To use my title

(319 Posts)
ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 09:35:15

I have a PhD and use my title - I was thinking of just using it at work but decided consistency was best and changed it with the bank etc as well. I've recently had several snide comments about it as well as a few family members and work colleagues who continue to address me/write to me as Mrs Brauron. I haven't corrected them because it seems rude, but it annoys me - AIBU?

mumfordanddaughters Sun 03-Mar-13 09:38:01

I use mine on everything - but that is partly because I have "issues" with Mrs/Miss when men don't have to advertise their availability and partly because I didn't change my name when I got married so Mrs Maidenname seems wrong. But mostly I use it to cover my insecurity and remind myself I was clever once ;)

HildaOgden Sun 03-Mar-13 09:38:12

Do you expect family to start calling you Doctor?Tbh,I think that sounds quite odd of you.

Euphemia Sun 03-Mar-13 09:38:55

You've earned it, it's your title, use it, fuck 'em.

mumfordanddaughters Sun 03-Mar-13 09:39:06

I've never met any snideness though...but family do still use mrs...
Haven't answered your question have I! I think YANBU and anybody who is snide IBU.

Numberlock Sun 03-Mar-13 09:41:28

I agree with you. I have several friends who still write to me as Mrs even though I've been Miss since I got divorced ten years ago and it annoys me.

Plus nothing wrong with being proud of your achievements and acknowledging your title.

thing1andthing2 Sun 03-Mar-13 09:41:33

I use mine (dr from having a phd) on financial documents, with the bank, on all health records and just for fun when filling in forms e.g. Registering for accounts for shopping on line. I love it! Still, even 5 years down the line, I feel a slight thrill at putting Dr!
I don't worry about it when family write to us as mr and mrs, I don't mind also being mrs thing.
I think people should be pleased for you for such an achievement, and if they are not, maybe they are just a bit jealous or snidey anyway?

Megatron Sun 03-Mar-13 09:44:29

DH only uses his on official docs. He doesn't expect his family or close friends to use it he says it would make him feel like bit of a tosser.

Ilovexmastime Sun 03-Mar-13 09:48:26

Mumfordanddaughters has summed up how I feel about my 'Dr'!

No one has ever been snide (to my face) about it. Lots of people call me Mrs <DH's surname> but I don't mind, I'll answer to any old name now grin.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Mar-13 09:49:57

So long as you dont mind people asking you about their bunions!

nosleeps Sun 03-Mar-13 09:52:34

Use it, but be prepared for the day you're on a flight and the crew rush over to demand your assistance as a fellow passenger's collapsed.

sarahtigh Sun 03-Mar-13 09:53:47

YANBU except perhaps with family as that is not how they relate to you you are their daughter, mother cousin etc not Dr,

for bank etc I think it is a good thing and anything except family should accept that as title without snideness rolling eyes etc

for your colleagues to not use it formally is bad though I presume on a day to day basis they call you by your first name

NumericalMum Sun 03-Mar-13 09:58:40

I really hate titles. I think they are pointless. I think there are many more difficult achievements that have no title. I am really not jealous as the people who need to know what I do (my colleagues and counterparts) do and I can't see why anyone else would care? At my DC's school I really can't see why they need to know other than to treat you better which is slightly ridiculous IMHO!

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 10:11:55

To clarify, I obviously don't expect my family to call me Dr to my face, but my aunts and granny write to me all the time (I live far away from most family) and they use Mrs on the envelope. I'm a teacher so in front of kids my colleagues call me Dr Brauron, or in the case of some, Miss Brauron, which annoys me even more as I am married, use my husbands name so Miss Brauron doesn't exist!

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 10:13:45

Although it doesn't bother me at all when kids call me "miss" on its own as that seems to be a universal title for all female teachers and I quite like it as it makes me feel more teachery! grin

This is all very existential.

To be or not to be. And Nille is a stone.

In India people children called me Auntie. I was not their aunt of course. Did I not exist purely because they called me something I was not?

ChairmanWow Sun 03-Mar-13 10:17:13

Do you not think it's a bit precious to expect aunts and granny to address you as Dr even if it is only by post? Why does it matter so much?

I can understand it with students, particularly if you don't wish to be called Miss, but not family.

non -people children did not call me anything. confused

Not sure if it was they or me that did not exist.

<goes to lie down again. Waiting for Lempsip to work>

ProphetOfDoom Sun 03-Mar-13 10:19:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Mar-13 10:19:47

I think instructing your family to write 'Dr' on the envelope, at best is just a tad pretentious.

All I have now is Maureen Lipman running through my head with 'you got an 'ology? you're a scientist'.

Professional and private life should never mix over.

You'll rub your collegues up the wrong way if you keep correcting them. So long as you are correctly listed on the school site/telephone/department directories I don't see the issue with the 'incorrect' us of 'miss' - most female teachers are addressed as such, same as male teachers addressed as 'sir' without a knighthood between them.

It's all a bit of a non issue IMHO

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:20:05

The only place i don't use it now is at the doctors grin I thought i wouldnt use it either, but i worked bloody hard for my PhD and im damned if im not going to use it. My family call me by my first name smile i let them! But on cards my MIL always addresses card to me and DP and calls me DR Lem - i did laugh about it with her but she says its because she is proud of me, which is nice.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 03-Mar-13 10:22:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 03-Mar-13 10:23:02

You expect your Aunts and Granny to use Dr on personal letters?

In the nicest possible way, I think you've got you got a slightly over inflated sense of self importance going on there.

I can see it being annoying for colleagues to address you wrongly, but no more so than anyone else who is a Miss being referred to as Mrs or vice versa.

ReluctantBeing Sun 03-Mar-13 10:23:29

I'd use it! For some reason, Sainsbury's put Countess Being when I get a delivery and I love it.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Mar-13 10:23:57

Don't Boden have marchioness?


Teapot13 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:26:19

I thought the traditional etiquette rule is that only medical doctors use "Dr" socially, so it isn't correct to use in personal correspondence? Obviously it would be appropriate to use it at work, if you work in the same field.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 10:27:11

Well, I expected them to use Mrs when I got married and I didn't see it as any different when I then changed my title again, it's now what most correspondence I get says, so I guessing just sticks out when I get something addressed differently. But this has definitely given me food for thought!

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 10:27:50

I guess it sorry!

wonkylegs Sun 03-Mar-13 10:28:35

My DH is a medical Dr and he is still often referred to Mr and actually he kept it as Mr on his passport as although he doesn't mind being called for real medical events when travelling many 'emergencies' he's been called to deal with on a plane are not even close to emergencies or even events and require him to spend the rest of the flight filling out paperwork and after several of these instances where he starts our holidays working for free to look after a hypochondriac he decided that he'd rather not be the first person to 'volunteer' because that's what having a different title really means to him.
Obviously he's still Dr Wonkylegs at work

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:31:13

No teapot, that isn't the etiquette at all, medics are only honorary doctors!

To all those saying that the OP is being unreasonable - don't you expect your family to use the proper title (Miss, Ms, Mrs) when sending you post? I don't see the difference.

Stokes Sun 03-Mar-13 10:38:35

My husband has a PhD and only uses Dr for work, and then only because he's an academic - if he moved jobs he'd never use it. The majority of our friend have PhDs and only a couple use the title outside work - the couple who do are typically sniggered at behind their backs whenever the topic comes up (once on a very blue moon). When I was at school a couple of the teachers had PhDs and only one used the title in school, again she was laughed at for it.

MewlingQuim Sun 03-Mar-13 10:39:59

My family keep sending post to me as Mrs DH surname and I keep telling them I am Dr. I got my PhD before I was married so it is really annoying as I have never been Mrs anything. I worked hard for my doctorate getting married was easy so it would be nice if people who supposedly care about me would acknowledge it.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 10:41:46

Stokes I used to be academic before moving into teaching and the vast majority of my colleagues used their titles inside and outside work. I think it's really sad that your teacher was laughed at for using her title - smacks of anti-intellectual snobbery to me.

MewlingQuim Sun 03-Mar-13 10:43:16

I've never heard of anyone being laughed at for using their title outside of work stokes but I work in science/medicine maybe its different here.

But what about using letters after your name? Academic achievements other than doctor?

Trazzletoes Sun 03-Mar-13 10:46:06

My DB has a PhD and it makes me sad that he's only Dr with one bank grin I always address him as Dr on post.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 10:47:56

I am a teacher and I don't use it. I use Ms on everything as it is marital status free, and am "Miss" to the kids at school and would be whatever title I used.

I do talk about what I did before I became a teacher, as do many of my colleagues who had other lives before teaching.

aldiwhore Sun 03-Mar-13 10:48:39

When it comes to family, I pick my battles because I generally get on with them, so when my elderly Aunt addresses letters to me using "Mrs Husband's initials" I don't argue it (though it person I have enjoyed the 21st century chat, she thinks I'm being bohemian and sucks her teeth).

For everything else YANBU at all. You worked for your title, you earned it, it's valid, use it if you want.

Anyhoo, YANBU. I am considering starting my PhD, and I would use my title, even if I never changed jobs, I rather like the idea of being Dr Aldiwhore Admin Assistant wink

LeChatRouge Sun 03-Mar-13 10:49:30

< spend a couple of seconds wishing he was Dr Wonkylegs >

INeverSaidThat Sun 03-Mar-13 10:50:09

I would be very proud of my hard earned title but wouldn't use it.

I think YANBU though (but I am a bit surprised it bothers you)

Stokes Sun 03-Mar-13 10:55:37

I think that both in school and now socially people laugh at it because it's a bit try hard or something. All of our friends are highly educated ( PhDs, engineers, solicitors, actuaries etc) so maybe that's why, we just don't see a PhD as that big of a deal? As in, we've all worked hard for our qualifications, so no one particularly cares about that, pass the wine, that sort of thing.

Fillyjonk75 Sun 03-Mar-13 11:00:42

I wouldn't expect family to bother or remember (except my mum, who definitely would) but I'd use it when filling in forms and change it with the bank etc.

ClimbingPenguin Sun 03-Mar-13 11:04:19

I find it very useful at the Dr's actually. Then again I look very young and currently a SAHM. I do think they take what I am saying more seriously.

As for family I rather they don't use titles. Most of them don't and just use names. It does annoy me that the family members who do use titles are the ones that use Mr and Mrs Husbands Initial Husbands Surname thinking they are being official when in fact it is wrong.

I am happy with Ms as well. I tend to use Dr on official stuff (most of my banks, Dr, job applications etc) but not marketing/shopping etc.

I preferred the US systems of no titles. I never once filled my title in when I lived there. If you insist on using a title, then use the correct one (until there is only one standard adult female one at least)

ProphetOfDoom Sun 03-Mar-13 11:05:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cardamomginger Sun 03-Mar-13 11:06:23

Rather off point, but what really pissed me off was after I got divorced a family member continued to address post to me as Mrs ExDH-First-Name ExDH-Second-Name. I think that technically she may have been correct, but it still really got my goat.

skrumle Sun 03-Mar-13 11:07:31

i think whether or not it would be bother me would depend on whether or not those same relatives would take a different view when writing to a male relative who had an "earned" title.

i kept my own name, and now have a title - but even someone from work in relation to a social event recently wrote "mr and mrs his-surname" on the envelope which really annoyed me. i don't become an appendage of my husband just because you are writing to me at the same time as writing to him...

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 11:08:43

Do you have anything to compare it to though climbingpenguin? Did you see a doctor as a young SAHM without a PhD?

ClimbingPenguin Sun 03-Mar-13 11:12:12

I just have pre PhD, but I do feel I get believed straight away now. Otherwise I think I would get mistaken for a undergraduate student (which I do when I am without kids).

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 11:12:34

skrumle that's exactly it- the thing is, that to my older relatives, the more important "title" is my married name, because as a woman the ultimate achievement is to get married.

mumfordanddaughters Sun 03-Mar-13 11:14:41

Skrumie I said right at the top that I use mine (and so do my friends who have them and, yes, that is a lot of them and we are all sciencey too - no sniggering here, it is just a title not being pretentious) but the only time I get riled by people not using it is when we get letters addressed to Dr and Mrs Mumford. His counts and mine doesn't?

Trills Sun 03-Mar-13 11:17:12

Something that someone said on MN once that I liked.

Both Mrs and Dr and titles that you "earn" - you are not born with them, you gain them by doing something. It is no more pretentious to use one than the other.

TimberTot Sun 03-Mar-13 11:17:23

If you don't work in an academic field then it is odd that you insist on the title being applied.

Our circle of friends are mainly what Stokes would refer to as highly educated. (G.P.'s, hospital consultants, University head librarian, lecturer, a headteacher, solicitors, dentists, accountants, actuaries, directors of this and that plus a couple of chief executives thrown in, not sure what their qualifications are exactly) but out of the 5 who have a PhD none use the title except the university lecturer.

I am proud that I made the time and commitment to gain the PhD but I wouldn't use it in everyday life in the same way that I could afford a personalised number plate but I wouldn't have one. Our circle of friends tend to see it as "nouveau riche" and ostentatious, "notice me - I'm special"

The very fact that it annoys you that your family/work colleagues don't all use it points towards you wanting daily recognition of your perceived "enhanced status".

Respect for the value fo your PhD isn't awarded with the certificate, it is earned through the day to day contact you have with these people.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sun 03-Mar-13 11:18:04

I agree with Megatrons husband - fine for work and banks etc, but amongst family & friends it would make me feel like a complete try hard toss pot. But each to their own...

Fraying Sun 03-Mar-13 11:19:47

I would never have considered using Dr when writing to my friends (I guess because our friendship predates their doctorate and we never used MA(Hons) or MSc after our names when we gained our other qualifications). Now, I'm wondering if they're secretly offended confused . I'll need to check.
But to answer your question, I think YABU to explain family to change how they address you. It seems a bit arsey to me and I can't imagine how you have that conversation without sounding incredibly pretentious.

Rosieeo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:20:14

I can't help but think of Friends: "I'm Doctor Geller" "Ross, this is a hospital. That actually means something here." wink

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 11:20:18

How odd of the doctor. I'm not sure I would continue to see her/him if there had been a noticeable change in whether they believed what I was saying on the production of a qualification, that might well be in something completely irrelevant hmm

Fraying Sun 03-Mar-13 11:20:26

expect not explain - duh!

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 11:23:03

It's genuinely not about getting "recognition" from people, it's just my title - I've changed it with all my banks, at work etc; to me it would be the same if family or friends had written letters to me addressed to Miss Brauron after I got married.

Wishihadabs Sun 03-Mar-13 11:24:04

The thing I can't stand is Miss maiden name or worse Mrs maiden name by dimwits in call centres usually.Ahhh either Dr married name (only for last 13 years) or Mrs married name (for last 8) is fine. Otherwise you are addressing me as either my mother or my sister. And breathe...

Wishihadabs Sun 03-Mar-13 11:24:48

Dr maiden name

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sun 03-Mar-13 11:25:03

skrumle that's exactly it- the thing is, that to my older relatives, the more important "title" is my married name, because as a woman the ultimate achievement is to get married

Chip - much?

They are family they are addressing you as family - to insist on being address as Dr by your family is so 'try hard' it's not even funny. I assume you are the first in your family to have gained such a lofty status hmm and feel they all require reminding of this fact.


Jollyb Sun 03-Mar-13 11:25:58

I rarely use Dr outside of work. Doesn't bother me in the slightest if my family refer to me as miss.

Stokes Sun 03-Mar-13 11:26:49

TimberTot has said what I'm trying to say much better.

"I am proud that I made the time and commitment to gain the PhD but I wouldn't use it in everyday life in the same way that I could afford a personalised number plate but I wouldn't have one. Our circle of friends tend to see it as "nouveau riche" and ostentatious, "notice me - I'm special"

The very fact that it annoys you that your family/work colleagues don't all use it points towards you wanting daily recognition of your perceived "enhanced status".

Respect for the value fo your PhD isn't awarded with the certificate, it is earned through the day to day contact you have with these people. "

I mainly posted on this thread after an encounter we had at Christmas, me and my husband round the house of a couple of friends - she's working on her PhD and he got his years ago, long before we met him. We had sent Christmas cards to everyone and as my writing is legible unlike DH's, I wrote the envelopes and he wrote the inside. I was pretty surprised when our (lovely!) friend gave out to me for writing "Miss Hername & Mr Hisname" on the envelope, rather than "Miss Hername & Dr Hisname". The thought had never even crossed my mind and I was really surprised that it had even occurred to her or frankly that she'd even noticed.

lozster Sun 03-Mar-13 11:26:57

Use it and ignore the naysayers!

I got my doctorate when I was a young looking, single 24. I hated ms, miss so changed all my bank details and have used it ever since. Seems pretty normal to me but then again I've worked in academia and then in a research lab where 60% of us are dr. My partner likes me to use it. We aren't married so no mrs issues and he is proud of me.

Think of it this way - would LORD sugar be addressed otherwise, would queenie be happy to drop her title? Your title was earned so use it!

thebody Sun 03-Mar-13 11:29:02

Golly my sister is a teacher and has a PHD. I never thought about addressing her as Dr.

Sorry to me a doctor is well a doctor.

Imagine if you were on a she or registered in a hotel and an emergency arose and they called for you to help. You might look a bit silly.

However good on you for getting the qualification but don't expect your gran to be impressed.

I expect even Jesus's relatives thought he was just a carpenter with ideas above himself.

monkeysbignuts Sun 03-Mar-13 11:29:18

I think you must have worked extremely hard for the title and I would use it on documents etc. Family is going a bit far in my honest opinion.
We have a few Dr's in our family but they will always just be uncle to me. I wouldn't dream of calling my uncle George Dr lol

lozster Sun 03-Mar-13 11:31:17

Oh and start referring to your relies as Ms. - that's normally a good wind up for older people (well my relies anyway!). If they protest and say 'oh but I am Mrs!' then ask them if they really need to be reminded of this status on a daily basis? grin

mumfordanddaughters Sun 03-Mar-13 11:31:34

But you wouldn't address an envelope to "uncle", would you? Presumably you use Mr. So if he was a Dr, you might use Dr. She isn't asking them to curtsey when they speak!

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 11:32:09

I think it's one of those never the twain things. I cannot imagine having changed to Dr on my bank account. Why would I so that? So I don't get why people see it as a big deal. If you introduced yourself to me as Dr, I would use it back. As long as you didn't overuse it. I was interviewing for new staff, and in correspondance over interview lessons etc, one guy always signed off Dr first name last name. Would he have signed off Mr first name last name had he no PhD? Doubt it. Which made me think he might be Trying Too Hard.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 11:35:41

I don't expect them to call me Dr to my face, that would be crazy,
and when I write to my granny I put Mrs X, not Granny X... When I got married everyone was happy to call me Mrs, why is this different?

LayMizzRarb Sun 03-Mar-13 11:37:59

Anyone can call themselves Dr, use it on bank accounts and online shopping accounts. You would not be breaking any laws.
It only becomes a criminal offence if you purport to have medical qualifications you do not have, or imply you are registered with the General Medical Council.

Blu Sun 03-Mar-13 11:38:28

If any friend or relative is Dr I use it whenever I would use Ms or Mr. But mostly with friends and relativesIi just use their name. I don't address birthday cards to my brother as Dr Blu's DB, just Firstname - Surname.

But I would never address someone as Mrs if they wereDdr, and used that, no.

piprabbit Sun 03-Mar-13 11:40:32

I used to work with a bloke who insisted on using his Dr. title at work. The PhD was in a Humanities subject and we were computer programmers, so the PhD wasn't exactly relevant to his job. I'm afraid that he was subject to an awful lot of ribbing and sniggering. But we did refer to him as Dr. in documentation.

monkeysbignuts Sun 03-Mar-13 11:40:48

I have never thought about it to be honest. We have 3 Dr's in the family and one university lecturer. I don't think I would ever have the need to write to them so can't say.
I think if I did I would put Dr because it maybe rude not to?

I used to work in a medical capacity. We often had people proclaiming their Doctor status.

So I will naturally start discussing things in medical terms, after a few minutes of them looking blankly at me they normally admit their doctorate status isn't relevant, it was pointless them telling me as its not medically based and they were only trying to pull rank.

I would always say 'oh, I don't understand why you told me that then as its not relevant to how I interact with you, shall we start again'

Use it, you earned it, but make sure your not a tit about it.

ClimbingPenguin Sun 03-Mar-13 11:43:45

I never end an email/letter with Dr Penguin, always my first name with perhaps my full name underneath (no title). If people, especially those you know, choose to use a title, then they choose to use a wrong one.

If people do call me Dr to my face, I tell them to just call me 'climbing', including undergraduate interns I had.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 11:46:43

I think if you were quoting verbatim there clutching pearls, then your reponse was verging on tit like really, particularly if they were patients or parents of patients. Are you a medical doctor?

ChasedByBees Sun 03-Mar-13 11:52:04

I know what you mean OP. I don't mind letters written to Chasedbybees but Mrs. Chasedbybees isn't correct. I notice it but don't bother to correct it. The ones that irritate me are to Dr. DH and Mrs Chasedbybees - usually from DH's side of the family. If you're going to use his title then you should use mine too! (I still don't say anything though, I'm just silently irked).

My PhD is physics so a lot of my friends also have PhDs. I've never known anyone to be laughed at using it outside work. Actually in my group of friends it's most definitely the norm.

Helspopje Sun 03-Mar-13 11:55:48

am both a PhD and a medical doctor and don't use Dr. Seems mildly arsey to correct people.

All my family call me mrs married name on correspondance.

I do like the facility to have a work persona though - am mrs married name eveywhere other than work and dr maiden name (name with which I got all my quals) at work. What confuses me is when people call themselves dr married name when they were awarded their degree(s) before they married - surely that's not quite right!

You need to seperate family from collegues on this issue.

I have several Doctors in the family and other titled relatives, if the letter/invite is of a personal nature i use the name that i know them by and would use face to face, in terms of older relatives, the name that they have known them from when they ran round on a beach naked and needing their nose/arse wiped.

Even at a recent funeral, my Doctor cousin was talked about and the order of service had only his name on. His achievements in bio-chemistry were mentioned, as he had done important work for the military and health, but not given any more importance than his vast charity work.

It depends on whether you being a doctor defines you in total.

For collegues, it is a different matter if it is work related.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 12:00:05

@Artemis YANBU, but you are making the error of thinking that other people are sane, rational beings like yourself. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to courtesy titles, you must choose between the following 4 evils:

1) Miss: hasn't bagged a man, poor dear; belongs to father
2) Mrs: has bagged a man, is therefore adult; belongs to husband
3) Ms: man-hating feminist, has probably bagged a woman; belongs in lunatic asylum
4) Dr: uppity bluestocking with ideas above her station; belongs in pillory

As a holder of a doctorate, I've opted for (4). Don't expect family and friends to use it, or indeed to use any courtesy title at all. But if anyone gives me any crap about PhDs using their title being pretentious I assume they are just being reverse-snobs. Then massively out-snob them by pointing out that actually I haven't got a PhD, but a D.Phil (an Oxbridge PhD) grin

lljkk Sun 03-Mar-13 12:03:36

I guess it's your battle to fight if you want.

I would feel like such a plonker to use it for anything but relevant professional matters.
It would actively work against me in the types of jobs I'm applying for, now.

As a student I remember lecturers who insisted on being addressed as "doctor". I honestly had not a single clue why. I didn't know what a phD was or that it conferred the title Doctor. It was just one of those meaningless titles that other folk used and seemed to be accepted, I didn't want to ask why they used it in case I got embarrassed or caused offence. It does sound very distancing, like you want extra professional space from others.

Trills Sun 03-Mar-13 12:03:42

If you are using someone's title, it's polite to use the title that they prefer. It doesn't matter if you are family or a colleague or John Lewis.

If you don't like the title they have chosen, address your envelope to Firstname Lastname, not UnpreferredTitle Lastname.

lljkk Sun 03-Mar-13 12:04:43

My dad has a D.Juris and he wouldn't try to use the Doctor title, either.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 12:06:14

badbride grin

mysterymeg Sun 03-Mar-13 12:21:58

I am not a Dr but in my familiar nearly everyone is (slight exaggeration) when doing my Christmas cards I always use the correct titles: Dr & Mrs X, Dr & Dr X, Mr & Dr X and Prof & Mrs X (yes I have all those combinations).

They haven't asked me to do that, I do it as a sign of respect. In person I use their first names (as apparently I'm too old to call people aunty and uncle now!).

If I ever get a PhD I'd hope they'd treat meIn kind.

mysterymeg Sun 03-Mar-13 12:22:20


badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 12:22:30

Artemis wink Actually, I think it's great that you use your Dr title at work: IMO it's extremely important for young girls to see that it is perfectly normal for women to undertake PhDs and academic careers.

One reason to prefer Dr over Ms is that while Ms doesn't reveal marital status, it does indicate gender, while Dr does not. So if someone sees Dr Myinitial Mysurname attached to a piece of work, they will have to form judgements purely based on the content of that work, and not on any subconscious gender stereotypes they may have.

This makes me feel dead subversive grin

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 03-Mar-13 12:23:22

If some know you well enough to use your first name then fine.

If someone does not or the circumstances dictate that they use a title then they should use the correct one no matter how they are related to you or who they are.

When I write to my grandmother I tend to write grandma on the envelope but if I didnt and tended to write her actual name then I would use her correct title.

I also expect people to either use my first name should they be familure enough to do so but if not then my title. if the circumstances dictate that they would normally call me mrs/miss/ms then I would automaticly expect them to make sure they were correct so not use any of those.

Snog Sun 03-Mar-13 12:30:28

Surely titles are about status and how much respect is due/expected/demanded?
As such I think they should all be ditched and we should all respect each other independently of title.

The whole system belongs to a bygone feudal patriarchal history. We have moved on.

Wishihadabs Sun 03-Mar-13 12:32:31

Yy to genderless

Corygal Sun 03-Mar-13 12:34:14

Using it not at work is awfully twatty - except when you are dodging parking fines when hoping signing yourself Doctor means the council think you were an emergency medic.

akaemmafrost Sun 03-Mar-13 12:35:08

Blimey I'd love to have a Phd, I'd have everyone calling me doctor <<dreams of instructing ex to address ALL correspondence to DOCTOR Frost>>.

monkeysbignuts Sun 03-Mar-13 13:08:48

Love it badbride

brightspark2 Sun 03-Mar-13 13:17:44

YANBU - use it!

I was widowed young and hate being called Miss - or by my first name in commercial situations.

You worked hard, you have a Doctorate and you are NOT a little girl or your husband's add-on - YANBU.

"Do you not think it's a bit precious to expect aunts and granny to address you as Dr even if it is only by post?"
Precious hmm? Good god if I had a PhD my aunts and mother would be falling over themselves to address my letters to Dr. WhereYouLeftIt!! They would be so proud, and probably ram it down the throat of every passing acquaintance they had. ('My neice the doctor was just saying to me the other day ...')

LittleLark Sun 03-Mar-13 13:32:48

I use mine. It's my title!
Just as much as Mrs (which I literally never use)
No strong feelings about why, though. Don't think it's pretentious, anymore than changing from Miss to Mrs is...

Helspopje Sun 03-Mar-13 13:38:29

interesting - I have a cambridge Ph.D so must be a peculiarity of oxford, not oxbridge

Zzzzmarchhare Sun 03-Mar-13 13:53:32

DH has a phd and is called prof. by the oldest member if his family because they are so proud of him.
I address cards etc for my freinds with PhDs as Dr because that is their title and they worked hard for it. I don't think it's pretentious at all.
People show off about new cars, phones, loosing a few pounds etc, I don't think using a title you worked hard for is showing off

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 13:56:15

Massively pretentious to call yourself dr when you have a phd.

FierceBadIggi Sun 03-Mar-13 14:10:26

Well I think it's massively pretentious to call yourself Mrs just because you've bagged a man.

MedicPeso Sun 03-Mar-13 14:10:57

Gosh, some of these posts are bizarre grin.

I have a PhD, therefore my title is Dr. I don't like Mrs, or even Ms particularly (why should I have a title that indicates my gender, or also my marital status?). It's easier to have 1 title and 1 name, for both work and non-work. And fuck it, I worked hard for it.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 14:11:32

goal why? I assume you think it's also massively pretentious to call yourself mrs when you're married?! The degree comes with the title!

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Mar-13 14:14:59


I can just imagine my Niece asking me to address her Christmas cards to 'Doctor'

She'd be the laughing stock of the family and told to get right over herself (not that she would dream of it anyway).

It's a Christmas card/personal letter FFS, not an official document!

TheCollieDog Sun 03-Mar-13 14:15:18

*@Artemis YANBU, but you are making the error of thinking that other people are sane, rational beings like yourself. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to courtesy titles, you must choose between the following 4 evils:

1) Miss: hasn't bagged a man, poor dear; belongs to father
2) Mrs: has bagged a man, is therefore adult; belongs to husband
3) Ms: man-hating feminist, has probably bagged a woman; belongs in lunatic asylum
4) Dr: uppity bluestocking with ideas above her station; belongs in pillory

As a holder of a doctorate, I've opted for (4). Don't expect family and friends to use it, or indeed to use any courtesy title at all. But if anyone gives me any crap about PhDs using their title being pretentious I assume they are just being reverse-snobs. Then massively out-snob them by pointing out that actually I haven't got a PhD, but a D.Phil (an Oxbridge PhD) grin*

Brilliant, Artemisia ! I have the title I was born with, a title from marriage (but was widowed v young), a PhD and the title conferred by my job. I tend to use "Dr" as that's the title I've actually earned. And when one is asked "Mrs or Miss?" I do find when I say "Doctor, actually, but otherwise Ms" generally people will apologise in an embarrassed way.

When my handbag was stolen & I had to replace all my credit cards ages ago, I then changed my title. But I didn't bother when I got my chair to get everything changed to Professor, because life's too short.

But really, would a man with a PhD worry about this? I really, really doubt it.

crashdoll Sun 03-Mar-13 14:18:29

For work, YANBU but for family and friend, you would be VERY U.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 14:21:37

@Helspopje LOL, I was wondering when I'd get pulled up on that one. smile It is indeed an Oxford thing. But my undergrad degree was indeed from The Other Place, and was "incorporated" into the Oxford DPhil malarkey when I arrived, so I'm not totally lying. grin

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Mar-13 14:22:00

I agree with you, Medic.

If you have a PhD, which, let's face it, you've had to work incredibly hard for, for many years, your title is "Dr."

Why is it pretentious to call yourself Dr and not Mrs?

It makes me laugh reading MN at times; all these women who want to be called Mrs when all they did was get married - a lot of women retain Mrs even when they divorce, such is the status symbol. Everyone on here values education when it comes to their own children, but when it comes to a stranger on the internet, they suddenly feel free to tell them they are being pretentious if they change their title.


MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 14:25:37

If I had a phd, you'd better believe that I would be using "doctor" on every document available.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 14:26:46

And with family as well! You'd be pissed off if someone wrote "Mrs" when you were "Miss" and depressingly vice versa, so if your title is "Doctor" why the hell not?

Nothing pretentious about it.

TheCollieDog Sun 03-Mar-13 14:29:06

If I had a phd, you'd better believe that I would be using "doctor" on every document available.

Although I'd advise you never to use it with medicos -- most of whom are not actually real doctors, but have the MB/BS degrees, and are called 'doctor' as a courtesy title (unless they have a proper PhD, that is).

But they get a bit snitty if you say this to them ... grin

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 14:30:49

I don't give a shiney shite if people refer to me as miss, mrs or ms. By all means use Dr at work if it is relevant but day to day it is. Simply pretentious. Those who think it normal, do you list you qualifications after you sign a letter?

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 14:31:45

Sometimes I'm sorely tempted Goal. SORELY.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 14:38:29

mechanical ha [grins] there is a hilarious bit in Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals where a character insides on all their post nominal letters being used in a football chant about them

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 14:40:09

Really? Why? Do you think it will change people's opinion of you? My experience has always been that those who list and or use their quals in a non work environment are intellectually or socially insecure.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 14:42:17

@Goal: Do I sign myself as "BadBride, MA (Cantab), DPhil (Oxon)"? No. But I don't sign myself as "BadBride, possessor of two X chromosomes, bagged a man and got him wedlocked to me" either.

I don't know any PhDs who introduce themselves as "Dr" in informal, social settings (to do so would be silly). I use it only if someone insists on a title, usually some branch of officialdom.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 14:43:42

I wouldn't say I'm insecure, but I find the whole Mrs/Miss/Ms thing a faff, and to be able to sidestep that and just use Dr would be great.

Beyond that, I would be so proud of myself for having risen from obscurity that I would be over-joyed. Vulgar, perhaps, but when you come from a shit background, it's a bit of a thrill.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 14:44:17

High five badbride, I like your thinking.

DeepRedBetty Sun 03-Mar-13 14:44:52

I haven't aspired to the giddy heights of a doctorate. But I do put my MA after my name on extremely formal letters.

The only person I've ever sniggered at about using his title was a teacher at a friend's private school who had inherited a baronetcy and insisted on the boys calling him Sir FirstName.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 14:50:02

Formal work letters or other letters I.e to the bank. Formal work letters fair enough IF the qual is related to your work, anything else very prentious IMO.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 14:51:26

@TheCollieDog Given the scarcity of top-level female academics, I'd say life is in no way too short to get everything changed to "Professor". I'd be tempted to get my car pimped out with a new paint job with badass flames and PROFESSOR plastered down the sides. Ditto a bike, if you have one smile

MedicPeso Sun 03-Mar-13 14:52:46

I agree with badbride, if someone asks for a title, or is likely to ask for a title, I use it. Because, um, it's my title.

I wouldn't say 'Hello, I'm Dr Peso' at a party, just as I wouldn't say 'Hello, I'm Ms / Mrs Peso'. I would say 'Hello, I'm Medic'.

I realise that my current username isn't helping me to make my point.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 14:52:53

goal I would never introduce myself as Dr in an informal situation, there's no need, but on forms, letters etc I will use it because it's my title. I don't see what is pretentious about it any more than a woman using mrs on the same documentation once she's married.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 14:55:55

I think there s no need unless it's relevant, same with Mrs!

monkeysbignuts Sun 03-Mar-13 14:58:54

I love it when people call consultants Dr, I used to work in a hospital (a nurse) & they get so wound up by it.
We had one consultant who would say he worked too hard to be called Dr and we must refer to him as Mr? ! Wtaf?
Ewww I would hate for people to call me nurse monkey's lol

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 14:58:59

Goal I think folk are basically agreeing with you that formal use of the title is fine, but using it socially is daft. As in: " Hello, God. It's me...Dr Frasier Crane"

bingodiva Sun 03-Mar-13 15:00:21

i dont use anyones titles on post as i sometimes dont know what their title is, first name and last name seems fine. if anyone told me to use their title they would get a swift two fingers shown to them for them being pretentious - at the end of the day we are all the same and im not going to be looked down upon by anyone.

I only ever use my Dr (PhD) on official stuff if it's work related. I work in HE, so loads of my colleagues have PhDs or MBCHBs, and are Professors. It's kind of 'normal'. smile
I don't ever use it when flying, so I don't get called for suspected heart attacks, etc. Also, my knowledge of Victorian literature probably wouldn't be much use!

someoftheabove Sun 03-Mar-13 15:15:02

goal, hate to say this, but I think there's a bit of a chip on your shoulder. If you've got a PhD, your title is Dr - simple. Whether or where you use it is entirely up to the person with the PhD, but I don't think anyone was seriously suggesting their family suddenly started calling them Dr Something instead of their first name. I use Dr when someone asks for my title, as that's what my title is.
In Germany, where I used to live, having a PhD is far more common and people don't seem to get their knickers in a twist about it at all. Except that you have to preceded it with Herr or Frau to indicate your gender, which seems a bit naff.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 15:17:00

bingodiva first name last name is totally fine! I don't think people would be talking down to you though, if you used say Miss and they were a Mrs, just correcting you so that you knew for future reference.

Teahouse Sun 03-Mar-13 15:17:55

On flights they request medical doctors not useless PhDs...having me of the later I feel I can say that ;0)
Use Dr on everything I can as I kept my married name after my divorce and it differentiates me from the boys step-mum. Plus, I love it when people say it that Mrs, Miss or Ms Surname, and I say Dr... Pretentious probably but I am an academic and it is just normal in my circle of acquaintances.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:21:59

Ah yes. If a student says "is it true you're a doctor miss?", I generally reply "not a useful one..."

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 15:27:34

Ha ha at chip on my shoulder. Why should I or anyone be interested n others qualifications except in the workplace? Amongst my colleagues it is the "first in the family to go to university" brigade who make a big show of their "title" the rest of us don't really see it as relevant. The attitude that teahouse has is exactly the one I am talking about, very odd. I don't feel the need to advertise my academic status, any more than my marital status or my bank balance unless it is relevant to the situation.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 15:30:05

Why should anyone feel the need to advertise their marital status?

Yes, I'm the first in my family to go to university, I went to a really good university and I am justly proud. Maybe to some who have had parents in education it doesn't seem like a big deal. My dad left school at 14 and in my family, it is a big deal.

Trills Sun 03-Mar-13 15:30:38

I don't feel the need to advertise my academic status, any more than my marital status or my bank balance unless it is relevant to the situation.

When I am asked for a title on a form I have to choose to advertise either my academic status or my marital status+gender or just my gender. In most cases all three are entirely irrelevant.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 15:34:01

Mechanical - do you think people will treat you differently?

Callycat Sun 03-Mar-13 15:36:32

I use Dr on official forms; partly at least because it gets round the annoying Miss/Mrs thing. Never even considered that family would use it AT ALL, but that doesn't stop my mother sending birthday cards to Dr Callycat blush

I admit I do like the slightly subversive aspect of it, in that I don't look at all like a stereotypical academic. I've had lots of older male colleagues do a double take when they see "Dr Callycat" on forms, which always make me inwardly smile. I'm a sad bugger, I know.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:37:11

"first in the family to go to university brigade"? hmm

How very Alan Clark that sounds...

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 15:39:10

Differently to what? And when? If I use "doctor"? Or if I tell them I went to university?

Madonna, yes, quite.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 15:41:58

goal I assume then that you refuse to use any title at all, since you'd either be " advertising" your marital status, or your academic status...
I don't really see it as "advertising" at all - everyone has a title of some sort.

Teahouse Sun 03-Mar-13 15:42:40

My doctorate defines me more than my marital status. It makes no difference whether I am married, divorced or single but I couldn't do my job without my Fud!
If a form asks for my title, I give it...stops me being defined by my lack of being married.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 15:42:49

Mechanical- if you use doctor? Yes I do judge people, same as everyone else. The thing is that it seems that those wanting to advertise their academic status, think they are giving off one image but are in fact being perceived quite differently by some people.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:47:04

I could do my job without it. As could the OP. Most people who do our job don't have a PhD (although an increasing number do, interesting...)

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 15:53:03

Interesting thread. Question: is the title "Dr" the only work-related title that attracts accusations of pretension? Do Reverends, Lieutenants, Justices, Constables and so on attract similar criticism?

Or the dislike of the PhD a relic of the old Town vs Gown wars?

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 15:56:57

I would feel the same about any of those you mentioned using the title on their bank cards for example. Would think it very odd

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 15:57:59

I couldn't give a shite about other people perceptions particularly if they're the sort of person who talks disparagingly about the "first in the family to go to university brigade" naysayers.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:58:55

I do not address my friend's Christmas cards to Sqn Ldr Madonna'sFriend, no.

I put Mr. He has never asked me to use his rank. Is it a title?

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 16:00:26

I tend not to use one unless necessary I.e my bank card is initial and surname. I would not insist upon a title or change a suggested one that was in some way accurate I.e if someone used ms I wouldn't insist on either dr or mrs as ms is also true.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 16:01:11

Of course you do mechanical that's why you do it!

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 16:02:47

Erm, well I'm not a doctor, so it's beyond the point anyway.

It's nothing to do with others, it's just that I would find it amazing if I were a doctor, so I would use it. Just because you're obsessed with what others think doesn't mean we all are.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 16:04:14

Noi don't care what others think, hence my not being concerned about how they address me.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 16:06:04

Hmm, well, I tend to find that when people ascribe qualities to others, they quite often have those qualities themselves. Just a thought.

Like I said, I hate the whole Miss/Mrs/Ms nonsense. I would be really happy if I achieved a phd. Why not celebrate that? Other women celebrate their marriage, I'd like to celebrate my academic skills.

someoftheabove Sun 03-Mar-13 16:06:15

My bank requires me to have a title on my bank cards. I think it would be rather pointless not to put my correct one.
*goal, it's not about advertising, academic or otherwise. It's my title. What exactly is the problem with that?

Lexagon Sun 03-Mar-13 16:06:30

I think demanding family members use it on personal letters is a bit odd, but aside from that, it wouldn't bother me (unless someone made a mistake and got screamed at for it) - you've worked for the PhD, you deserve the title it comes with (I feel very different about inherited-type titles grin)

someoftheabove Sun 03-Mar-13 16:07:37


badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 16:08:35

If you call youself Miss or Mrs, you'll annoy the feminists. If you call yourself Ms, you'll upset the conservatives. Calling yourself Dr will irritat folk who see academic titles as bing pretentious.

So the moral of this thread, dear OP, is that whatever you decide to do, sombody, somewhere will make a catsbumface about it.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 16:09:24

With apologies for all the typos!

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 16:11:17

Someoftheabove - ms is also your title (assuming you are female). Why not use that? Having a Doctorate doesn't mean you have no other way of being addressed. Like I said I would think you were being pretentious but I don't expect you to care about that.

Peevish Sun 03-Mar-13 16:11:57

I always use mine. Would never expect family/friends to put anything on an envelope other than Peevish McPeevishton, but if they are going to use a title for some reason, then I am either Dr. or Ms.

TheCollieDog Sun 03-Mar-13 16:15:01

I had my PhD before I was married, and I was widowed a couple of years after the birth of my DS, so 'Dr' is the title I've lived longest with (aside from the title I was born with). But in social situations, I introduced myself as First name, Last Name. And even in professional situations, I rarely use either of my professional titles. Although I do think it's funny at times, when I do have to mention I'm a professor, and people immediately treat me differently. It's why I prefer not to use that title.

goal do you think that medicos who use the title Dr (unless they have a PhD it's a courtesy title only) are showing off?

Given the fuss on the other thread about Ms. no wonder women use alternatives if they have them.

Personally, I'm fine with the Quaker form of formal address "First Name, Last Name" with no title for anyone, man, woman, or child. I think it's simple and respectful.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 16:15:24

I wish Peevish McPeevishton was your actual name. That wouldbe amazing!

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 16:16:57

Collie- I think medics using their title in anon work situation are equally odd tbh. Collie you seem to have the balance just right.

difficultpickle Sun 03-Mar-13 16:19:28

If I had worked hard enough to get a PhD I would want to use the title for every given opportunity. What I find odd is people who put their degree letters after their name. Frankly anything less than a PhD is pretty common these days.

Personally I don't see the big deal about going to university as so many do these days. I was the second and last in my extended family to go to uni (my db was the first) and I graduated 25 years ago. My parents had no education having had to leave school at 14 but the absolute minimum qualification they expected from myself and my db was a degree and preferably something more (both of us are professionally qualified). I don't use my degree or professional title in my personal life and rarely do in my work life (my job indicates my professional qualification).

OkayHazel Sun 03-Mar-13 17:05:07

I'm doing my doctorate now. Will insist on Dr when I'm awarded it!

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Mar-13 17:15:44

I'm really intrigued by the idea that referring to someone with a PhD as 'Dr' is pretentious. It wouldn't occur to me to do anything else. I'd see it more along the lines of remembering who prefers to be 'Mrs Husband's Name', who prefers to be 'Ms Own Name', how you spell people's first names, etc - it's just a matter of taking trouble with friends and colleagues. The one thing that has put me out lately is a colleague who is now 'Dr Wife's Name'. I see his reasoning, I just can't remember the bloody name!

someoftheabove Sun 03-Mar-13 17:50:48

goal, why do you assume I'm female?
I never said I've got no other way of being addressed. I just said my title is Dr and that's what I use. I still don't see why you find it such a problem. Why is using your correct title pretentious?

dikkertjedap Sun 03-Mar-13 17:55:57

I only used to use my title (PhD, so Dr) when publishing articles and at speaking engagements. Most of my colleagues and friends and family know that I have a PhD, but they address me by my first name. I prefer it that way TBH. I always felt that in my field I wanted people to listen to me because of what I had to say and because I was very good at my job, not because I hold this title.

However, I have changed career and now work as a teacher, so now no longer use it. I have the feeling that it possibly may create a gulf with other staff and parents, as I am very overqualified compared with most teachers (doesn't mean I am a better teacher obviously, but had a totally different career before entering teaching).

knackeredmother Sun 03-Mar-13 18:02:50

I'm a medical doctor (GP) and rarely use my title. I just feel a bit of a tit, even at work I introduce myself to patients with my first and second name, I just feel twatty insisting on Dr Knackered. Most of my colleagues use Dr though.
Not sure if you are BU or not!

Adversecamber Sun 03-Mar-13 18:06:55

DH family always send letters to Dr and Mrs, I am a Ms they also insisted on giving me his surname when I hadn't changed it, ggrrhhhh.

He has virtually never used his title but I suppose having testicles he does not have to worry about being judged by whatever title he has. I rather like Colliedogs pigeonholing of titles. I just need to add quite a few people I have met think Ms means divorced.

We did have one teacher at my bog standard comp who had Dr as a title. I know people are saying how ridiculous and anti intellectualism but we were just kids. The kind of boys I went to school with admired people for setting fire to their own farts and we all assumed he was a blood pressure kind of a Doctor.

I think it's really important for women to us 'Dr' as it's so much assumed to be a male title - either that medics are, by default, men, or that academics are. We need to change that.

I think the thing of an academic 'dr' being called up for first aid in an emergency on a plane is utter bollocks, btw - maybe it happened once, but these days I have never been on a plane it's not simply been that they ask medics to identify themselves. And you don't have titles on passports, so they wouldn't necessarily know anyway.

I do think it's BU to expect family to use a title, unless you've got a name like Smith and there's a real chance letters to 'Mrs Smith' would go astray and letters to 'Dr Smith' wouldn't.

whiteflame Sun 03-Mar-13 19:06:13

I use my Dr title when a title is asked for. I have no idea why I wouldn't, it isn't a preference, it is my title.

DH uses Dr quite generally. I've noticed the school still address letters to Mr and Mrs Juggling even though that's not what we put when we filled out various forms. We had to check our details (mainly contact wise) were right recently and I told them again what we'd prefer (well, why not hey ?) so we'll see if they notice at any point !

nokidshere Sun 03-Mar-13 19:19:34

So if you are a doctor married to a doctor would you get mail addressed to Dr & Dr nokidshere grin

The only thing I think about this thread is how bizarre it is that a title (any title) bothers people so much. I call people the name they are introduced to me by and wouldn't ever question it.

Callycat Sun 03-Mar-13 19:26:02

I think it's really important for women to us 'Dr' as it's so much assumed to be a male title

Yes, I agree with this. It's especially so if you're a teacher or otherwise in a visible position; it's good to show kids that not all Doctors are middle-class men.

It's one reason I like to use it - as well as being female I am from a veeeeeery "deprived" area, where lots of kids leave school with no GCSEs (including me - it took me a long time to sort my arse out and go back to education as an adult). So I think it's nice to show that academia is no longer the preserve of a privileged few. Though Cameron and co. are doing their best to fix that angry

redwellybluewelly Sun 03-Mar-13 19:33:50

badbride ahem I thin I love you ... well, like you a lot

I'm a Ms, I kept my maiden name when I married, I'm the first in my family to do so and they all struggle with addressing correspondence. Its really not that challenging surely.

I'm currently completing my PhD, when I have the title I will use it formally with banks and ask (politely) that correspondence is sent to me under that title. I know colleagues who use the title in an everyday way and I know those who don't. I have a relative who worked bloody hard for her PhD and has in the past thanked me for recognising her efforts by addressing her as Dr on correspondence.

However I think that Dr being genderless will be one stonkingly big fat reason to use it as a title. I work in a male dominated industry, many of my peers are younger or my age without children, I have already seen how much eyebrows are raised that I am a mum and wife. Sigh.

someoftheabove Sun 03-Mar-13 19:34:24

I think the reason it's become an issue on here (never been one for me in RL) is because some posters think if you have a PhD you make a conscious choice to "change" your title because you think you are intellectually superior and want to shove it in people's faces. The fact that Dr is now your title seems to have ecaped some people who think you have an obligation not to use it for some reason.

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:39:07

"I think it's really important for women to us 'Dr' as it's so much assumed to be a male title"

Exactly - i have just posted a thread about my mums doctor and everyone assumed it was a he!!

I use it because im proud of my achievement

cally - that's exactly what I was thinking of. Two of my teachers were 'Dr' and it made me aware that women could be. And it was nice too because when we asked why they were 'Dr' not Miss or Mrs (sorry, no Ms there! grin), we got an explanation of how they'd enjoyed learning about the subject they were teaching.

I do see the point some makes that it could be alienating if people think you are making out you're better than them, but I think it's possible to counter that impression in other ways, and the benefits of it outweigh the possible, easily-averted disadvantage. My 'Dr' teacher whom I knew best was very down to earth and no-one would ever have got the impression she thought her degree made her better than anyone else.

louisianablue2000 Sun 03-Mar-13 19:46:30

I always use my title (I've got a DPhil) when asked for it outside work. It is actually rarely used at work though, we have a lot of American customers and they don't understand what Dr Blue means, they tend to use Blue PhD so that is what we use on business cards etc. Obviously we use first names most of the time though.

My SIL has the same name as me (she changed her name when she got married, I didn't), I get more rude comments about being Dr than she does so there is a definite anti-intellectualism going on in some quarters. My lovely brother (who also has a PhD) refers to us as the 'useful' doctor (her) and the 'real' doctor (me) which is quite funny.

Completely agree that as women we have a duty to use it, although my Mum disagrees, she got very annoyed at me when I was younger because I wrote a letter to some relatives addressed Mr and Dr X. Apparently it was insulting to the man (who was a civil engineer) to give his wife her professional title hmm

Callycat Sun 03-Mar-13 19:46:35

I have heard other people (on a recent Twitter argument) say that the title is alienating, LRD. But I really don't see that it is - I know very well (and this isn't false modesty) that I'm not staggeringly intelligent. I just found a subject I loved and worked bloody hard, and loads of people could do it too (subject to family/financial constraints, of course). I hope that my ordinariness shows kids that they might be able to do the same, if they want to.

God, I sound like a ponce blush Time to go watch Top Gear!

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Mar-13 19:49:53

Oh good for you, Callycat! I completely completely agree with your stance. In fact, it has cheered me up no end.

chutneypig Sun 03-Mar-13 19:51:57

I can't recall ever having introduced myself as Dr. Even for a presentation I'm preparing to talk about my career post PhD, I haven't put Dr on the title slide. I do have it on my bank cards as it is my title and I sound around 12 on the phone and do give it as my title when asked. Because it is my title. Which seems to have escaped HMRC who changed it to Mrs.

As for family cards, the single time I have been slightly irritated, for about 2 seconds, was at one addressed to Dr and Mrs by a relative. Like my PhD is less than his. It's never bothered DH but he's never had to handle the whole Miss/Mrs/Ms thing.

I'm not either, cally. But isn't that why it is a little alienating, because most people who are 'Dr' (medics or academics) are ordinary people who happen to have gone for a particular career. People naturally wonder what they've missed that this person has a different title from the norm.

I do agree it's good to show children they might enjoy something too and that's how I felt about my teachers who'd enjoyed research (and why I hope to get a doctorate one day).

Bollocks. If my ass went to school for anywhere half as long as you must have done I would expect the dog to use my title.

cathers Sun 03-Mar-13 19:55:03

Again, I'm a medical doctor, married to another medical doctor and we very rarely use the title Dr. People knowing that you are a doctor seems to encourage them to talk about their bodily functions and request help or advice on flights and holidays. We both only use it in the workplace.

It is probably quite nice to use though if you are not going to be asked to give your opinion on 'an irritable cough' for the fifth time that week!

kinkyfuckery Sun 03-Mar-13 19:56:08

I'd use my title if I'd earned one. Would make me feel well posh.

I regularly use titles I'm not entitled to anyway - the Bravissimo catalogue comes address to Professor Fuckery, the Emma Bridgewater one to Lady Fuckery, etc.

If your dog can use titles he's more deserving of them than the rest of us!

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 19:57:41

Someoftheabove - lol your title, no more changes when you are awarded a doctorate than it does when you get married. dr is no more an obligation than Mrs. Also I didn't assume you were female, I said ms would apply assuming you were female. Obviously if you are not mr applies in exactly the same way. All of you who are claiming you use it because it is gender less have you also changed your names to something gender neutral? It all just smacks of people thinking they are being terribly clever by not letting on what their gender is and pointing out when people get their title "wrong" . All terribly graceless IMO. As I said work context where the quals are related to your work, absolutely fine.

The dog is a Sir, I'll have you know. hasn't got a dog..has got two shitty cats who would not piss on me if I was on fire let alone use a title

Callycat Sun 03-Mar-13 20:01:03

Thanks, Grendel smile

That's a point, LRD. It never occurred to me that people might wonder what they'd missed. I don't think the PhD is something people should consider they've missed out on - it was necessary for my career so I did it. I'm more in awe of people who can pass a bloody driving test; that has eluded me endlessly blush

Anyway, TG's on, so back later!

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 03-Mar-13 20:02:31

My name is gender neutral

You're using your dog under false pretences?! shock

cally - oh, I don't think people necessarily think like that. I think it's just like, if I knew someone hadn't been able to learn to drive because of the cost of lessons, I wouldn't bang on about my new BMW (which is as fictional as hairy's dog and a lot less clever grin). So in the same way, I cringed when my dad used 'Dr' to people who obviously were alienated by it or felt they'd committed a faux pas by not knowing what it was.

It's not a huge issue, just a minor consideration IMO. It's mostly covered by the usual 'not behaving like a wanker' rules.

Olgathebrickshed Sun 03-Mar-13 20:05:29

I have a doctorate, but don't use my title as I like being 'Mrs' much more than I like being 'Dr'.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 20:08:04

And that's the thing LRD there seem to be several people on this thread who like to correct others or use their title to make a point, that I think is just bad manners

Procrastinating Sun 03-Mar-13 20:10:53

YANBU. Use it. I'm a dr and I use it for everything, I appreciate not having to choose between Ms and Mrs. It is a feminist thing for me as well as a worked bloody hard for it thing.

I used mine. And yes it is often assumed that dh i the Dr hmm

goal - but IMO it does depend on the point that's being made. All titles 'make a point', after all - none is neutral.

I think using 'Dr' to make the point 'I am very important' is naff. But using it to say 'Look, this is what a medic/academic looks like - we're not just white middle-class men' could be very valuable.

I use mine when I am advocating on behalf of ds1. It helps remind 'professionals' not to patronise me. You would not believe the patronising crap you have to put up with as the mother of a severely disabled child (I am talking about desk bound professionals here - the one who actually know what they're talking about get their hands dirty don't tend to patronise.)

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 20:17:50

Indeed - but that would more generally be in a work context I would say rather than checking into a hotel or having it on your bank card

MedicPeso Sun 03-Mar-13 20:18:07

cally, I agree with your point about being completely normal, and hopefully other completely normal might see me, and see that they could do it too.

I'm bowing out now, this thread is going in circles.

It's very hard to separate work and hotels/bank cards, for obvious reasons.

Procrastinating Sun 03-Mar-13 20:24:19

Cally one of my many driving instructors told me that people with lots of education are the ones who struggle most with driving. Something to do with the way you learn to think rather than respond, according to him.

It took me years to pass my test and then I only managed it in an automatic, so yes, driving much more difficult than the doctorate.

Ah, fuck. I'm quite a decent driver though I did take a while to pass (two tests). Does that mean I'll fail my viva?

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Mar-13 20:27:44

I think more women should be out and proud about being Professors, too.

And that no-one, when introduced as Prof so and so who has done a great deal of important work for women's equality at the University in addition to her own important research, should look down at her shoes and mutter, 'oh, it was nothing really'.

<yes, I'm looking at you Prof at this week's University Women's event. Your work is ace. Be proud.>

Btw, Jeremy Clarkson has a doctorate. Ish.

Wabbitty Sun 03-Mar-13 20:28:13

Stolen from another website "PhD are the only people to whom the title is a right. It is honorary for Dentists just as it is honorary for Medics ( a fact that is totally missed in consultation and discussion!!)

The bastardisation of Dr by medics has been so successful to the extent that doctor means medic not PhD."

aquashiv Sun 03-Mar-13 20:33:59

Oh titles are odlfashioned twaddle but well done for being getting a PHD and if its important to you ofcourse you should use for sure.

Procrastinating Sun 03-Mar-13 20:42:57

You will be fine LRD, you did it in the right order! According to driving instructor passing the driving test becomes a problem post PhD.

Clarkson's PhD - was it an honorary one? Honorary PhDs are an outrage.

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 03-Mar-13 20:43:19

oooh interesting about the driving - i have a PhD and can't drive!

TheCollieDog Sun 03-Mar-13 20:48:35

I think the thing of an academic 'dr' being called up for first aid in an emergency on a plane is utter bollocks, btw - maybe it happened once, but these days I have never been on a plane it's not simply been that they ask medics to identify themselves

Yes, it's ridiculous! actually, I was an hour late on my already 6 hour epic commute (to do the job which gives me an apparently pretentious title!) late Friday night, when the train guard's call came for a "medically qualified" person - a doctor or nurse. They didn't come running for me even though my train ticket had the dreaded "Dr" on it ... (actually apparently it was an asthma attack & I know all too well how to deal with those ...)

But as others have said, do we REALLY think a bloke would be judged in this way? By other men? I very much doubt it.

TheCollieDog Sun 03-Mar-13 20:55:35

* I have heard other people (on a recent Twitter argument) say that the title is alienating *

Gosh! how weird! Do they think that a medico calling him/herself doctor is alienating? Or a dentist or a vet? (these people calling themselves doctor always makes me snigger).

Anti-intellectualism still reigns. Depressing.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 20:55:36

I can't drive either! Have had loooads of lessons but still not ready to take the test, how weird!
Thanks for all the opinions guys, I had no idea that this would raise such a debate and I really do appreciate everyone taking the time to comment. Lots to think about, but in the end I know I agree most with badbride's excellent summary and wish I was cool enough to have put it like that myself in the first place.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 20:55:55

redwelly thanks smile Glad you liked my posts! I agree that the genderless aspect of Dr can be a huge boost to women working in male-dominated sectors. And I second Cally's sentiment that having visible role models is vital to inspiring young folk, especially girls, and to show that academia is open to anyone, regardless of their background.

Which brings me on to Goal's comment about "people thinking they are being terribly clever by not letting on what their gender is". I don't mean to be rude, but I think you are missing the point. Women who use Dr as a gender-neutral title aren't hugging themselves because they think hiding their gender is clever. They do so because gender stereotyping is still shockingly prevalent in our society, even in supposedly right-on sectors such as academia.

Take this study, where academics of both sexes were asked to rate the capabilities of a job applicant for a lab manager post, based on reading a CV. The CVs they were given were absolutely identical, save one details: half the CVs detailed a female name, half a male one. The academics (even the women) routinely rated the "male" applicant as being more competent, more employable and would offer him a higher starting salary than the "female" applicant.

These were academics who honestly didn't believe they had any gender-based biases. But they were biased, because years of cultural stereotyping about women being less competent/ worse at science than men had subconsciously affected their decision-making.

THIS is why women should not be shy about calling themselves 'Dr": because it will build a critical mass of academic visibility that will one day make all of this gender crap history.

I think doctors can be alienating, collie?

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 21:02:13

Artemis thanks for you too smile

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 21:04:45

Collie "do we REALLY think a bloke would be judged in this way? By other men? I very much doubt it."

Don't you bet on it. I have visions of male academics getting their doctorates out and seeing who's got the largest one smile

wherearemysocka Sun 03-Mar-13 21:12:10

I was a bridesmaid at my friend's wedding a while back. The previous year she had slogged her way to achieving a PhD whilst fighting serious ilness at the same time. Her achieving that doctorate was a massive achievement.

Whilst they were signing the register the vicar made a big deal of saying 'oooh, this is the last time you'll ever sign MISS......' to my friend. 'It's Doctor, actually', I piped up. Damn right she was going to get credit for what she'd achieved.

wherearemysocka Sun 03-Mar-13 21:12:51

sorry...clearly I like the word achieve!

TheCollieDog Sun 03-Mar-13 21:39:25

I have visions of male academics getting their doctorates out and seeing who's got the largest one

Badbride you are baaaaad! I will now have to wash my brain out at the thought of several colleagues-who-shall-be-nameless actually doing this.

One thing about having worked my way to the top is that I can just laugh at the male of the species tendency to dick-measuring. But there are times when I really have said in meetings "Well, why don't you just put them on the table and measure them?" There is a stunned silence and then they laugh. Well, they'd look silly getting upset about that, wouldn't they? Because nowhere do I say dick/willy/penis. Oh no, no, no, no

Callycat Sun 03-Mar-13 21:42:10

That's very interesting, Procrastinating! I can blame my education and the fact I can't tell left from right

I think honorary doctorates reflect that someone has made a contribution equal to that of any other PhD, just working independently and over a longer time? Is that correct?

(sorry to derail topic!)

Callycat Sun 03-Mar-13 21:42:46

Oh, and tonight's Top Gear was bloody awesome, just to derail the thread even more.

didireallysaythat Sun 03-Mar-13 21:54:26

Tough call.... I only insist on a title when a cold caller asks if I'm Mrs DH-surname. I usually tell them if they can address me correctly I'll listen to what they have to say...

Oh and my mil writes cheques to Mrs. DH-surname which I can't pay in as that's not my name either.

KitchenandJumble Sun 03-Mar-13 21:56:35

I have a PhD and I only use it in a professional setting. I would feel like a pretentious buffoon if I insisted on this title elsewhere. Certainly can't imagine requesting that family members address their letters to Dr. K.A. Jumble. Last name + first name is fine with me.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 21:59:18

kitchenandjumble I don't mind letters that are first name,last name - I just get a bit hmm at letters to Mrs Husbands name husbands surname.

Goal Sun 03-Mar-13 21:59:27

Badbride- that's not the impression given by some people on this thread.
Wherearemysocks - I would have been mortified had you done that at my wedding.

Coconutty Sun 03-Mar-13 22:04:45

If you were on an aeroplane and the captain said, is there a doctor on the plane, would you step forward? Genuine question which I've often thought.

MechanicalTheatre Sun 03-Mar-13 22:06:07

Goal, you seem to spend a lot of time cringing at other's gracelessness.

Maybe you need to unclench a bit.

ArtemisatBrauron Sun 03-Mar-13 22:09:09

I wouldn't because I am not a medical doctor ... Also, I fly a lot (conferences 3-4 times a year, plus 6ish flights home in school holidays to visit parents every year) and have NEVER been on a flight where anyone has been asked to help with a medical emergency. I think it only happens in the movies TBH.

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Mar-13 22:14:47

I'm a medical doctor. Dr is my title, like most medics I was qualified before I married so I have never been Mrs. If
Dr isn't an option I would choose Ms. Tbh I haven't bothered changing most things (though it's nearly 8 years since I qualified) but anything new I tend to put Dr. I never changed my name either, Mrs Husbands-Name is my MiL.

I also like confusing cold callers who without exception assume that Dr VinegarDrinker must be a man.

whereare - good on you! I bet she was pleased. Very rude of the vicar though.

KitchenandJumble Sun 03-Mar-13 22:26:38

I didn't change my name when I got married, so I'm not Mrs at all. Sometimes I am called Mrs, either with my last name or my DH's. And sometimes people (usually cold callers) address my DH as Mr. + my last name. It's not something I can get too worked up about, as these are people I will probably never speak to again.

If a family member or friend wrote to me as Mrs. DH's Last Name, I would correct the person, simply because that isn't my name. It's never happened though. Otherwise, as long as my name is spelled vaguely correctly, I'm not too bothered. grin

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 22:33:57

CollieDog Noooooo! You're the baaad one! Did you really say that in those meetings??? grin Am PMSL and wishing I had your nerve smile

I have long suspected that the hallowed H-index is actually just a mathematical formula for willy-waving. If only I could invent the academic citation equivalent of Viagra I would become very rich indeed.

badbride Sun 03-Mar-13 22:40:39

Goal Fair enough, I just wanted to clarify where I was coming from (and the view I know many of my friends/ colleagues take). Which is that I prefer "Dr" because it's the nearest things that describes me, not as a female, or a relationship status, but as a human being.

I use it as and when I feel like it. I worked very hard for it, I am entitled to it. I especially love using it with anyone who wants to try and insist I am Mrs or Miss. Like the poster up thread, I will then say 'It's Doctor, but Juliette is fine'. I am taking to the idea of pimping out a car with Yo Doctor down each side <modest>.

chezchaos Sun 03-Mar-13 22:55:04

I always use Dr. I'm more proud of that achievement than the fact that I happen to be married. MIL insists on addressing me as 'Mrs DHs name' but that's a generational thing. I find it strange that anyone would consider it odd for a woman to use a hard-earned academic title, but not blink an eyelid at the change of title on marriage.

drfayray Sun 03-Mar-13 23:16:59

It took me a long time and a lot of hard work to get my PhD. It means a lot to me and I use the title. Also I am getting divorced and I love how the Dr can be used instead of Mrs. In fact I get very agitated when I see the Mrs on anything and quickly make sure that it is changed. I do not like[grin Ms. Anyway, I am not Ms or Mrs...I am DR! grin

I earned it. It is a legitimate title, and too bad if people feel like they have to make snide remarks (I don't really get many, tbh).

missingwelliesinsd Sat 09-Mar-13 22:03:50

I'm very late to this thread, but imho it is crass to use a non-MD doctor title outside of professional (academic) environments. I live in the US and it is frowned upon. I have a PhD and a JD (Juris Doctorate) but as I don't teach, I don't ever use the doctor title.

Incidentally, it IS becoming an issue of confusion in the medical world now. There are increasing numbers of nurses who are achieving PhDs and referring to themselves as doctors when they interact with patients. There is a now a lively debate on how acceptable it is to refer to yourself as a doctor in a medical setting when you are not an MD. Not to rob the PhD nurse of respect for his/her academic title, but it causes potentially serious confusion.

Lueji Sat 09-Mar-13 22:20:51

In sone countries it's worse.
Anyone with a degree is a doctor (and in Brazil you just need money, basically), but in lower case.
Now that I am an Assistant Professor, I sometimes say I'm a professor, but it's the same word for teacher here, and I think most people assume I'm a teaching assistant. grin

Also coming from the UK where at academic level we all call eachother by first names, including supporting staff, I think some people by email don't easily realise what my position is, as I tend to just sign or say my first name. smile

Not bothered normally, just hate it when people call me love or sonething like that.

MrsAyrtonSenna Sat 09-Mar-13 22:25:48

You have worked hard for it and have earned the right to use the title, so why not?

whiteflame Sun 10-Mar-13 08:16:51

Well, Dr is originally the title for PhD. So medical Doctors are the ones who starting misusing it.

giraffesCantDateDucks Sun 10-Mar-13 08:25:26

If I had a PhD I would have it tattooed on my head.

catsrus Sun 10-Mar-13 08:39:07

I try not to use a title at all - but where the drop down box insists on having one then it's Dr because that is my correct title (PhD).

I would prefer people didn't use a title for me in personal correspondence - but if they insist on using one then they should use the correct one. Doesn't seem like rocket science to me - how can it be correct to use the wrong title ? confused. It's either no title or the correct one.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 10-Mar-13 09:19:45

In the USA, it's true that only MDs are called "doctor" in general daily life. PhDs are only called that in professional settings.

I still get tripped up over doctors who are surgeons. I call them "doctor" instead of Mr. or Ms. I mean well, but I am probably insulting them.

BsshBossh Sun 10-Mar-13 11:59:04

I'm non-plussed by titles. I'm proud of my DPhil but have only felt the need to use Dr when I was actually a university lecturer, and with my banks smile It isn't relevant for my current career though it's impressed certain clients when they've found out. I am happy to be a Ms, Mrs, Miss... anything. I know who I am and I am more than any title.

DH is a DPhil too but only uses it when relevant eg with clients in his DPhil field. He never uses it with his banks.

My mum is a medical Dr but even she's happy with Mrs when not working.

My non-PhD/Dr father on the other hand was always delighted and proud of all our titles and lost no opportunity to boast about his wife, daughter and son-in-law grin Bless him! He would address all mail to me as Dr Bssh DPhil, MPhil, BA (Hons).


HorribleMother Sun 10-Mar-13 12:20:02

Dentists are a nightmare (currently doing research where I have to contact lots of dentists). Some are doctors and some aren't.

whiteflame Sun 10-Mar-13 16:11:24

Why do you say "even she" when referring to a medical doctor, Bsshbossh? Dr is a research title, adopted by doctors. So it should be "even PhDs" who are happy to not be known by Dr, in your scenario.

msrisotto Sun 10-Mar-13 16:14:57

Those people who find it distasteful for a woman with a phd to call herself dr are sexist or jealous and insecure. If it is your title, it would be wrong not to use it.

Goal Sun 10-Mar-13 16:19:16

Yes msrisotto we are all jealous even though several of us are drs ourselves. Titles aren't exclusive you can be a dr and also be a mr,mrs,miss or ms! Being one doesn't exclude you from being another as well!

msrisotto Sun 10-Mar-13 16:21:33

Or sexist grin

Goal Sun 10-Mar-13 16:22:56

I am a woman not sure where sexism comes into it. I consider it equally affected if men do it.

msrisotto Sun 10-Mar-13 16:33:04

For what reason?

Lomaamina Sun 10-Mar-13 16:41:35

YANBU, that is, if they're doing what some of my aged relatives do and address me as Mrs <loma's husband's forename> surname. I too avoid using 'Dr' (PhD) when registering at doctor's surgery etc. I haven't changed any paperwork since I became Professor as it seems a bit of a palaver, but I do occasionally enjoy answering 'is it Ms or Mrs?' with 'Professor, actually'. Then, in a typically self-deprecating way, say (truthfully) 'but I'm just as proud of my 'Mrs'! I do have a giggle though when the Tesco delivery man tells me about his back ache and I have to explain that he'd better off speaking to next-door-the-retired-physio grin.

p.s. *Mumsnet HQ*: have you ever looked at the statistics on the proportion of academics on your board? I'm convinced they're not in line with national statistics, or perhaps I'm getting a distorted picture based on the lists that I lurk/post to?

Lomaamina Sun 10-Mar-13 16:45:03

It definitely helps, in my experience to have 'Dr' as a title, in order to get better service. Sad as it may seem. I hate the need to use it in such circumstance (makes me feel quite pompous), but a female voice, particularly when complaining, is too easily dismissed.

BsshBossh Sun 10-Mar-13 16:59:46

whiteflame yep (wasn't thinking too much about my wording). Still not bothered about it.

TheCollieDog Sun 10-Mar-13 17:18:54

* imho it is crass to use a non-MD doctor title outside of professional (academic) environments. I live in the US and it is frowned upon*

Having worked as an academic in the US, that was never my experience: anyone -- from an hourly-paid adjunct to a proper professor -- calls themselves "Professor" in the US. But not everyone has a PhD.

Incidentally, it IS becoming an issue of confusion in the medical world now. There are increasing numbers of nurses who are achieving PhDs and referring to themselves as doctors when they interact with patients

This is funny! First of all, let's diss nurses for getting above themselves (and potentially sexist as most nurses are women), and then let's pretend that the degree of MD is equivalent to a PhD. It's not. Calling a medico "Doctor" is a courtesy title only.

I filled in a web form today, to get someone round for a quote for a patio door of all things. In the 'title' box, I wanted to put 'Ms' rather than 'Dr', which I normally use. Somehow I felt Dr might make them think I was rich and would buy a really expensive door... Anyway, the form had no 'Ms', just Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr and Rev. So Dr it is. Oh well.

What if I wasn't a Dr? I haven't used Miss since I was a teenager. Have never used Mrs. DH suggested I put Mr hmm. Guess I could have put Rev grin. Yes I could vote with my feet and pick another door company, but I'm getting fed up of hunting for someone to do the blasted thing at a reasonable price!

badbride Sun 10-Mar-13 17:49:02

...let's pretend that the degree of MD is equivalent to a PhD. It's not. Calling a medico "Doctor" is a courtesy title only.

Hands Collie a flak jacket and a tin hat grin

TheCollieDog Sun 10-Mar-13 18:10:06

Oh, I have loads of medico friends. They agree.

(History PhD tin hat on) It dates back to the time when lots of people's family names were formed by their employment: Wheeler, Cooper, Wright and so on. Or when people were called "Jones the Boot" or Smith the Laundress". So a tradesman who doctored people was called "a doctor."

Being a medical doctor has only been a university-trained "profession" for a relatively short time. Most of them, until the late 19C (except at Edinburgh) were apprenticed to a surgeon or apothecary.

The status attached to being a medical doctor is a quite recent thing.

redwellybluewelly Sun 10-Mar-13 18:12:57

When I've been in hospital with my DD (complex medical history and neurological problems) if the medical Dr asks what I do and I say I'm a final year PhD researcher they are always interested and without a doubt then speak to me with maybe a hint more respect.

MoreBeta Sun 10-Mar-13 18:13:35

It depends on the setting.

In a very formal letter or professional setting I use Dr as others do according to custom. Nowhere else though.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 10-Mar-13 19:05:54

A nurse with a doctorate is an interesting conundrum. To tell a patient that they are a "doctor" is tricky because the average layman will assume that they have the authority to diagnose and prescribe for medical conditions, and that is not ok. I think a nurse should take care that there is no confusion on this point.

I went to Berkeley, where all professors have PhDs. They were always addressed as "professor." Later, I was admin at a much less prestigious university, and all the professors insisted on being called "doctor." It struck me as being insecurity. Berkeley professors know they are the best in their fields and didn't need constant validation of their status.

msrisotto Sun 10-Mar-13 20:30:13

It's not a massive conundrum is it? You'd say: hi, I'm nurse msrisotto. How often do you think they'd use their title when introducing themselves to patients?

whiteflame Mon 11-Mar-13 08:52:56

I really fail to see why this is such a problem. Nobody goes to a friend's bbq and introduces themselves as "Dr X". But if they are asked what their title is, it is Dr.

Put it like this. Mrs and Dr are both titles you "earn" (ie. are not born with), so why is it acceptable to call yourself "Mrs", and go so far as to correct people who call you "Miss"? But dare to use a title that you really earned, and you are deemed stuck up...

HorribleMother Mon 11-Mar-13 10:03:19

Ms. "because my marital status is unimportant", totally valid.
Dr. "because I earned it" sounds pretentious.
Dr. "because I'm acting in a professional role" completely valid.
Mrs. "because I earned it" sounds like prostitution, tbh!
Dr./Mrs. "because I like it and it's true" fine, but don't get in a huff about it, please. I would think it odd if someone felt compelled to correct Miss to Mrs. except in formal settings.

In the USA Professor isn't an honorific like it is in UK, by the way. Any one teaching at Uni level is a Professor; we don't even have the words "lecturer" or "Reader".

Trills Mon 11-Mar-13 10:04:31

Correcting Miss to Dr is no more pretentious or fussy than correcting Miss to Mrs.

Pendeen Mon 11-Mar-13 10:05:11

One irritating thing about the whole 'doctor' business is is tv interviews when one guest is introduced as 'dr sally souffle' and the other guest as 'milly meringue' even where formal titles are completely irrelevant.

Reminds me of the courtroom scene in the film 'Inherit the Wind' where the judge has to award the the temporary title of 'Colonel' to the defense lawyer to ensure a fair trial!

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 10:21:15

I have always understood that in this country it was not really the done thing to use the "Doctor" title for a PhD in everyday life, as distinct from within an academic department or other professional situations where it was directly relevant.

Politicians who insist on it (John Reid, Rhodes Boyson etc) strike me as a bit dodgy.

msrisotto Mon 11-Mar-13 11:21:50

It's not pretentious if it is simply correct.

whiteflame Mon 11-Mar-13 11:22:24

why is that somebloke?

whiteflame Mon 11-Mar-13 11:23:16

strikes me as more dodgy if they try to hide their correct title... why should anyone be ashamed of education?

x2boys Mon 11-Mar-13 11:48:12

why shouldnt people use the term DR if they have earned my friend has a PHD and on all of her formal documents she is known as DR blah ,blah if i had a PHD I would use the term all the time pretentious or not !

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 11:55:27

whiteflame I don't know why, but it's just my observation.

Certainly I can see its usefulness for a woman to get around the Mrs/Miss/Ms issue.

Jelly15 Mon 11-Mar-13 12:59:39

If I had a PHD I would definately use my title but I wouldn't insist. Be proud you have earned it and others are probably envious.

whiteflame Mon 11-Mar-13 13:32:00

interesting somebloke... i really do wonder why that is, because where i come from it would be considered suspicious to try to hide your title!

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 14:16:11

whiteflame I'm just speculating but maybe the fact that doctorates are a relatively recent thing in the UK compared with, for example, Germany. I think it's only from the start of the 20th century that they started multiplying here.

Some people have become distinguished academics without one. For example Fred Hoyle the cosmologist didn't have one. I'm not sure that Enoch Powell did either, though he did become a professor in his mid 20s.

It was quite common for people in the scientific civil service (e.g. Harwell, Royal Greenwich Observatory) to pursue distinguished research careers without doing one. And of course in industry.

So although it may be recognised as signifying a level of academic/scholarship/research ability, it's not uniquely so, and not regarded as an absolutely defining characteristic to the extent of warranting a change in everyday life title.

someoftheabove Mon 11-Mar-13 14:48:48

Neither is being married an absolutely defining characteristic, but many people still change their title after getting married.

somebloke, it is now exceptionally rare for someone to become an academic without becoming a Dr. In fact, Dr came in as a title at around the same time 'Mrs' ceased to be widely used as a courtesy title for women servants of a certain status. These things change.

These days, the expectation is that if you are an academic as opposed to a research student, you're Dr so-and-so, and conferences will book you into hotels under that title. If you've ever tried to convince a rather stroppy hotel that, yes, you really are booked in despite having no ID to go with the title the conference organizer booked you in with, you would understand why this matters! (I've done it because I am not a Dr anything and was presenting at a conference where most people were, before I knew enough to warn conference organizers I was just Ms).

It is not practical to have no ID in the title or name you commonly use in your working life. It's quite possible to have ID in several names and titles (I've got one bank card for 'Mrs DHs's name' and the rest for Ms Myname). But you can't really keep your work identity totally separate from your 'everyday' one.

Obviously I don't think most people extend that to Christmas cards! grin

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:33:19

LRD Yes it is rare now, but it used to be less so. I was just speculating on the possible reasons why people who have PhDs often don't bother to use the title in real life.

Oh, yes, I'm with you on that. I think there are also just far more PhDs than there used to be, aren't there? I would imagine that a couple of generations ago, maybe it was all a bit less anonymous and you weren't so likely to need to prove your identity in the same way. I think medics used to use the title less too - isn't the thing with surgeons being 'Mr' to do with a certain amount of snobbery in the past?

Shodan Mon 11-Mar-13 15:50:46

My brother uses Dr on all official forms etc I believe, but would never insist (or even request) that friends and family use that form of address.

However, I do address letters to him with his title, because I watched him struggle and make himself ill with it over many years, so when he finally achieved it I was so proud. It's my way of reminding him of my pride in him and his great achievement, if you like.

ComposHat Mon 11-Mar-13 15:56:31

If I ever successfully complete my PhD I can't imagine wanting to use it outside a University context. If I was working in a field where it had no relevance then I think I'd feel a bit of a ring knocker and it would look like I fancied myself a cut above my colleagues.

I certainly can't imagine busting a gut to tell Natwest or Tesco Club card that I am now Dr Hat (as my sister did) she was most put out when she discovered her Visa just had her initials and surname and no title.

Even less so can I imagine upbraiding a family member, colleague or whoever for not using it.

So OP I think *YABUP on a number of levels.


When my cousin (who is quite badly dyslexic) got his PhD, I send him an invitation to something addressed to him and his wife (who's a medic) as 'The Drs [name]'. I had to look up the correct form of address and everything. Then she went and spoilt it by becoming a surgeon! grin

It is nice celebrating people's achievements. It is very different from asking other people to celebrate yours by using a title, though (with ref to the OP not you!).

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 15:59:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Something I wonder about (and I'm thinking of this because you mention your sister, compos, and IIRC you are a bloke), is how this 'Dr' thing works if you're part of a group where people being 'Dr' isn't expected. And maybe you are yourself, so forgive me if so. I mean, I'm dead middle class and boring, and it is no surprise if I get a PhD, but on the other hand, I'm female, and 'Dr' is still assumed by many to be a 'male' title. So I sort of want to use it for that reason, to dispel the myth. I wonder if I'd feel the same if I were, say, a man from an ethnic minority people expect not to be doctors. Because you can imagine wanting to have something that announces 'look, you didn't think someone who looked like me could do this, but we can'.

That said, someone I know who has one of the regional accents that people think of as being 'uneducated' hmm and who's working class, doesn't use his Dr title because he would feel like a snob. And I see that side too.

Ohhh, those are brilliant some! I want to be HRH Sultan Shah! Or Wing Commander.

Now do you think they really have all the people with those titles on their books, or is it just pretentiousness?

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 16:06:50

They havent got any admirals...

Trills Mon 11-Mar-13 16:07:35

The "Mr" thing for surgeons as I remember.

In the past doctors were physicians, with university education, etc. Surgeons were barber-surgeons with knives and little formal education. So doctors used to look down on surgeons and call them Mr and be all snooty.

Now surgeons are also qualified doctors, so they call themselves doctor, but when they reach consultant level as a surgeon they choose to call themselves Mr to say Just a surgeon is it? Well I'm proud of being a surgeon.

(or something like that, it's a sort of reverse-snobbery "reclaiming" kind of thing)

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:07:39

I can imagine that that place may well have all those. They've missed out "His Holiness" though.

somebloke123 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:15:31

Oops sorry about the above deletion. The page appreared to show some personal details - but I now realise that it was just because I had logged onto my account.

The lnk was to the ROH registration page, click on "Other" for Title:

ComposHat Mon 11-Mar-13 16:16:49

LRD I see what you mean, but in the case of me and my sister, I put it down to differences in character. She frames and displays her BSc/MSc certificates, mine are shoved in a drawer somewhere.

A large proportion of her social circle (She went to a fancier school than me) are Doctors (either academic or medical) as is her partner so it certainly isn't a huge deal.

In my social circle there is one person with a PhD and anyone who knew me before the age of 14 would be amazed I had a GCSE to my name, let alone a Masters.

some, FWIW I didn't see any details, don't worry.

I do want to be 'His Holiness'. Or even 'Her Holiness'. It reminds me of HerBeatitude, who used to post under than name a lot. smile

compos - oh, sure, personality is a huge amount to do with it. I will always introduce myself as 'firstname' and have to be reminded I have a surname and title; my big brother often finds people assume his surname is his first name, because he uses it when a first name would be more usual. Different degrees of formality, I guess. He's much shyer than me, so stands on ceremony a bit.

I know what you mean about the amazement a little - good on you. smile It must feel great to be confounding those expectations.

Lueji Mon 11-Mar-13 16:24:02

your sister must feel like Howard in The Big Bang Theory. grin
Why would she display her BSc and MSc diplomas if she doesn't have a PhD, in that company?

VenusRising Mon 11-Mar-13 16:29:25

If the postal system can deliver letters to you as ms mrs miss or reverend then I wouldn't bother about insisting that your relies use the dr bit.

If your replies are in denial of your undoubted brilliance and erstwhile scholastic endeavour, then they're a bunch of begrudgers, and "fling the poo now" would be my advice!

Well done btw on so many having a phd.... Someday I'll have one too!

VenusRising Mon 11-Mar-13 16:33:08

Replies? Rellies!

ComposHat Mon 11-Mar-13 16:54:25

luej probably wasn't that clear upthread she does have a DPhil but I haven't been to her flat since she was awarded it. I assume it is up a d. too. She even. a bit sniffy if you mention she has a PhD rather than a DPhil.

ComposHat Tue 12-Mar-13 00:29:16

My sister insisting on being addressed as Doctor in written correspondence is one thing, but the only person who got pissy about being addressed by their title wasn't a bigshot academic with a brilliant career behind them but a crap science teacher at my secondary school.

If you forgot and addressed him as Sir, he'd thunder 'I'm not a sir I am Doctor Crapteacher' we all thought he was a massive dickwad because of this and I get the impression the staff felt the same.

Perhaps he was just bitter that whilst his PhD buddies were splitting the atom, finding cures for cancer, he was chasing lost PE kits and wondering who had left the gas taps in the labs on.

My parents always find it difficult because they both have those, and lots of people assume (especially with my mum, partly because she's a woman but also because of how she comes across) that this 'D Phil' thing must be some kind of sub-under-level diploma. I've never come across anyone who objected to people recognizing it was a PhD!

My brother had a 'Dr Crapteacher' too ... in fact they sound disturbingly similar as he was a Chemistry teacher with a chip on his shoulder.

It always reminds me of the bit in Roald Dahl's 'Danny the Champion of the World' where the ex-army teacher insists on being addressed as 'captain'. Dahl points out (and I think it's based on his own experiences at school) that it's pretty piss-poor to use titles like 'major' in civilian life but 'captain' is really shite.

Yjossarian Tue 12-Mar-13 00:38:54

I don't mind if people do/don't call me by my title; the only thing I'm a bit hmm about is that I work with a man who is also a D.Phil and everyone calls him Dr. I'm just Yjossarian...guess they don't think I'm smart enough for the title!

aurynne Tue 12-Mar-13 00:56:08

Miss, Mrs, Mrs and Mr are social titles.

Dr, MD, DPhil, MS... are professional titles.

To expect your family to address you by your professional title is indeed quite pretentious. Why in hell would anyone not professionally-related to you care whether or not you have a PhD? And why would they be expected to address that irrelevant fact?

By the way, I have a PhD too and the possibility of asking family and friends to address me as "Dr" in writing hadn't even occurred to me. Still doesn't.

DPhil isn't a title at all. Someone who has a DPhil or an MD has the title of 'Dr'.

ComposHat Tue 12-Mar-13 01:12:12

Actually sod it, I am going down the Idi Amin route I will henceforth be known as:

"His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Compos Hat VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Scotland in General and Leith in Particular"

That's nice ... especially the 'Leith in Particular' ... but I prefer to be Stormageddon, Destroyer of Worlds. I'll get it registered.

Monty27 Tue 12-Mar-13 01:16:45

Oh please OP, I'm a qualified prick but I don't call myself it grin

You really are a dick though.

I'm always wondering what exestionalism is really about?

Just asking. confused

ComposHat Tue 12-Mar-13 02:07:14

Yes 'stormageddon, destroyer of worlds' will look lovely on an office door somewhere.

I would also be tempted to change my surname by deed poll to 'Feelgood' 'and the Medics' or 'gimmiethenewsIgottabadcaseoflovingyou' for shits and giggles post-PhD.

louisianablue2000 Wed 13-Mar-13 22:21:42

The other reason I use my title is because I didn't change my name when I got married. So Miss Blue isn't right because I'm married and Mrs Blue isn't right because that's my Mum. So it's either Ms or Dr.

GrendelsMum Wed 13-Mar-13 22:26:52

Whenever I have to add someone to our database and don't know if they're male or female, I put them down as 'Dr'.

MumVsKids Wed 13-Mar-13 22:47:16

I have a title and I use it smile

I inherited it when I married DH. He is a laird, and when we married, I became a lady hmm

All of my official documents hold my title, as does my bank card etc.

I like it!!

Stopsittingonyoursister Wed 13-Mar-13 22:52:48

My MIL expects us all to send cards etc to her and use "Dr" on the envelope etc. She introduces herself to all and sundry as "Dr". I find it saves people getting us mixed up - she is Dr X and I am Mrs X.

She is a bit odd though...

cory Wed 13-Mar-13 23:04:39

I wouldn't expect an aunt even to remember to address me as Mrs, let alone doctor. I'm happy if they can remember my name. My students call me by my first name. I do have Dr on my office door though- just in case some of my colleagues need reminding...

INeverSaidThat Wed 13-Mar-13 23:33:37

I think inherited titles are very confused I would never use one. They are antiquated and pompous. I can't see any good reason to use one.


Earned titles are perfectly ok though smile

ComposHat Wed 13-Mar-13 23:58:21


Most humbled me lady.

Frantically tugs forelock.

An actual Laird or one of those send off a tenner and you can be a Lairds?

So are you 'The much honoured Mumsvskids' ?

MumVsKids Thu 14-Mar-13 21:57:18

DH is an actual laird, and I inherited the title of lady when I married him.

I do use it on my driving licence and passport etc, but it's more just because I can. I'd be mortified If someone actually called me Lady MumVsKids for real!!


FWIW I totally agree about inherited titles being a bit pompous!! DH egged me on to use it and I did!! It is all a bit of a laugh to be honest, and though we are he is a Scottish landowner, we live in the midlands in a 3 bed semi because the opportunities for work are few and far between in the highlands!

One day I may actually be lady of the manor!!! smile

Wow. Now that is pretty cool.

Do you still jump if people call you 'Lady MumVsKids'?

I think you should definitely get the smallest and most down-at-heel flat you can find and call yourself the 'Lady of 2b, Shitington View Houses'. grin

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 14-Mar-13 22:13:27

pff I'd totally use Lady if it were my title. All the time. wink

Anyway, DH has a Dr and uses it in his professional capacity (academia) but I would fall about laughing if he expected family and friends to address him as Dr Nichts on personal cards and parcels.

Even my in-laws don't expect that (also both Drs) and they're German (they love a good title, Germans).

GrendelsMum Thu 14-Mar-13 22:31:23

There was a name plate I saw every time I went for a supervision in college for someone called "Prof Sir Sam Smith" - I alwas wondered whether he insisted on being called 'Prof Sir Sam' at all times. (Apparently not, and the person I eventually asked didn't think it was funny, either).

INeverSaidThat Thu 14-Mar-13 22:35:27

MumVsKids fair enough wink smile

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