are you the secretary?

jcoleman at jcoleman at
Wed Feb 28 18:46:18 EST 1996

In article <leew.89.0010ACD0 at>, leew at (Bill Lee) writes:
>In article <mcb10-2602961221340001 at> mcb10 at (Peggy Barr) writes:
>>From: mcb10 at (Peggy Barr)
>>Subject: Re: are you the secretary?
>>Date: Mon, 26 Feb 1996 12:21:34 -0400
>>This is one of my pet peeves, although I don't usually respond to it.  I
>>have not one but two degrees (DVM and PhD) which entitle me to "Dr." as
>>much as the next person, yet I am frequently called "Ms. Barr" or "Mrs.
>>Barr" (I am married, but my husband's last name is Stuart).  I usually
>>ignore it (or say please call me by my first name), unless the offense is
>>committed by someone I will continue to see - it sounds a little absurd to
>>say "excuse me but I'm DR. Barr...."  What do you think?  Should I
>>continue to ignore it or call attention to the error?
>>Peggy Barr
>This is only a little analogous, I guess, but I feel the same way (as a PhD), 
>when talking to an M.D.  I remember being introduced by a resident to "Dr. So 
>and So" as Mr. Lee even though we had just finished chit-chatting about 
>different topics, including my thesis work.  Reminds me of recent Ann Landers 
>column about PhD's wanting to be called "Dr." in social settings.  Her 
> is improper.  I remember a physician wrote in on the subject 
>and was livid that we would even have the temerity to consider being addressed 
>as such.   We just don't know our place, I guess.

I remember talking to some people about this once.. the consensus was that
PhD's don't usually make a big deal of the title Dr. when in mostly PhD
company...I think in my department on a day to day basis the Dr. title is used
mostly when speaking to one of the chairman...most of the students and
post-docs refer to the assistant/associate faculty by first name. However we
all agreed that we should make a point of using the Dr. title when in MD
company. I think it is important to distinguish ourselves from physician..very
different my opinion equally grandmother still has a
hard time understanding why when I finished my PhD I'll be a "doctor" but not a
"physician" *laugh* She always asks me if I'll be seeing patients...when I say
no..she asks me what I will be able to do with this degree. :-)


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