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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?

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?

ClutchingPearls Sun 03-Mar-13 11:41:12

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!

Birdsgottafly Sun 03-Mar-13 11:58:23

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.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 03-Mar-13 13:25:21

"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

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