e. a phd, md, or do. Never once did I say a DNP isn't "a real doctorate." I was referring to the "doctors" of physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy. Most of which who have less than a common masters degree. None of which who have prescriptive authority for anything. As for PA's, they are not doctors, period. To the best of my knowledge their is no such thing as a doctorate in physician assistance. The very sound of it is an oxymoron.

    As for the other fields, a phd, is a doctor. I referred to many college prof's as doctors, not because they were medical doctors, but because they had earned their doctorate of philosophy in their field.
    (Emphasis mine)

    There does seem to be some misunderstanding. Once again, there are lots of other doctorates in various healthcare disciplines besides PhDs, MDs, and DOs. No one here is talking seriously about referring to individuals with "less than a common (??) master's degree" as a doctor. Plenty of individuals in PT, SLP, OT, and other healthcare disciplines hold earned doctoral degrees in their fields and are doctors of PT, SLP, OT, etc. (however, a Master's degree is the minimum for licensure in PT, SLP, and OT, and has been for quite a while, so I'm not sure what you mean by "most of which who (sic) have less than a common masters degree"). There are psychologists who hold a PhD and psychologists who hold a PsyD (the clinical doctorate in psychology). Both are called "Dr. So-and-So." The PharmD has been the entry level in pharmacy for some time, and all pharmacy programs in the US are doctoral programs. Prescriptive authority has nothing to with the with use of the term "doctor." Neither, for that matter, does the length of one's education, but, rather, the degree one holds.

    BTW, there is one physician assistant doctoral program in the US -- it's a joint effort between Baylor University and the US Army, and awards a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree.
    llg, KelRN215, and NRSKarenRN like this.
  12. Visit  realmaninuniform profile page
    1
    "A Medical Doctor who does not have a license to practice is still entitled to the title of Medical Doctor. The title of nurse is a title of licensure, not of educational achievement."

    This is exactly my point. Why is it we can refer to anyone with a "doctorate" degree as a doctor, regardless of license status when you are only a nurse when you pass NCLEX and are licensed within a state?

    I think the title of "doctor" is being handed out far too freely AND EASILY these days. You can earn your "doctorate" entirely online now. And the accreditation system in post secondary education is a farce. I love these "regionally accredited" for-profit on-line universities, who charge outrages fees for their subpar programs in obscurity.
    mrmedical likes this.
  13. Visit  realmaninuniform profile page
    1
    "Plenty of individuals in PT, SLP, OT, and other healthcare disciplines hold earned doctoral degrees in their fields and are doctors of PT, SLP, OT, etc. (however, a Master's degree is the minimum for licensure in PT, SLP, and OT, and has been for quite a while."

    Shirley, you can't be serious. "A Master's degree is the minimum for licensure in PT, SLP, and OT and has been for quite a while?" No. Each state has their own practice act. A BACHELORS is the minimum. That in itself is a farce. Does it really take 4 years of post secondary education to perform a physical therapy eval and recommend treatment? No. It should be about a 3 month program, honestly. Let's not forget that "therapy" is a relatively new "science" which first devolved from nursing.

    Again, this is the problem I have with recognizing "doctors" of this that or the other. Consider the course matter, the relevancy, and the total intelligence involved. Not to mention accreditation, comprehensive medical knowledge, total time spent, etc. etc.

    These "earned doctoral degrees" you speak of are obtained in 6 years or less, the same amount of time or less than it requires for a Master's degree in related fields. And again, these "doctors" don't write a dissertation, nor do they have prescriptive, or any real authority. Hence why I take their title with a grain of salt. Not to mention most are bottom feeders.

    Case in point, working on the alzheimers unit, I once had a "doctor" of SLP, tell me that I needed to chart on a PT who was having no difficulty swallowing, hadn't spoke in years, no episodes of aspiration, and was in end stage dementia, then contact the physician so they could do therapy. I balked initially, but humored the "doctor". The pt received 3 days of "therapy" and was discharged "reaching full rehabilitation potential". The pt. died about a week later peacefully in their sleep at the ripe old age of 97. I'm no doctor, but it doesn't take a doctor to evaluate that this wasn't an appropriate client for "therapy".

    And the therapy vulturism far from stops there. They love to pick clients who are so severely cognitively impaired there is no way in hell that "therapy" is going to benefit them in end of life. Yet to appease the bobs, and keep the money flowing, we are forced to subject our pts to this ********. It's really quite disgusting and makes me look down upon the various "therapy" practitioners, at least in LTC.
    chare likes this.
  14. Visit  NRSKarenRN profile page
    0
    Today's Doctoral Physical Therapists have a broad education:

    My alma matters extensive Doctoral PT program requirements: Physical Therapy Courses
    Drexel Universiy: Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum

    I've seen some amazing progress made by patients in home care with our DPT's skilled care. Helps that we have several DPT programs and 2 nationally renown Rehab hospitals in Philadelphia: Magee and Moss Rehab.

    Our Doctoral Speech Therapist, known as Dr M., introduced VitalStim Dysphagia Therapy for Difficulty Swallowing to our home care agency. They have had great success with several patients weaned off tube feedings back to oral food.

    They can have "Doctor" on their name tag with discipline listed in 1 " print at bottom of ID badge clearly documenting their profession.


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