The mystery of the title Doctor (Dr.)

The title doctor has two meanings and is used both in the academic and the medical field and this article will discuss the term doctor in wider aspects. The academic term of the word doctor a trace its origin from the Latin word docere which means to teach, and has been used as a title in the academic fraternity in the whole of Europe from the 13th century. This is when the doctorates were awarded for the first time at the University of Paris and Bologna which were established universities in Europe at that time and the usage of the name has spread all over the world since then. The initials Dr were used to designate somebody who had completed their academics and obtained a doctorate like a Ph.D. The term is also used by medical personnel and practitioners regardless of whether they own a doctoral degree or not.

Early usage of the term Dr.

The early doctoral degrees which included medicine, law and theology reflected the segregation of all university education and combined them into these three fields and the Ph.D. was only given to learned people by the university who were approved their colleagues who shown a long and career in the philosophical field and produced results. The Ph.D. was widely used in the 19th century at Berlin’s University of Friedrich Wilhelm and was awarded to people who undertook original research in the fields of science and humanities. In European countries like Portugal and Italy, the term doctor was given to all those who held degrees and not only those who possessed doctorates the result being the term doctor being used to address people in other professions such as lawyers.
Apart from the educational field the term doctor has many times been confused with the term physician as people tend to think that everyone attending to them or treating them in a hospital is indeed a doctor this may not be so. For you to become a doctor you have to spend at least five years in the university and specializing in a specific field or medicine. It takes a number of years in the practice piling up experience before one can be referred to as a medical doctor. In a casual introduction people will right away judge someone with the title doctor as a medical specialist and not an educational guru, so when introducing yourself it is important to fully introduce yourself in what you do if you have to use the title doctor.

Advantages of using the title Dr.

  • The title doctor is normally associated with the intelligent and sharp people and the prestige that comes with this name can be of beneficial advantage to the user:
  • Being a Dr can give you access to high places and association with the high and mighty of the land as you will be seen as a person of their type and caliber.
  • The title doctor can command respect from members of your family and your community and people will hold you in high esteem
  • The title of a doctor makes people trust you and special treatment is accorded due to the title though this is not always a guarantee.
  • The title of a doctor gives the holder a sense of confidence due to his academic achievement and some would always want to be addressed by it in the mentioning of their names.
  • By having the title Dr. puts you in a better position of climbing the corporate ladder as doors to job opportunities tend to be always open for you as employers see you as a valuable asset and may want to tap into your knowledge and expertise.
  • With the title of a doctor, you do not have to prove to people your status and position by dressing expensively or being on official attire all the time. This gives you the freedom to be casual as you already have the qualifications to prove who you really are.

Disadvantages of having the title Dr.

  • One may develop pride and chest thumping just because they are more learned than others and would tend to see people without the title as second-class citizens.
  • The title holder may develop an ego which may not go well with the people around him and may brand him as a show-off
  • As much as having a doctorate puts you at a vantage point in seeking employment, it can also work to your disadvantage especially when you are more qualified than the hiring manager. It will become difficult for you to be employed because you are seen as a threat to the superiors who are not qualified as you hence the title doctor ends up betraying you instead of working to your advantage.

Well earning this title whether through hard work, being given an honorary status or just choosing to call yourself that is worth it as it changes people’s perception towards you.

The mystery of the title Doctor (Dr.)

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