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The misuse of the title “doctor”

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on June 2, 2009

Why is it that so many pseudo-scientists like to affix “Dr” in front of their name, even when they are not real doctors and even when they do everything in their power to undermine the very science that bestows that title upon people? Latest case I ran across is “Dr. Ramsey” over at who is gloating over acupuncture in this entry. Now  a real doctor would know that over and over it has been shown that the meridian theory of acupuncture does not hold, that it doesn’t matter where you stick the needles or even if you stick them at all. But that would be a real doctor. According to her own profile page at the above mentioned website “Dr. Ramsey” is:

a highly regarded naturopathic physician, lifestyle expert and facilitator. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Thomas Jefferson University, practiced as a Registered Nurse for 10 years in Cardiac Surgery and Emergency Room settings and has now maintains a private practice in Paradise Valley, AZ for the last 10 years. She is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, The Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association, The Institute of Functional Medicine, and the International Hormone Society.


***bangs head against table***

At least others have some sort of PhD which technically gives them the title “doctor” but this one has the audacity to call herself a doctor with only a bachelors degree! And by the way a Bachelors of Science in what, I would like to know? What was her actual major? I guess this goes to show what kind of people go on to become naturopaths, eh?

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4 Responses

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  1. red rabbit said, on June 7, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Not to quibble, but a medical degree is technically a bachelor’s degree. Certainly, in the UK an MD is actually an MB.

    A physician is therefore allowed to call him or herself a doctor based on the skill set, not because we actually possess a doctorate. In our case, it’s an honorific only.

    • Skepdude said, on June 8, 2009 at 9:45 AM

      Maybe so technically, but when was the last time a person who actually went to medical school referred to his/her degree as a bachelors in science degree? I suspect she’s never even seen a medical school from the inside.

    • Jack Reed said, on January 28, 2016 at 11:24 AM

      No it isn’t. Not even close. A doctor of medicine degree is always a graduate school degree. A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree.

  2. DJ said, on March 11, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    In my career as a Registered Nurse 25+yrs I have seen RNs who achieve a doctorate in nursing call themselves Dr. Abcd, PhDs., obtained from BS (and that’s not as in a degree) unaccredited “universities” call themselves Dr- this title is so misused in the US. I have friends who have completed their PhD and not even use the degree other than in corespondence,
    While others try to pass themselves off as physicians I have friends who MDs and use nothing more than their first name. The title ‘Doctor’ should be reserved for use by those who have actually gone to and completed medical school. To me- that is a Doctor.

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