Title fight: Some Calif. physical therapists will soon be 'doctor'

  1. title fight: some calif. physical therapists will soon be 'doctor'

    on jan. 1, physical therapists with doctoral degrees across the state will be getting acquainted with the title. that's when a new state law removes a longtime ban forbidding these healthcare professionals from calling themselves "doctor."

    sacramento bee, dec. 26, 2006
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    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Dec 26, '06
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    WEIRD...I have know several nurses with phd but none who choose to be called doctor except for head of dept at university
  4. by   llg
    Good for them! Why should physicians be the only one to use a title known and respected in the community. The academic degree of a physician is no higher than anyone else's doctorate. It's about time that the public be "nudged" to confront that fact.

    I work in a hospital in which most people (regardless of their discipline) goes by their first name. But in those instances where last names are used, I do expect people to refer to me a "Doctor" instead of "Miss" or "Ms." acknowledging my PhD. Using "Miss" sounds diminutive -- young. "Ms." doesn't sit comfortably on the lips of many people. But as I said ... I usually go by my first name at work, just like most of the physicians.

    llg
  5. by   Brita01
    Wow. That'll be confusing to patients.
  6. by   wincha
    Interesting... a professor is a doctor. An attorney has his jurisdoctorate but is not called Dr. A therapist is a Dr. If you earn the degree you should be called Dr. or take it away from all the other professions that earn their doctorate.
  7. by   danh3190
    Quote from Brita01
    Wow. That'll be confusing to patients.
    Yes. When I'm in the hospital I have enough trouble figuring out who's who. I think the only people called Dr. in a healthcare setting ought to be physicians.
  8. by   EricJRN
    It's an interesting debate. If we're using physician status as the key to being called 'doctor' though, keep in mind that MD's and DO's are the only ones who can be considered physicians in many states. Would that mean that no podiatrists, dentists, oral surgeons, chiropractors, or psychologists should refer to themselves as doctors? That would involve undoing a lot of tradition.
  9. by   danh3190
    Quote from EricEnfermero
    It's an interesting debate. If we're using physician status as the key to being called 'doctor' though, keep in mind that MD's and DO's are the only ones who can be considered physicians in many states. Would that mean that no podiatrists, dentists, oral surgeons, chiropractors, or psychologists should refer to themselves as doctors? That would involve undoing a lot of tradition.
    Good point. I hadn't thought of it that way.
  10. by   llg
    Quote from EricEnfermero
    It's an interesting debate. If we're using physician status as the key to being called 'doctor' though, keep in mind that MD's and DO's are the only ones who can be considered physicians in many states. Would that mean that no podiatrists, dentists, oral surgeons, chiropractors, or psychologists should refer to themselves as doctors? That would involve undoing a lot of tradition.
    Yes. That is a good point, Eric. The public needs to wake up and realize that phyisicians are not the only people with doctoral degrees. Physicians and health care administrators also need to acknowledge that fact and incorporate that fact of life into their thinking.

    As more and more nurses get doctoral level education, we will deserve (and demand) that the health care system acknowledge our credentials -- just as the psychologists, the PharmD's, the PT's, etc. have done.

    llg, PhD, RN
  11. by   NurseguyFL
    Quote from llg
    Yes. That is a good point, Eric. The public needs to wake up and realize that phyisicians are not the only people with doctoral degrees. Physicians and health care administrators also need to acknowledge that fact and incorporate that fact of life into their thinking.

    As more and more nurses get doctoral level education, we will deserve (and demand) that the health care system acknowledge our credentials -- just as the psychologists, the PharmD's, the PT's, etc. have done.

    llg, PhD, RN
    Couldn't agree with you more. Physicians are only one type of 'doctor', and there are many types. Any person who goes through the process of a doctoral level education deserves the respect and recognition that comes with the title.
  12. by   damarystx
    This debate came up at facility that I used to work at because we had an NP on staff that had a Phd and did not like to be called by his first name in front of patients feeling that it made the patients feel that he was not as capable as the physicians that he were in a lesser position. It was a pretty heated debate and some of the md's and other staff followed the same line of thinking..confusing to patients not a "real" doc w/o medical school etc. but I have always believed that if you earn the degree you earn the title. In our facility their were dry erase boards with all staff names and titles on it so you would know who was going to see you (immediate care facility) and that is were the debate started...nurses were listed by first name, ma's by first name, lab fist name, x-ray first name, Dr.XYZ and then NP by first and last name...and since it is pretty awkward to call someone NP XYZ that left people calling him by first name which did not give him the credit he deserved. The hospital as a whole made it policy that NP's with Phd's could not be called Dr. as they thought it was "to confusing to the public" my thought was then the public needed to be educated (or that we were underestimating the public). Hopefully this "title fight" will open the doors for others to win the right to be called by their rightful titles if they so choose.
  13. by   scholar
    At one time the U.S. was considering to terminate measurements such as Ibs and move towards the usage of the metric system (grams). The major dilemma arised from individuals (mostly older people) being unable to convert easily. Ex: Grandma can estimate 3Ibs of chopped lunch meat from all the way across the grocery store. If and only if she has her bifocals. Grandma cant estimate how much 3grams of chopped lunch meat should be by looking.

    The general public knows that there are other doctoral educated programs. If not, oh well. Be humble! If it's that bothersome, trust me this is not the best way to educate the general public. I believe addressing someone as doctor in the hospital setting whose not a MD/DO is misleading. I know it sucks to go to school for all that time and still not be acknowledged for your credentials; however, you knew the professions notoriety before you applied.

    If you obtained a jurisdoctorate, you are equal to a physician. If you are a Ph.D in nursing, you are equal to a physician. If you are a Ph.d in fill in the blank, you are equal to a physician. BUT you are not equal in the hospital setting. You have expertise in a different area. We are beating a dead horse!!! It's too late to change the public about the views of the almighty doctor, but what we can do is concentrate on making it a Law that you cant just call anyone a nurse in the hospital setting and we can start by making a standard educational entry level.
  14. by   damarystx
    Quote from scholar
    At one time the U.S. was considering to terminate measurements such as Ibs and move towards the usage of the metric system (grams). The major dilemma arised from individuals (mostly older people) being unable to convert easily. Ex: Grandma can estimate 3Ibs of chopped lunch meat from all the way across the grocery store. If and only if she has her bifocals. Grandma cant estimate how much 3grams of chopped lunch meat should be by looking.

    The general public knows that there are other doctoral educated programs. If not, oh well. Be humble! If it's that bothersome, trust me this is not the best way to educate the general public. I believe addressing someone as doctor in the hospital setting whose not a MD/DO is misleading. I know it sucks to go to school for all that time and still not be acknowledged for your credentials; however, you knew the professions notoriety before you applied.

    If you obtained a jurisdoctorate, you are equal to a physician. If you are a Ph.D in nursing, you are equal to a physician. If you are a Ph.d in fill in the blank, you are equal to a physician. BUT you are not equal in the hospital setting. You have expertise in a different area. We are beating a dead horse!!! It's too late to change the public about the views of the almighty doctor, but what we can do is concentrate on making it a Law that you cant just call anyone a nurse in the hospital setting and we can start by making a standard educational entry level.
    an NP can go into private practice, diagnose, order/interpret tests and prescribe treatment including meds, and round on their patients independent of a doctor. NP's have several different options of study such as family medicine, neonatal, oncology, womens health, etc. and in rural areas where their may not be a "Dr." an NP may be the ONLY healthcare provider available to the community. Yes there are limitations but they are still practicing medicine just from a different perspective. And now there are newer clinical doctorate degree programs for the DrNP that give's more clinical hours vs. the research of a phd, given the newness of the degree's I don't think that the fight is over, or even to the point of beating a dead horse, more like it is just beginning. Knowing the notoriety before going into the field doesn't mean that you shouldn't fight for change.

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