Saturday, July 25, 2015

Academic Credibility

Short post on the title of 'Dr'.

I am a bit of a BuzzFeed obsessive and was reading the following article about Labour activist Eoin Clarke's Twitter feed. I did not expect that an article on politics would lead to a blogpost on academia but you never know where BuzzFeed will take you!!

The offending part of the article referred to the fact that Eoin Clarke has been subject to criticism over his use of the title 'Dr' since he does not have any medical qualifications. Here is a screenshot of the relevant section: 

Personally, I feel this criticism deeply. Of course, I understand that my PhD does not equate to the immensely beneficial work which medical doctors do. They are essential and it is certainly a job which I could never do. So, I have immense admiration for medical doctors. But, for me, the insinuation that Eoin Clarke is being deceptive in his use of 'Dr' is deeply unsettling. PhDs work for 3 years or more, and devote a large proportion of their lives to intense and rigourous academic research, regardless of which field you receive your PhD in - from the humanities to education to science and beyond.

I know of no PhD who pretends that their 'Dr' title is the same as a medical doctor. Yet, we deserve to have our work recognised through the title 'Dr'. The moment you receive your first letter or first email which refers to you as 'Dr' is one of incredible pride. To have that denigrated or lessened is not only a shame, it is wrong!

1 comment:

  1. I went to see my GP not long after passing my viva. I wasn't very well, so my husband was with me and happened to mention to the GP that I'd just passed my PhD.
    "Wow", said the GP, "You're a proper doctor. Mine's only an honorary title!"


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