What do you think about nurses and PA's being called "Doctor"? - page 7

by PalmHarborMom | 14,321 Views | 67 Comments

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. 3
    Quote from CrunchRN
    It is important though OP. People are justifiably proud of their educational achievements, however, patients need to know if they are talking to an MD or a mid-level provider.

    I think it is wrong in the health care provider arena when you are providing care to address yourself as "doctor" without explaining your role completely. Because to 99% of patients that word means a physician.

    Ok, I am now going to run like _____ for the hills!
    I do not disagree with you. I think it should go without saying that every provider should explain to the patient who they are at every encounter until the relationship is clearly established. No one is advocating that patients be misled. However, times change and people are capable of learning. Good grief, I have septuagenarians making e-appointments on smart phones theses days! Explanations can be provided and eventually the public will come to understand. The fact that it will take some education, time and reinforcement is not reason enough to prevent DNPs from using the title they earned, if they choose.
    Altra, psu_213, and NRSKarenRN like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    I do not disagree with you. I think it should go without saying that every provider should explain to the patient who they are at every encounter until the relationship is clearly established. No one is advocating that patients be misled. However, times change and people are capable of learning. Good grief, I have septuagenarians making e-appointments on smart phones theses days! Explanations can be provided and eventually the public will come to understand. The fact that it will take some education, time and reinforcement is not reason enough to prevent DNPs from using the title they earned, if they choose.
    I agree with that actually. However, not all are as careful about explaining as needed. Hopefully most will be.
  3. 3
    Why is the onus entirely on nurses to be clear about their training and level of education? I see docs introduce medical students as "doctor" to patients in the hospital all the time. How deceptive. Plus, I never see doctors explaining the difference between intern, resident, attending, etc. to the patient. It's not like nurses are these bad people who are coming in and trying to deceive patients. Everyone should be clear about their role and level of education or training. Everyone.
    NRSKarenRN, elkpark, and BlueDevil,DNP like this.
  4. 1
    Agreed.

    I have not personally ever heard a medical student referred to as doctor. That it wholy inappropriate. All of the medical students I have had the opportunity to work with over the years have been gracious and professional, and would never have done that. I have never been around an attending that would have permitted it either. We frequently have medical students in my clinic now too, and without fail, hey are just a pleasure to have around and not one of them would ever deceive a patient in that manner. I think 99% of the medical students and residents out there are bright, inquisitive, humble and eager to fit in and get along in their environments. The other 1% spend their spare time on the internet and make the lot of them look bad.

    That said, my point too, was that every person should explain clearly to the patient who they are and what their role is at every contact, until the relationship is well established.
    Altra likes this.
  5. 1
    Devil, I apologize. Your state is different from mine. From the Ohio Board of Nursing - "In Ohio, the term "advanced practice nurse" refers to someone that is a certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse- midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, or a clinical nurse specialist. All advance practice nurses in Ohio must practice under the rules of the Ohio State Board of Nursing.Each individual is required to be certified by a National Certifying Organization approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing and possess a Certificate of Authority (COA) to practice in their field. APN's in Ohio do have prescribing privileges for most drugs, however, certain controlled substances cannot be prescribed without the collaboration of a physician. Every APN must practice under the supervision of a physician in the state. They do not have to be in direct contact with the physician, but they must be able to communicate/consult with him or her at all times either in person, over the phone, via the internet, etc."

    I came across this as I was doing some research of my own into becoming a NP, and it made me think of this post. Hence the month long delay in response.

    To myelin - 14 states? That is your argument? There are 36 others that DO require physician collaboration. I may have been in error in Devil's case, but for the vast majority of the country, it is the law. And if you actually read my post I said "It may be different in your state".

    Also, to Devil, a question - Are you permitted to prescribe any and all controlled substances on your own, or does that require collaboration? I get that certain states allow stand alone NP's, but it seems that they still need physician collaboration to prescribe certain controlled substances in most states. Just curious as to your situation.
    esperanzita likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from realmaninuniform
    As it pertains to PA's, I have yet to meet a "doctor" of Physician Assistance. IMHO a PA, is just that. An assistant. The one's I have had the "pleasure" of working with as a nurse in ED, weren't a few cm's from their smart phone and apps to tell them what to do at all times, and almost always had to verify everything with the attending.

    NP'S are much more autonomous and less medical/industrial/military complex driven. Again, this is just my HO.
    I came upon this post more than a year late unfortunately, but as a nurse who became a PA, I want Mr. realmaninuniform to know that your remarks about PAs, not to mention PTs, are incredibly out of line.
  7. 0
    I want to get my NP and I'd tell patients to call me Master. End of discussion.
  8. 0
    Quote from sammiesmom
    I want to get my NP and I'd tell patients to call me Master. End of discussion.
    Love it.


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