Letter: Real doctors have PhDs
Sunday 21 December 1997
An academic doctorate is awarded on the basis of a substantial piece of original research. Medical practitioners are called doctor in the absence of holding a doctorate. There is an argument that for a university to award the degree of doctor to those who have demonstrated no substantial research competence is a misuse, indeed an abuse, of its privileges.
Medical practitioners may well need to rethink their titles if they wish to maintain their self-elevated image of scholastic achievement in society but they should not do so at the expense of those who have obtained the title of doctor legitimately.
Name and address withheld
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