“So, you’re not a real doctor then.” … Who gets to call themselves Dr.?

ABAnet has an interesting article on the issue of whether attorneys can call themselves doctors. (hat tip to Adjunct Law Prof Blog)

I’m not going to get into this debate, since any position I take will likely annoy either the lawyers or Ph.D.s I know (or both). However, it’s an interesting question – can lawyers call themselves doctors, as in “I have a J.D., so call me Dr. Yates.” I generally don’t refer to myself (or ask others to refer to me) as “Dr. ” unless there is a clear professional reason to make the distinction. This isn’t out of modesty – I’ve just had situations in which the “Dr.” tag has been put out there and then people start talking to me about medical stuff – and then there’s an awkward pause and I tell them that “I’m not an M.D.” – and then there’s another awkward silence – and then you hear “so, you’re not really a doctor then…”

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