are you the secretary?

jcoleman at jcoleman at
Wed Feb 28 18:56:25 EST 1996

In article <9602262243.AA20002 at>, kfcmg00 at TAMUK.EDU (Galloway Cynthia M) writes:
>Bill Lee wrote about MD's being livid about Ph.D's being called Dr. (I 
>hit the delete key before I could reply)
>I have two short stories to add to this.  When I was waiting to go into 
>surgery years ago (as a Ph.D. student)  the surgeon came by to see me and 
>when he found I was working on my Ph.D said, "I could never do that, it's 
>too difficult".  Don't think I didn't have second thoughts about going 
>into surgery!!
>The second dealt with a secretary at the same clinic.  I don't often use 
>my title outside of work but the secretary was being particularly rude.  
>She had been called away from her coffeebreak to fill out some forms so 
>that I could see the doctor.  When it got down to was I "Ms", "Mrs" or 
>"Miss" I said none of the above and said "Dr".  When she wanted to know 
>my speciality I said I was a Ph.D and her response was "Oh, not a real 
>doctor".  My reply was I was more of a doctor than anyone else in that 
>building just fill out the form and she left and never came back.
>Fun, fun, fun.
>Dr. Cynthia M. Galloway
>Associate Professor 
>Dept. of Biology
>Campus Box 158
>Texas A&M University
>Kingsville, TX 78363
>FAX: 512/595-3409

This reminds me of a cartoon...Last year at the neuroscience meeting in San
Diego some devilish person put together a poster composed entirely of
science/neuroscience related cartoons...One was of two parents, seeing their
daughter off on a date, the caption read something like "Mr and Mrs So-and-so
finally found Mary a doctor. Unfortunately, he's only one of thos PhD doctors"
I was laughed hysterically. I have also gotten weird looks from medical
personnel when they ask me what I do..I once had a doctor and a nurse ask me
what I did...I explained i was a graduate student studying neurobiology..and
they ask what I worked I explained...believing I guess that people in
the medical field would be interested in studying the brain..that we had
something in common...before I got more than a sentence or so into my
work..they rolled their eyes at each other and proclaimed that I sure sounded
like one of those neuroscience PhDs....I wasn't going into much detail
either...the situaiton was much like when you are in elementary school and
someone asks what you want to be when you grow up and you say an astronaut or
president of the USA or something...they thought I was "cute" and very likely
didn't understand a word I said.

Jen Coleman

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