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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