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Fantasy World -Education vs Fighting

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics.

Ok so I decided I didn't care about pelvic floor dysfunction and dropped out of NP school to complete my PhD and MSN in Nursing Education, but I still lurk here and read.

I keep reading all these posts here and in the MD and Pa boards about all this DNP and anyone calling themselves Dr who isn't a physician. I read all the posts about the independence of one vs another and how they practice different models of care and why one is better than the other.

Here is my fantasy. I wake up one morning and a miracle has happened. The AMA, the AAPA and the AANP have all gotten together and decided to spend all that money they were spending on fighting those battles and instead focused on patient education. In my fantasy world a provider would be able to walk up to a patient and say " Hello, I'm Dr. XYZ, Your Physician or your NP or your PT/OT" or whatever and have the patient understand what you mean.

The fights over ADN vs BSN have been going on for the 30+ years I've been doing this and it hasn't helped the proffesion. As nursing is poised to take a new direction here with the DNP how about realy putting the patient first.

Any chance of a grass roots move to bring this fantasy to life? Any suggestions on how to pull this off? Or is this JUST a fantasy that I wiill never see come to life.

(and yes I'm going to get a name tag made in Jan that says Dr. on it just so I can call myself Dr. Craig once)

I have a PhD (in chemistry) and the joke among some of my RN coworkers was to call me 'doctor Joan'. I do see pts who refer to me as "the doctor" and I will always correct that.

As for the serious part of your post... yeah, that'd be great, wouldn't it? It is so much easier to focus on little silly things than the major stuff (look at the new president, I have seen more stories about the puppy than the plans for the economy or health care).

I think as long as health care professionals are more concerned with turf wars the patient will be an after-thought. My experience with "organizations" is that they devolve to the level of self-preservation, and the folks who might get involved to try to make a change just stay away--or are too busy to take on more.

So, I wonder, will the DNPs be called "doctor"?

BBFRN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research.

Anyone who has earned a doctoral degree has earned the right to be called doctor. This title was given to PhD scholars wayyyy before physicians began calling themselves doctors. They did so in order to gain more respect for their profession. They do not own the title. Those with doctoral degrees do, however.

Anyone who has earned a doctoral degree has earned the right to be called doctor. This title was given to PhD scholars wayyyy before physicians began calling themselves doctors. They did so in order to gain more respect for their profession. They do not own the title. Those with doctoral degrees do, however.

It is incomprehensible to me why there is any question as to whether someone who earned a degree that clearly states that it is a "doctor of ___" would not use the title "doctor". M.D's are not the only professionals who use the title "doctor" and debate about this among people who have been through more than one level of higher education makes no sense.

I'm a relative newbie to the nursing field so I am not influenced by previous notions of what a nurse is/is not supposed to be. Someone recommended the NP specialty to me so I looked into it and the terminal degree makes sense because the rule of thumb in the world I know is always go for the terminal degree. I'm pretty sure that there are others and as more of us come into the field this will become a norm and a non-issue.

As for the patients - most who aren't patient care providers themselves don't know about the professional infighting and could care less about it as long as they get the attention and care that they seek.

I agree with all the statements made... however, I disagree with the implementation of this.. when a patient refers to someone as doctor... I think we can be 99.99% that he/she is referring to that person as a physician not referring to the fact that he/she has a doctorate.

I find this very misleading to the public. Yes, he/she wants to be taken care of - but why do you feel the need to have the title of doctor - when the patient uses that term to refer to a physician not to your degree.

v/r

I agree with all the statements made... however, I disagree with the implementation of this.. when a patient refers to someone as doctor... I think we can be 99.99% that he/she is referring to that person as a physician not referring to the fact that he/she has a doctorate.

I find this very misleading to the public. Yes, he/she wants to be taken care of - but why do you feel the need to have the title of doctor - when the patient uses that term to refer to a physician not to your degree.

v/r

I agree - "Doctor" may have meant anyone who has a doctoral degree. But it now means physician.

Words change through time.

Can't go back.

steph

YellowBoneRN

Specializes in ER, ICU, Med/Surg, Pedi.

I agree - "Doctor" may have meant anyone who has a doctoral degree. But it now means physician.

Words change through time.

Can't go back.

steph

I totally never want to be referred to as Dr. Chelsea or Dr. anyone. I feel that that would confuse the public. I don't want my patients to be confused once I obtain advanced practice.

Of course group, that is my opinion. I would spend more time explaining that to patients and that is valuable time I could be teaching my patients.

BarbaraNP

Specializes in NP Business Coach, Mentor, Business Ed..

I don't have a DNP or a PhD. However, as an NP, I constantly have to correct patients when they call me Dr.

I know of several DNPs who have chosen to use Dr. X, your Nurse Practitioner.

The person who earns the doctorate has earned the right to use the term doctor. One just needs to be very clear. And yes...it will take lots of patient education.

And about my patients - they tell me they know I'm not a MD, but I'm their "doctor" nonetheless.

BarbaraNP

A couple of comments--

being in a major university town, I disagree that "doctor means physician"--where I am it is just as likely to mean "Professor". Many of my pts--who have PhDs--wish to be referred to as "Doctor" and they are very much entitled to this. They know that if I refer to the physician as "Dr. X" I am referring to a very different kind of doctor.

Also, I have gotten the comment (after explaining that I am not a physician) "but you're MY doctor" or similar. I assume this is a compliment and say thanks, but... maybe these folks don't know how to acknowledge what you've given them otherwise.

Joan, I agree that using the term doctor means professor within a university or non-hospital. I do not feel that it refers to a professor when used within a hospital. I have never been in a health care facility and heard someone reply to someone who introduces them as a doctor by asking what class they teach - rather they understand doctor = physician. I also have never been in a university where a professor introduces themselves as doctor xyz and someone asks why a physician is teaching a xyz class, rather within a university it implies a professor with a doctorate. That being said I think it is a valid assumption that doctor is a term that should be used based on the situation - and do not see any sense in using the title of doctor, within a hospital, unless you are a physician. It is misleading to the public and I feel it is a bit misrepresenting at this time. If you stated I am nurse so and so with a docotarate in nursing - that's fine - but I do not see the benefit of claiming your education experience to the patient. That is probably why several state BON have explicitly stated that doctor should not be used as a title - as they to feel it is misleading .... I'm sure it will be an ultimatum at some point when a law suit is filed based on this misnomer.

v/r

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