Print This Post
Email This Post

Is the doctor a ‘doctor’?

A recent article in The New York Times raises some of the issues surrounding the use of the word “doctor.” We are all aware from our undergraduate days that there are many doctorate degrees offered in a large number of academic disciplines.

In the healthcare arena, the word doctor is generally understood to mean a physician with a M.D. or D.O. degree. However, that is now changing. We have doctors of pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, and nursing to name a few. Yet, when someone wearing a white coat introduces themselves as Dr. Smith to a patient, the patient will most likely assume that person is a physician.

So why the push for so many types of doctorate degrees?  Is it the continual pursuit for knowledge and recognition of the same?  Is it the prestige of the word doctor in the healthcare setting?  Is it motivated by the thought that the word doctor means a higher salary?  Is it an attempt to confuse or mislead patients?  Is it an attempt to allow non-physician healthcare workers an increase in scope of practice and autonomy?

Some states are creating legislation to control the use of the word doctor. Should that have to happen? Or should we, the healthcare providers, decide how to proceed? As you can see, I have raised many more questions than answers. What do you think?

Entry Information

Filed Under: medical staff leadershippatient satisfactionQuality of care


Error: Unable to create directory uploads. Is its parent directory writable by the server? About the Author: William F. Mills, M.D., MMM, CPE, FAAFP, CMSL, is currently the senior vice president of quality and professional affairs for the Upper Allegheny Health System located in western NY. Mills is a graduate of Hahnemann University School of Medicine and completed his family practice residency at the West Jersey Health System. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, and a fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians. Mills is currently a clinical assistant professor at the School of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also certified in addiction medicine through the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and currently serves as a medical review officer. Prior to transitioning to full-time administrative medicine, Mills spent more than 20 years as a practicing family physician, and more than 10 years as the medical director of a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility. He also holds a Master of Medical Management degree from the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California and is a Certified Physician Executive from the Certifying Commission in Medical Management.

Trackbacks: 37  |  Trackback URL

  1. From havacsfc on Apr 17, 2017
  2. From URL on Jul 4, 2017
  3. From Thanksgiving Day 2017 GIF Animated & HD Images for Facebook and Whatsapp Share on Jul 13, 2017
  4. From Bdsm on Jul 17, 2017
  5. From fathia balogun on Jul 18, 2017
  6. From Escort In Bangalore on Jul 19, 2017
  7. From pedrell on Jul 27, 2017
  8. From Rent most expensive accommodation in dominican republic on Jul 27, 2017
  9. From florist winter haven fl on Aug 10, 2017
  10. From Property Management St George on Aug 15, 2017
  11. From מיזוג אוויר on Aug 16, 2017
  12. From pest company near me on Aug 17, 2017
  13. From 슈어맨 on Aug 20, 2017
  14. From on Sep 11, 2017
  15. From Sistem Klinik on Sep 14, 2017
  16. From implant dentistry on Sep 19, 2017
  17. From หวยไทยรัฐ on Sep 19, 2017
  18. From cosmetic dentistry dental implants in Boynton Beach FL on Sep 23, 2017
  19. From see page on Sep 25, 2017
  20. From MGHerring Group on Sep 25, 2017
  21. From botox injections nottingham on Sep 27, 2017
  22. From mondo sonoro on Sep 28, 2017
  23. From Festivales on Sep 28, 2017
  24. From lowongan kerja banjarmasin post hari ini on Sep 30, 2017
  25. From clinical pilates exercises auckland on Oct 1, 2017
  26. From St George Plumbers on Oct 3, 2017
  27. From online hash kopen on Oct 11, 2017
  28. From 荃灣忠誠XX僱傭喺黑店 on Oct 12, 2017
  29. From see here on Oct 12, 2017
  30. From how to make money with a iphone on Oct 15, 2017
  31. From agen bola terbesar on Oct 23, 2017
  32. From wedding photos on Oct 24, 2017
  33. From on Oct 25, 2017
  34. From free slots on Oct 25, 2017
  35. From roll-up on Oct 29, 2017
  36. From Engineer Aws Alkhazraji on Nov 2, 2017
  37. From iraqi Laws on Nov 2, 2017

RSSPost a Comment  |  Trackback URL