What do you think about nurses and PA's being called "Doctor"? - page 4

by PalmHarborMom

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 have had family members be... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from TracyE78
    It's a gross misrepresentation of title and power and education level. The PA and NP I've worked with introduce themselves as "Hi, I'm Bob, I'm a PA" and "Hi, I'm Shirley, the nurse practitioner" and the staff would tell the patient that their appointment is with the PA or the NP. The mid-level should NOT present themselves as a doctor even though they're just as good, or better, than the MD. I know a lot of people want the MD because they can do no wrong, but most patients appreciate the mid-levels when they recognize their knowledge and compassion and slower-paced schedules. I'd have several pts only want to see the PA or NP after the initial meeting. When pts are apprehensive about seeing the PA or NP (and I've worked with both at two different offices) I explain that they can do nearly what the MD can and the MD still supervises and the MD even trained our PA himself.
    I do not think anyone is advocating that someone who does not hold the educational title of doctor represent themselves as a doctor.

    What many are saying, myself included, is that the term doctor is a reference to an educational achievement and not to licensure. Not all doctors are medical doctors, all medical doctors by definition have earned the educational achievement of a doctorate however.
  2. 0
    "Educational achievement has little to nothing to do with licensure."

    I'm going to give you this opportunity to withdrawal that statement."Educational achievement has little to nothing to do with licensure?" Are you kidding me? Go try to take medical boards, nursing boards, or any professional license exam without the proper educational credentials. You will be denied.

    Why is it that nurses must list their institution and their program while applying just to get an opportunity to take boards? Because it has EVERYTHING to do with licensure. If you didn't go to a recognized institution and pass, the board is not going to allow you to sit for NCLEX.
  3. 0
    "I am completely serious (and kinda curious about why someone in healthcare wouldn't already know this). A Master's degree is the minimum for licensure in PT, OT, and SLP in all fifty states (and has been for years, although I'm sure there are still some baccalaureate-prepared individuals who were grandfathered in and are still practicing), and there are plenty of doctoral programs in those fields. The physical therapy community has already set a deadline for when the doctoral degree will become the minimum requirement for (new) PTs."


    I guess I don't know your alleged fact, which isn't even a fact, rather something you cut and paste off of a website, not proving a thing. Maybe if you could reference each state's law where it specifically states this, or even one for that matter, you might have a point. But since you are getting your rhetoric from a website controlled and promoted by therapists, I'm going to have to take it with a grain of salt.

    Again, for me it comes down to licensure status, if applicable, and in the health care field it is applicable. Even according to your statements a DPT is still just a physical therapist by licensure. A DNP is an advanced practice nurse, and without a phd, is still just a Nurse Practictioner. A PA, is a PA. Unless you write and have a dissertation published and recognized, or pass medical boards you are no more than anyone else.

    Anyone can call themselves a doctor, let's not forget about all the honorary doctorate degrees awarded. Stephen Colbert is technically a doctor by your standards. Educational "achievement" in itself does not define titles.
  4. 0
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    "Educational achievement has little to nothing to do with licensure."

    I'm going to give you this opportunity to withdrawal that statement."Educational achievement has little to nothing to do with licensure?" Are you kidding me? Go try to take medical boards, nursing boards, or any professional license exam without the proper educational credentials. You will be denied.

    Why is it that nurses must list their institution and their program while applying just to get an opportunity to take boards? Because it has EVERYTHING to do with licensure. If you didn't go to a recognized institution and pass, the board is not going to allow you to sit for NCLEX.
    None the less someone with a diploma, associates, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate can all hold a license. On the other hand, someone with a diploma, associates, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate may not have a license. You must have been trained in a program that has met certain state requirements but there is no requirement to hold a certain educational degree.

    Educational degree does not equal license, and visa versa.
  5. 3
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    "I am completely serious (and kinda curious about why someone in healthcare wouldn't already know this). A Master's degree is the minimum for licensure in PT, OT, and SLP in all fifty states (and has been for years, although I'm sure there are still some baccalaureate-prepared individuals who were grandfathered in and are still practicing), and there are plenty of doctoral programs in those fields. The physical therapy community has already set a deadline for when the doctoral degree will become the minimum requirement for (new) PTs."


    I guess I don't know your alleged fact, which isn't even a fact, rather something you cut and paste off of a website, not proving a thing. Maybe if you could reference each state's law where it specifically states this, or even one for that matter, you might have a point. But since you are getting your rhetoric from a website controlled and promoted by therapists, I'm going to have to take it with a grain of salt.

    Again, for me it comes down to licensure status, if applicable, and in the health care field it is applicable. Even according to your statements a DPT is still just a physical therapist by licensure. A DNP is an advanced practice nurse, and without a phd, is still just a Nurse Practictioner. A PA, is a PA. Unless you write and have a dissertation published and recognized, or pass medical boards you are no more than anyone else.

    Anyone can call themselves a doctor, let's not forget about all the honorary doctorate degrees awarded. Stephen Colbert is technically a doctor by your standards. Educational "achievement" in itself does not define titles.


    You have got to be kidding me.

    I think someone has never stepped foot on a university before. You really need to look into the history of educational titles and the use thereof.
    NRSKarenRN, elkpark, and llg like this.
  6. 3
    For me it is pretty simple...

    A person who has attained a doctoral degree deserved to be referred to as doctor. This includes a physician--whether an MD or DO, an NP who earned a DNP, a professor of horticulture who has a PhD, and dentist who is a DMD/DDS.

    A person who does not have a doctorate does not get to go by doctor...a PA (with no doctoral degree), an MSN level NP, a dental hygienist, etc....
    realmaninuniform, llg, and elkpark like this.
  7. 1
    "I think someone has never stepped foot on a university before. You really need to look into the history of educational titles and the use thereof."

    I beg your pardon... How many degree's do you hold? I have two - a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Economics as well as a BSN. I've stepped more feet on a university than you can count. It is because I hold these degrees and have seen the lack luster curriculum of other professions, that I feel educational achievement does not define titles.

    State law in all 50 states confirms this. Try to practice medicine, nursing, therapy, architecture, education, carpentry, electrician, virtually anything without a license. You may be able to call yourself something for a while, and do it but it is not legal. You need a license. And just because you went to college for something doesn't mean you have a license and are legal to practice your trade. PERIOD.
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    "I think someone has never stepped foot on a university before. You really need to look into the history of educational titles and the use thereof."

    I beg your pardon... How many degree's do you hold? I have two - a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Economics as well as a BSN. I've stepped more feet on a university than you can count. It is because I hold these degrees and have seen the lack luster curriculum of other professions, that I feel educational achievement does not define titles.

    State law in all 50 states confirms this. Try to practice medicine, nursing, therapy, architecture, education, carpentry, electrician, virtually anything without a license. You may be able to call yourself something for a while, and do it but it is not legal. You need a license. And just because you went to college for something doesn't mean you have a license and are legal to practice your trade. PERIOD.
    Just because you are not licensed to practice in a health care profession, does not mean that you are not a "doctor." As others have tried to tell you, the word "doctor" refers to someone with a doctoral degree. People with PhD's in English are "doctor's" are are allowed in every state to use the title "doctor" outside the health care arena.

    Some states have regulations (or regulations have been proposed) that require people in a health care setting to refrain from using the term "doctor" unless they are "medical doctors" -- in order to avoid misunderstandings. But outside the health care setting, all of those other people are still allowed to use their earned title of "doctor." Nowhere in the US prohibits people from using the title "doctor" outside the health care arena.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from MedChica
    When you say 'doctor' in a medical setting, it's synonomous with 'physican'.
    Exactly.
    realmaninuniform likes this.
  10. 2
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    "I think someone has never stepped foot on a university before. You really need to look into the history of educational titles and the use thereof."

    I beg your pardon... How many degree's do you hold? I have two - a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Economics as well as a BSN. I've stepped more feet on a university than you can count. It is because I hold these degrees and have seen the lack luster curriculum of other professions, that I feel educational achievement does not define titles.

    State law in all 50 states confirms this. Try to practice medicine, nursing, therapy, architecture, education, carpentry, electrician, virtually anything without a license. You may be able to call yourself something for a while, and do it but it is not legal. You need a license. And just because you went to college for something doesn't mean you have a license and are legal to practice your trade. PERIOD.
    There are titles of educational achievement.
    There are titles of licensure status.
    All medical doctors hold an educational title of doctor. Not all those who hold the educational title of doctor are medical doctors.

    For someone so learned, I would think you would have had ample experience with those holding an educational title of doctor but were not medical doctors.
    lindarn and elkpark like this.


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