Pharmacists are NOT DOCTORS!

Reading the DrugNazi’s site, I came upon this gem of a rant regarding a comment from ‘Dr. Anonymous, PharmD’ (More like Dr Dipshit, PharmD).
I couldn’t agree more with what the DrugNazi has to say. Given that I personally have a PharmD, I would never ever call myself a doctor (and are the first to say that I am not a doctor). Why? Because I’m not a fucking doctor. I’m a pharmacist. I don’t wish to be called a doctor because I am not a doctor! I get down on NA and MA’s for calling themselves Nurses, now I’m getting down on my own for calling themselves something they are not.
Most lawyers have a JD, but do they call themselves Doctors? No. Where do all of these fucking uppity pharmacists get off by calling themselves ‘Doctor So-And-So’ because they have a stupid PharmD after their name? Are they so socially retarded that they feel like they have something to prove to somebody? Do they not realize that most every pharmacist out there that has graduated within the last 10 to 15 years has a PharmD? You are not special compared to the BS crowd. Do the PharmD crowd have special powers or licenses? Hell no! We are all in the same boat, so quit flaunting your perfectly measured out PharmD penis (vs the BS folk who just work and just know they have a big penis) and just get to fucking work!
Let me spell this out if you are a PharmD and do not understand.
WE.. ARE.. NOT.. DOCTORS!! QUIT CALLING YOURSELF A DOCTOR!!!
Any pharmacist who calls himself a “doctor” needs to stop going to those mutual-masturbation circle-jerk pharmacy association meetings and actually work in the ‘real world’ for a change. If I call for a copy, and you call yourself a doctor, I’m going to call you a fucking retard who should of settled for medical school vs going to pharmacy school.

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206 Comments

  1. My PharmD is bigger than yours!
    Wait, what?

    • NC Lawyer says:

      Truthfully, it comes down to etiquette and proper usage. In common usage, most people associate the term “Doctor” with physician. I have a JD and of course during my time obtaining it, wondered “Why don’t people call lawyers Doctor?” Well my friends, its simple…in common usage it is completely inappropriate to refer to oneself as Doctor or let someone else refer to you as Doctor if you are not in the medical profession. It just doesn’t make sense. That has not always been the case, but I am not going to give a history lesson as to when the term split and one was banned from using it for just having a doctorate. It is completely appropriate for ANYONE who has a doctorate, in any field, and yes this includes JD’s and PharmD’s, to be recognized in the academic field or in academic endeavors as Doctor. It indicates a level of schooling and not a social status or profession. If you google and wiki it and do the research, you will find the same results. Now if someone can just get all the damn attorneys in the world to stop signing their fucking letters JACKASS ATTORNEY, Esq. ESQ is meant to designate a practicing attorney and is a sign of respect that others give to you; never bestowed upon yourself by yourself. Thats my rant for today. Tomorrow is dipshits that put MBA after their last name and think they did something besides wasting 140k of their parents money to learn how to balance a checkbook and watch oil prices.

      NORTH CAROLINA LAWYER

      • Zizuar says:

        Actually I am sorry to say that you are wrong. Modern day pop culture has predominantly associated the term ‘Doctor’ with medical practitioners. It has become the status quo that any person gaining a general MD or other specialized acronym from the alphabet soup in the world of medical practicioning to be called ‘Doctor’. This, however, was not the case until somewhere around the time of the american civil war. Indeed, more commonly they were referred to as ‘surgeon’ as a mark of higher social status and learning. In truth the word Doctor is used to signify that this specific person has achieved the highest academic credential in their respective field. Only the added acronyms following the full formal name of a person holding a doctorate degree is the proper way to determine just what they are a doctor of. Doctor is a term of enlightened learning, not just a symbol of some self-important wanna be God.

        Anyone with a full doctorate has and SHOULD use their rightful title for the accomplishments that they have achieved. THIS is proper etiquette within the world society as a whole regardless of what anyone else says or thinks. It was never meant, and should not be restricted to those of the medical profession. Heck, when compared to a general practitioner most people holding doctorate degrees have a higher and more enlightened education than they.

        For everyone’s information; I do not have nor am I currently seeking to gain my Doctorate in any field.

        • MD/Pharm Student says:

          Quite often individuals erroneously confuse the level of knowledge with the area of expertise. A PhD student completing a PhD program is a doctor of philosophy, a pharmacy student completing a Pharm.D program is a doctor of pharmacy, a MD completing a medical degree is a doctor of medicine,etc. Every practitioner has a specialty and is a doctor of their specialized field if they hold a doctorate. It only shows how truly ignorant of the demands of the individual professions to not show each their due respect. Not necessarily saying that every doctor of their field should go on flaunting the fact that they have this degree, but it should be respected that they are specialists. That goes to ALL doctoral students.

          As a current student who has received the M.D. and is going through a Pharm.D program now. I fully respect all DOCTORAL professionals as long as they are competent in their field. I suggest everyone do the same. All healthcare professionals only contribute to the overall health of the patient. Lastly if Pharmacy students should not be called doctors neither should the Medical students

      • OSCAR PERERA-MONTANES says:

        I do have a PharmD and also an MBA degree, and I do identify myself with both. The reason is that I am not a GED recipient or a Pharm Tech (now designated as RPhT or CPhT) and spent a lot of money and years of studies to obtain my degrees to not using it. Why Martin Luther King used the designation Dr. Martin Luther KIng?. Well, he was a PhD (in theology), but he was a doctor (but not an MD either). Fidel Castro-Ruz, a lawyer, was always and is called Dr. Castro-Ruz (because he had a JD degree from Havana). If you have the degree you should use the title and people should use the designation as a symbolism of respect for you. You are not better that anyone by using it, just more educated. It is nothing wrong to use it, unless you have or are a chip-on- the shoulder moron. By the way, is BS (bachelor degree) a degree designation or BS for BULL S___? Pharmacy technicians should not use the registration designation RPhT or CPhT because is very similar to RPh (Registered Pharmacist) and CPh (Consultant Pharmacist) license designations. One main difference here is that the technician entry level is GED or High School diploma and they are not pharmacists. PharmD is not a doctorate or graduate degree either, it is a professional degree only. MD is not a doctorate, it is a professional degree only, and “they are not graduate school” degrees. Doctorate is PhD and it is actually equivalent to 8 to 10 years of college. Masters is a graduate degree. PhD is a graduate degree. The rest of professional doctorate degrees (PharmD, MD, DO, JD) are not PhD’s and should not be called doctorates, because they are simply professional degrees with doctor added to it to instill respect from an “enlightened learning designation” that is the highest academic credential in that field. However, in America, there is no respect for anyone, as we become less and less educated, and more and more idiotic than the rest of the most educated countries. Another point is that as education became more and more unaffordable in America, we became aggressive and hostile toward the educated people that we call “educated elite”. If you are a doctor, you should use the designation, because you are one! Dont’t like it? Too Bad!

        • Person, MD says:

          You are daft, and your ignorance discredits your entire comment. PharmD, MD, DO, and JD are all doctorate degrees, just as is a PhD. All these degrees take approximately the same amount of education, ~4 years postgrad. Educate yourself before you make yourself into a fool again.

          PharmD = pharmaciae doctor, Doctor of Pharmacy
          MD = medicine doctor, Doctor of Medicine
          DO = no true latin roots, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
          JD = juries doctor, Doctor of Law
          PhD = philosophize doctor, Doctor of Philosophy

          • OSCAR says:

            A DAFT? Well, you most be British! I assume that a daft will not even pass the GMAT, and will not even get close to an MBA magna-cum-laude with a dissertation. I have over 9 years of post graduate school education with several graduate degrees. That alone, I assume, will make me educated, as per your non-daft standards.

            Let me educate you (without calling you names). I lam reserving the name calling to the marginally educated “DAFTS” class type like yours.
            MD, JD, DO, PharmD are, technically speaking ,FIRST PROFESSIONAL DEGREES. Here is where you are confused: PhD is a research degree. So here you are confusing the definition of one thing with another (and you are the one calling other people DAFT?).

            First professional degrees are referred to entry levels doctorate programs (MD, DO, PharmD, JD) and PhD are postprofessional doctorates. PhD and Masters are graduate school. First professional degrees are not and are undergraduate degrees.

            The term doctorate comes from the latin docere, meaning “to teach”. By the way, I actually learned latin in DAFT school. By definition, a doctorate is an academic degree or as in our case (as DAFTS) a professional degree that, in most copuntries, qualifies the holder to teach at the university level or to work ina specific professional (except if you are a DAFT, of course). By the way, look at the curriculum of some pharmacy schools and you will see that PharmD is listed in under-undergraduate degrees. Why? Is because is a first professional degree, and as such, not comparable to a Masters or a PhD that requires post graduate dissertations. In conclusion, as a DAFT, I conclude, that with my marginal education, unlike yours, I summarize, that first professional degrees are not doctorate degrees per se, and that the PhD and Masters are the only graduate degrees because are post graduate. Here is an example: You can become an MD with only a pre-med, and you can become a JD with a pre-law, and a PharmD with only a Pre-pharmacy (without prior degrees). However, some people graduate as MD with prior Masters degree, and some others become PharmD with a prior Bachelors in Science Degree. The fact that you can become a doctor (MD,JD, DO, PharmD) without having any prior degree at all, is what actually defines such degrees as first professional degrees. You get a one way ticket to doctorate without even having a prior bachelor degree. That is the difference vs a Masters and a PhD. PhD and Masters degrees will require you to have: for a Masters, you are required to have a Bachelors Degree. For a PhD you will be required to have a Masters Degree. However, if your MD Degree is from Tampico, Mexico, and or from Granada, or Santo Domingo, then I understand the DAFT part of your vocabulary, and your misuse of the word IGNORANT.

            And here is where your IGNORANCE discredits your entire prior comment . It takes a DAFT to having to explain to you the definitions of MD,DO, JD and PharmD vs PhD and Masters. You are not a daft or a fool, you are just a moron that should go back to school. By the way, this DAFT used 96 different references to reach to this summarized conclusion. However, I am a DAFT researcher and scholar. Do not forget that most people reading this are people with several degrees. The fact that some here do not appreciate the value of being called a doctor, and they do not deserve so either, does not give you the right to insult the intelligence of others in this blog, specially the people that are smarter than you!

            By the way the word DAFT is not in use any longer in English. Are you from New Zealand, or from Australia? We just call it FOOLS. In America, the word is MORON.

          • As an outsider chuckling at the fight here, I must say that most are wrong and a few have it right. First and foremost, I am neither a medical student nor in a PhD program. But the facts are the facts. Although common to refer to a DDS, MD or DO (as well as the DC) as a “Doctor” whereas a Nurse Practitioner with an actual doctorate a “MRS” or “MR” is incorrect. A doctor is in the simplest form one who has completed the highest terminating degree in their field. A JD, MD, or DO is not a terminating degree as are PhD’s and Pharm D’s.

            This is what I found funny when Nurse Practitioners are now required to gain an actual doctorate yet are not allowed to refer to themselves as “Dr” so and so yet an MD or DO can and will.

        • Andrew says:

          Sounds like someone didn’t get into medical school

    • clinton says:

      Ok, I agree with the BS of calling yourself a doctor when all you have is a professional degree. Can you address the many dentists that try to force everyone to call them doctor. My wife works with a dentist and she invited him over for supper. He insisted that he be called doctor. I have a PharmD, and I did not insist that he call me doctor. I went thru the evening calling him by his first name, and I don’t think he will be back to eat at my house again.

    • Lois says:

      Obviously, the writer of “Pharmacists are NOT DOCTORS!” is one of those who made it through pharmacy school by CHEATING!!! He sounded so unrefined & uneducated. An average grade school graduate is a lot more sensible and logical than the writer.

      I am very proud of myself for being a DOCTOR of Pharmacy! :)

  2. Steph says:

    AY!MEN! It’s an inferiority complex. “Dr.” pharmacists are all bummed they didn’t go to medical school. They want respect for their education. Nine out of ten “Dr.” pharmacists are conspicuous consumers, too. These are the pharmacists who insist on calling physicians by their first names, but refer to themselves as “Dr.” They secretly think they know more than doctors. Problem is, they’re NOT DOCTORS and they’re acting like techs who think they could be pharmacists if only they were paid more. QUIT IT! Signed, Steph, PharmD

    • MDSurgeon says:

      Having worked in medicine for years, I can assure you that the pharmacist has more of a role than counting tablets – shame on him for not knowing how to avail himself of the typical pharmacist’s incredible knowledge of drugs, including drug metabolism, absorption, bioavailability, drug interactions, etc. for patients of varying ages, conditions and disorders. Think about making chemotherapy preps, radioactive preps for injections, never mind educational responsibilities to patients and consulting to MDs (you know it!). Shamefor not respecting the incredible amount of preparation, training, and competency required for this valuable profession. If you have a question about drug interactions, side effects, use with certain conditions – the standard line is to ask your doctor – but I would consult a pharmacist as well. In the hospital, pharmacists are key members of a patients’ team. Just like anything else, there is too much knowledge for one person to be the sole provider of healthcare information. The title doctor reflects the mastery of massive amounts of clinical and academic information and does not imply a medical degree. We have many people working in healthcare who have PhDs – very, very common in the academic training institutions.

      Mastery of a subject area is the reason for a doctoral designation. Consider the clinical doctorates that are primary profession degrees (four years of college followed by four years of clinically focused training) – I can think of Doctor of Psychology (Psych D), Optometry (O.D) for a start. There are numerous PhDs running around hospitals who are not confused as MDs. The good MDs know how to use the resources available to them and are not threatened by those who have worked hard to acquire specialized knowledge. Being aware that there IS more knowledge out there is required first, however.

  3. enrico says:

    Now if we can get the fucking bone crackers to not call themselves “doctor,” we’ll be getting somewhere.

    • erica says:

      enrico…that is quite possibly the greatest thing ever written. No offense to you TAP, your awesome too, but enrico’s comment takes the cake!

  4. DrRx says:

    I know my ‘handle’ alone must be pissing you off.
    Lawyers don’t call themselves ‘doctors’ cause they’re too busy calling themselves ‘Esquire’.
    There’s a difference between “Physician” and “Doctor”. Patients are probably the biggest advocates. When I was in retail for a short period of time (thank God…) patients came in calling me ‘doc’ all the time (without having the faintest idea of what my degree noted). I’m not a physician and I’m the first one to note that when folks ask, but I’m not ashamed to say tell someone I’m a doctor. Lord knows I went through enough didactic and experiential hell to earn it! BS pharmacists, competent as they certainly are (many even more so than a lot of PharmD’s I know), clearly didn’t go through as much didactic and experiential work. 4 vs. 6…hmmm.
    I guess it’s more a frame of mind. I round with physicians all of the time, and have trained medical residents for more than 7 years now, and not a one of them even hesitates to call me a doctor (and NOT because I asked them to). They respect the profession and realize that pharmacists aren’t just ‘lick and stickers’ and insurance adjudicators anymore. But I know you’ll just say I’m some nutty idealist ‘circle-jerker’ anyway. I’m sorry that the retail setting is sucking all of the life out of you… If you’ve got a PharmD, you obviously saw some redeeming point to it and you certainly must have known that the degree wasn’t just a ‘repeat of the BS years of pharmacy school’….Hell, atleast it certainly wasn’t at my school. The profession of Pharmacy needs to start getting some respect for what we do, and what our potential could be. But it’s only going to start happening when we start showing ourselves that respect. Does it HAVE to be by us calling ourselves ‘doctors’? Not solely, but the American culture certainly does love titles don’t they!?

    • pharmdstudent says:

      I totally agree with you. Until we respect ourselves, our knowledge, and our profession, the public will not see pharmacists as someone who is competent rather than pill counters. Why can’t we call ourselves “doctors”? After all, we did earn a “Doctor” of Pharmacy degree. If that title earns us the respect that we so deserve, then so be it. MDs are no better educated than us, neither are DDSs, or ODs. It’s just that we each have an education specific to different aspects of patient care.

      • CS3 says:

        I agree with you except I think in the clinical setting if everyone is “doctor” some patients can become confused about who is treating them (I feel this way about everybody wearing scrubs too, especially when Janitoral staff starts getting medical questions because pts think they’re MDs and RNs). But my question is if you truly feel this way, do you also agree that nurses with their DNP (Doctor of clinical nursing practice) should also be called Doctor. I’m just curious.

    • Glenna Turner says:

      Sir, having posted in November of 2007 you should know that the 4 year BS went away in the early 80’s. I graduated in 1982 and my BS is a 5 year degree.

  5. Excellent analogy with PharmD vs. JD. You are quite correct that lawyers do not get called “Doctor” even thought their degree is “Juris Doctor.” Physicians are doctors by time-honored tradition, as are Doctors of Philosophy.
    However, in strictly formal academic circles, i.e., at a formal gathering or lecture, I think it is appropriate for Doctors of Pharmacy to give and receive the title. I am a Baccalaureate pharmacist, but if I had a PharmD, I would generally not seek to be called “Doctor.”

  6. anonymous says:

    Gotta love you dude! I’m not a pharm D and don’t need to be one. It’s not like I’m going to make more money with the “doctor of pharmacy” title…

  7. Bipap says:

    There are lots of nursing doctorates out there too-Dr. Nurse. Lots of pompous professors of things like art history have Ph.D. ‘s and insist on being called doctor. The worst ot them all are psychologists who demand everyone call them doctor.

  8. non-Dr. Pharm says:

    H-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. I did a rotation at the VA many years ago where pharmacists called themselves doctors. As a matter of fact, they wore badges that stated they were ‘Dr.’ so-and-so.
    The story went that the pharmacist in charge of the anticoagulation clinic actually BOARDED A PLANE and told the flight crew he was a doctor. Yup.
    You guessed it – they CALLED HIM on the overhead PA when a man began having chest pain on the flight.
    Apparently he and a dentist were the only ‘doctors’ on that flight.
    This comment dedicated to the dear memory of American Airline’s flight 1793 passenger #27D. Bet he wished there had been some ‘real’ doctors on his flight…

    • Dr stone pharmacist says:

      You would hope any good pharmacist could I’d and acutely treat an mi the same as a physician without access to a crash cart

  9. Hope says:

    Some people I make call me doctor. My mother. Maybe the guy I’m feeling frisky with. Uppity management types. You know the drill.
    It’s fun for awhile, but then it makes you think of all those mean professors who substituted a shitty attitude for actual teaching skill, and you kind of drop it after awhile. Except for my mother. She will always have to call me doctor.

  10. Cathy Lane RPh says:

    After graduating BS long time ago I found costs (financial, family, time) to continue to a MS were prohibitive, so opted for residency. But, in the ‘new’ job with the shmoozers and righteous PharmDs (with all their specializations) there was limited opportunity and time to continue gaining basic science knowledge without having to drop out of the workforce to return to school. Thank heavens for the non-trad programs. (I keep thinking that I should go for a catch-up rotation every few years or so to keep up, though!) In many work situations, without the PharmD I think pharmacists are limited, or may feel so, in opportunities to acquire and update basic knowledge–which ultimately benefits patients; and are at the mercy of ‘old-cheese’ bosses that got to their positions of seniority by schmoozing. PharmD programs nowadays are the ticket to open and more freedom of health information. Just think, in the time of less than half a lifetime ago, PharmDs probably know more (about pharmacology, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics, etc.) than MDs back then. In developing countries, a ‘barefoot’ doctor is often without formal training. Maybe it’s an issue of inferiority, but I feel that patients would listen to me with more respect (translate: would seriously consider my advice) if I told them the best thing for their symptoms was rest, fluids, and salt water gargle, something (probably nAPAP) for aches and fever, with my PharmD information (attitude) than with my harried chain drugstore RPh badge. And, no, not once in my practice have I been anything other than my first name, except on the letters addressed to me from those I’ve requested information (and, my mother!).

  11. Linda says:

    Wait, are we supposed to be calling our pharmacists Doctors? I just call mine by his first name.
    I’m so confused.
    What does the D in PharmD stand for anyway? Pharmacy Dude? I’m seriously curious, and no, I’m not a total moron.
    I triple love this blog.

    • Nikki, PharmD says:

      Wow, this blog is dumb… Pharmacists are Doctors. Professors are Doctors. Physicians are Doctors. Doctor just refers to the amount of education one has and what they decide to specialize in. Why is everyone making such a big deal about this???

    • Cathy Lane RPh says:

      Linda, you just go right on doing whatever you feel comfortable with. I’m sure you will be corrected if what you’re doing is unacceptable. Some people feel more comfortable acknowledging the level of expertise someone has attain in a certain field of study. Others find that they find comfort in thinking that their pharmacist is just like them. Here’s a scenario. Say, your child’s teacher has a doctorate in the field they’re teaching. Do you call the teacher by his/her first name when in the classroom, or do you respectfully address them by the title in the field of expertise? When you meet the teacher in Wal-mart in the toilet paper aisle do you address them by their title or call them by their first name? Do you do anything different if your child is present?

  12. steph says:

    Nice slap at the retail folks, Dr.Pharmacist. This is what I read: You little people who took the /retail/ jobs, YOU I can understand not getting the Dr. title, but *I* am a /clinical/ pharmacist and it gives me a giant boner when doctors call me “Dr.” But when I was in retail, all those highly-educated ass-kissing patients called me “Dr.”, well, THAT prompted me to seek a job that matched the respect I am due. Why, *I* did /didactics/ like a real doctory doctor. I mean. I’m not sure if the physicians I work with fall into hysterics when they go around the corner after calling me “Dr.” but it sure makes me feel like a total bad-ass. At least someone in this world respects my degree. Cause the guys at Home Depot don’t give me any respect and it pisses me off.

    • Prospetive PharmD says:

      Hahahaha! As I read his comment I wondered if anyone thought the same. Regardless of setting all PharmD’s should be called Dr. Soandso. If he achieves a boner off of his clinical position, let him feel like the shit on this blog lol.

  13. MidwestPharmer says:

    Being called “Dr. Whatever” is a result of attaining a doctorate degree. Its a title given out of respect of the education a person receives… I don’t think anyone with a PhD in history is trying to do a medical exam on anyone. Being called doctor is one thing… Being a doctor of medicine is another.

  14. StudentPharmD says:

    Being called a doctor is one thing. But I think the point here is PharmD’s who introduce themselves as “Doctor” or insist on being called “Doctor”. Seriously, get a life. The statement “I went to see my ‘doctor'” in healthcare terms translates to “I went to see my physician”. It does not mean pharmacist, or even dentist, and it never will-even though those professions hold doctorate degrees. I am going to school to become a PHARMACIST, not a doctor (M.D.), and as TAP said, I am the first to correct anyone who calls me a doctor-in-training. I am a student Pharmacist, get it right, I don’t settle for less.

  15. painkillerpharmd says:

    Doctor of Pharmacy meant something back in the 70’s when only a handful of those with a BSPharm went MANY more years of didactic (not 4 vs. 6). Now it’s all together different. All pharmacy schools graduate Pharm.D.’s since 2000. The retail, the hospital, the LTC facility, and EVEN those fucks in the ivory tower of “clinical” pharmacy have the same degree. (I’ve worked for a short time in all of these so far)
    Now remember boy’s and girl’s and the rest of you, the degree is not what the boss pays you for in pharmacy IT’S THE FUCKING LICENSE!
    Being one of those “Pharm.D’s” I may have a leg to stand on. Physician’s first out of school (like some Pharm.D’s I know too) want to be “Dr. xxx; it gets them off. After a while they calm down (some at least) and you can have a professional relationship as colleagues. Some of us (at least “me” if no on else) mocks the hell out of the “Dr. Xxxx Pharm.D.’s. that’s how I get my rocks off!
    BTW I find it flattering when patients and colleagues call me doctor, but that’s where it ends.
    For those out there that have been out of school about six months here’s a tip, or three.
    1. Pharm. D (Doctor of Pharmacy) is a degree, nothing more. It gives you NO pharmacist privilege’s with out a state license.
    2. BSPharm’s have more experience (they have seen more) than those of us not out of school for at least ten years, seek their wisdom. Experience is a way better teacher than some jackass in a classroom.
    3. Calling yourself Dr. can get you in more trouble than you bargain for in the “real world” (see non-Drpharm comment above)

  16. Martin S. says:

    Good god the lunacy just keeps going on. Lets look at reality. PharmD’s are given for a couple of reasons. 1. degree envy. 2. more money for the ivory towers of educational institues. Gee-if a podiatrist or a chiropractor call themselves doctor why can’t a PharmD? The fact is nobody raised a ruckus when pharmacy school went from 4 to 5 years-so don’t get too impressed with 6 years. When they bump it to 8 years the majority of Pharm double Ds will still be working for Wallyworld and giving away $4 Rx’s. So just dust off that diploma and tell the boss its not in a PharmD’s job description next time your asked to do something beneath your PharmDignity

  17. TNTech says:

    OK, the problem here is in the origin of the word “doctor.” A doctor originially meant “teacher.” That is because the first doctorate degrees meant that you were supposed to pass on your higher knowledge. So in essence the PhD’s were the first “doctors.” The MD meant that the only “doctor” most people saw was the medical doctor. Thus the major association with the word “doctor” is now a physician. However, in the strictest defination of the term anyone with any accredited doctroral degree has earned the prefix Dr.. That is true of someone with an MD, EdD, PharmD, DDS, PhD, or anything else.
    That being said, I will never have anyone call me Dr. soandso, and I will never have anything but the utmost respect for B.S. pharmacists who have much more expierience than me and thus much to teach me. I will however fill in the “Dr” bubble on anyform that asks.

  18. Ash says:

    I am a pharmacy student born of an RPh mother. I have the numbers of at least 10 PharmDs but every time I have a question I call my mother or one of her co-workers (mostly RPhs) and more often than not they explain it a hell of a lot better than my younger “Dr.” teachers. It’s really experience that is the teacher that much is evident.
    But on a side note the pharmacy students that start calling themselves “Dr.” early or “PharmD candidate” really make me want to vomit and slam my… no their head into a desk.

  19. I wrote about this a while back. I will never ever call myself doctor.
    http://pharmacymike.blogspot.com/2007/07/ode-to-pharmd.html

  20. Drug Czar says:

    I posted pretty much the same over at drugmonkey’s site, but you deserve it too. A PharmD is a doctoral degree the same as an MD is a doctoral degree. Its interesting, neither are from the root of the title, or PhD. In a technical sense, MD’s are not doctors either. Hows about that for truth in nomenclature?? If you research this, you’ll find that physicians adopted the title doctor to promote a scientific sense of research/mastery at a time when the leading treatments included blood letting and skull cracking. True story. Its taken pharmacy a couple hundred years longer, but apparently somebody decided to do the same. Then cheapened a useful degree by making it the entry level degree for every spatula holding modem jockey in retail as well. The same kind of thing holds true for dentists, optoms, veterinarians, etc.
    A friend of mine recently graduated chiropractor school. She says they actually tell them to use the title doctor in casual company to promote a sense of dignity and respect for their profession. Wow. Shouldn’t it be to denote their mastery of a set body of knowledge?? In my opinion, leave the titles at work. In the community everybody gets to use their first name.
    As for the hierarchy, Masters and PhD are considered higher degrees than either the MD or PharmD. MD/PharmD are not true graduate degrees- no thesis or dissertation required. Do a little Wikipedia to confirm this, and you’ll find the PharmD listed as an undergraduate professional degree- do the same for MD and guess what, its the same. It goes on to discuss the history of the title, and when the rip of from the academic title had its roots, back about 1200 AD.
    As for me… I am a PharmD. I dont touch drugs, prescriptions, or insurance cards. I round daily on a 25 bed floor. The hospital supplied lab coat says “Dr.”, and thats what they call me- presumably out of respect for what I bring to the table. My mom calls me by my first name, as does everyone else in casual company- except for my brother, who calls me shithead.

    • PharmD Student says:

      I really agree with this, being in a pharmacy program I would never call myself a “doctor” even though I’m in a “Doctor of Pharmacy” program, I would feel abnormally silly. Would I like respect based on my medical education? Yes. Am I equivalent to a physician? No. I feel like it’s just saying I got a few more years of education in medicine than the average Joe.

  21. Cathy Lane RPh says:

    Maybe the inferiority is wrong or not, but ‘Steph’s’ reply after mine seems directed toward me. I am not slamming the RPh. (That is what allows me and every other pharmacist to practice in the US!) I am suggesting (albeit strongly) that pharmacists need to keep up to date to avoid fobbing off patients simply because we are ‘too busy’. Because I graduated BS many, many years ago, basic science knowledge has increased a lot. Heck, when I first took bacteriology, the idea of recombinant DNA technology with E. Coli, or even cleaving proteins off pig insulin DNA were fanciful ‘IDEAs’. I never heard of apoptosis, and we brewed and cultured micro-organisms in lab to narrow down their identity; assessing and acquiring drug information from the internet was unheard of, and discussion of ethics was head in the sand (what we didn’t know, we couldn’t say anything about). Can we get all these new waves of info in 12 CE per year? I don’t think so! I worked in hospital many years where there were a few opportunities to rub elbows with specialized clinicians, scientists, new pharmacists and physicians! Updating basic science such as canned fed in school is well-nigh impossible in the harried RPh world, even with 12 CE programs in December! I take my own pride in the PharmD. It’s an accumulation of book-learning (and practice where I use the book-learning) and it has opened the door to obtaining a wealth of knowledge, getting past schmoozers that would have all of us still content to lick and stick, and tell the inquiring patients to just go look on aisle 3 for suchandsuch.

  22. rph3664 says:

    St. Louis College of Pharmacy graduated its last B.S. students in 2005. FYI.
    We have a pharmacist who graduated around that time with a Pharm.D. and even before he got his license, he told our oldest pharmacist, who graduated in 1965, that he (Mr. 1965) didn’t know what he was talking about since he didn’t have a Pharm.D.
    Mr. 1965 is a pretty laid back guy but he gave Mr. Pharm.D. a piece of his mind, and then some.
    We have accepted that Mr. Pharm.D. is simply an arrogant know-it-all and that’s his personality.
    When I worked in retail, I never got over the people who wanted me to diagnose their skin rashes over the phone. I told that story to a woman I know who is a dermatologist, and she just rolled her eyes.

  23. dajokr says:

    I still contend that the AACP completely fucked the profession when requiring a so-called doctoral degree as the entry-level qualification for pharmacy. For all the bullshit in the AJPE, the real reason for the change was so that Rx schools could charge a doctoral tuition – and for an extra year, no less! The pharmacist shortage, especially in rural and other underserved areas could easily be fixed by reinstituting the BS in pharmacy – continue to let folks who want to pursue a PharmD. But, please, lay off the “Doctor” shite.
    I’ve also been a huge advocate of the value of pharmacy in medicine and public medication management (I am not an RPh or PharmD), but the uppity attitudes of some PharmDs undermine the true values of the profession.

  24. MrIncognito says:

    I’m a PharmD student, and I can’t imagine asking normal people to call me “doctor.” I can, however, imagine it coming in handy when dealing with the pompous assholes or idiot nurses who don’t like the answers you give them.
    I also think that it’s completely reasonable for someone who has a 6 year degree and two or three years of residency to want the title. I’m just not pompous enough to care.

  25. IDrugKids says:

    Wow! You guys really have strong feelings about this topic… no wonder our profession is divided so! Heck, in the East coast states, some pharmacists tack on P.D. to the end of their name (for Pharmacy Doctor)… and that’s without a PharmD! Really, it doesn’t matter if you have a PharmD or a BS (I have both)… it only matters how good you are at your job. I have worked with some of the dumbest and laziest Pharmacists out there as well as some of the smartest and most hard working. And the truth is: It doesn’t matter what degree you have… it’s how you perform your job. So quit griping about how high and mighty your PharmD is (it’s not) or how you should be “grandfathered” into a PharmD (you didn’t do the time so you don’t get the dime!). Focus instead how we are being replaced by Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and PA’s for the jobs we are experts at – Drug knowledge and application!

  26. DrRx says:

    Steph,
    Sorry you feel that way. It was not what I intended. I never demand respect because that’s the surest way of not getting it.

  27. medicineman says:

    There are definitely different levels of knowledge certain pharmacists possess and some I would agree deserve to be call a doctor. Maybe not in the retail sectors, but there are definitely some highly skilled and knowledgeable clinical pharmacists who are badass, especially in some university and hospital settings. Let’s not all be so offended and belittle these professionals and the titles they deserve. Just because you don’t see yourself as one doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

  28. DrRx says:

    MedicineMan:
    Very well put….

  29. cycjec says:

    Good discussion. And to go off on a tangent
    I’m going to quote your posts on English language
    adequacy on comp.risks in connection with the
    Materna/Matulene fiasco, which I haven’t found
    discussed on any of the pharmacy blogs.

  30. Tim says:

    I agree with the spirit of what’s being said. But I think you’re using the wrong term.
    A PharmD IS a doctor. However, having a doctorate does not make you a physician.
    PharmDs are doctors, but they are most certainly not physicians. (but I agree that pharmD that insist on being called doctor need to pull their heads out)

  31. Rg Lutz says:

    This is totally a joke with who gets to be called doctor. I know so many people that have their MDs that want to be called Dr. so and so and his wife. There are tens of thousands of entrepreneurs with only a bachelor’s or high school education that I have 100 fold more respect for. These PHDs need to get real and get off their power trip. Anyone, can get their PHD. Anyone can get their MD. It’s the funding for it. I rather be an entrepreneur and make 100 times more than a doctor by creating something out of nothing. That’s something to get respect for. Creativity, ingenuity, risk-taking, entrepreneurship. Few PHDs have this. So to all of you PHDs or Doctors of whatever, have a good night MR.

  32. LonghornDaniel says:

    I’ve met some pharmacists who want to be referred to as “doctor”. Who cares. I referred to my comp teacher as “professor” my freshmen year of college, and holy crap I got an earful. It took everything I had to keep from tearing into her about having a PhD in English, but these days it just doesn’t matter. My boss is an RPh and every now and then he jokingly refers to me as doctor, but I’ve never introducted myself using that title.

  33. Pharmacistrelative says:

    Good post. I have a relative, who I have been close with most of my life, who is a very good PharmD (finished in 2002). However, he really flaunts the Dr. title. I just got a Christmas card from him and his wife. The return address was “Dr. and Mrs. XXXX” and it was addressed to me as “Mr. XXXX”. I barely have met his wife and enclosed was one of those updates about their life over the past year. As a jealous and bitter single person, I could care less about reading via form letter how they chose to celebrate their 2nd anniversary. Anyway, I digress…
    I’m an accountant and don’t expect everything to be addressed to me as “Mr. XXX, C.P.A.” I know an accountant who works for a bank and insists on putting the “,CPA” after her friggin initials next to her ham-and-cheese lunch sandwich order!! Absolutely ridiculous. It reeks of class titles like “Sir” and “Lord”.
    I believe that PharmDs, PhDs and JDs (had a couple of those professors for Business Law), are ALL legitimately doctors. They have, and you have as well, earned that. It is not easy work! However, to use that title in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with your authority on something is the insulting part to anyone. Anytime I read in my local paper a “Letter to the Editor” about something like property taxes signed by a “Dr.” somebody it’s a little ridiculous – and I don’t care if they are the most respected physician in the community. If they are an ob/gyn discussing pre-natal care, then the “Dr.” title is appropriate. And, if someone with a PharmD is discussing pharmaceutics, then I think they have the right to use the “Dr.” title too. It shows the fact that you have the knowledge and credibility. Otherwise, it’s just snobbery.

  34. rayleighjeans says:

    to ‘Rg Lutz':
    not anyone can get a Ph.D. this year, for the last couple decades, and probably longer, there have been ~2000 people who received their Ph.D.s in chemistry, for example (see chemical and engineering news). you say it’s about funding, but it’s not. graduate students who are in a full-time science Ph.D. program usually receive tuition remission and either a teaching or research fellowship. what gets them in the program isn’t the money, it’s their grades. it’s more feasible to say that more people can probably get a student loan for graduate/medical school than to say that anyone can receive a Ph.D./M.D.
    you say: ‘There are tens of thousands of entrepreneurs with only a bachelor’s or high school education that I have 100 fold more respect for… I rather be an entrepreneur and make 100 times more than a doctor by creating something out of nothing. That’s something to get respect for. Creativity, ingenuity, risk-taking, entrepreneurship. Few PHDs have this.’
    i’m sure entrepreneurs have a place in our world by eventually marketing the resulting product, stocks, etc. but where did that product come from and how did it have the application it was intended to have? does it really matter that you would make 100 times better than someone? i doubt the majority of people with M.D.s/Ph.D.s do it for the money because the amount of work and preparation to receive this degree is probably incomprehensible to you. you talk about creativity, ingenuity and risk-taking, but that’s what people with M.D.s do everyday — it’s called saving lives. people with Ph.D.s do the same thing as well — and that’s called innovation.

  35. HKg says:

    Does anyone know if the starting pay for Pharmacists differ (by how much roughly) for someone with a Bachelor vs. a PharmD degree?

  36. jes says:

    obviosly whoever posted this is an is an idiot.. people get the title “doctor” not because they studied to be a MEDICAL doctor but because they went back to school for av averag e 8 years to get a doctoral degree

  37. sixft7in says:

    I’m a little late in commenting, but…
    I install/train pharmacy software. We have several pharmacists that will get mad at me when I answer the phone to help THEM with their email (which we don’t support) and I don’t call them Dr…
    One of them is a … practicing witch-doctor. No joke.

  38. Sandman D.D.S. says:

    Those of you who are trying to group pharmacists with others who hold the title of “doctor” are forgetting a very salient difference between the various professions. While physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and pharmacists have earned a doctorate degree and are thus deserving of the title of “Dr. So-and-so”, a pharmacist alone must never refer to himself as nor consider himself to be “a doctor”.
    Here’s why:
    Physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and even chiropractors (who have no prescriptive authority) differ from pharmacists. They are trained to conduct examinations on patients, understand and diagnose diseases of the human body, and determine treatment that is effective AND as safe as possible for the patient. These are the tasks performed by one who calls himself

    • bitchypharmd says:

      So, while I was in school I shouldn’t have called any of my professors Dr.Soandso? I’m pretty sure they weren’t doing examinations in THEIR offices…

  39. Doctor says:

    u punk!
    do u knw what is D.Pharm???
    Doctor of Pharmacy!
    why do u call a PH.D holder a Dr.???and he is doctor of philosophy,
    so if A person having PH.D degree can b called a doctor then y a D.Pharm degree holder cant call him self a DoctoR???

  40. RPh in psychiatry says:

    Dear DDS,
    First off let me be frank, I do not have the manual dexterity to be a dentist. You guys have finger skill that I do not possess.
    However:
    Those were amazing comments from the respected practice of Dentistry…
    My 5 years of working in communitry pharmacy taught me that patients hate their Dentists – not for inflicting pain but for performing painful procedures that were not necessary. What it also taught me was that DDS are the worst group of prescription writers. From inappropriate use of fentanyl patches to the inability to do simple math (it never failed – give something g4h multiply the total amount by 4, give it q6h multiply the total amount by 6…do they teach that in Dental school).
    So now I work in a psych hospital and guess what? I do prescribe. I flat out HAVE to tell my doctors what to write for – they demand that service of me.
    And “(Seriously, didn’t pharmacists EVER stop to wonder why they are not able to prescribe medications despite knowing so much about them?)”
    Seriously WE CAN IN NORTH CAROLINA. Colaborative practice agreement with a supervising physician in the same manner as a PA or an NP. See also Indian Health, VA, and some of the defense departments military hospitals.
    And to the comments I read earlier about pharmacists not being able to refuse to fill an RX. I quite disagree, ALL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS have not only the right but the duty to execute ONLY the orders that he/she feels are safe and correct for the patient. Yes that includes everyone – more nurses need to call the doctor by his/her first name and get over it. The care of the patient comes first
    PharmD’s can and should consider themselves ‘doctors’ because they are. What they are not is ‘physicians’ or you other ‘ancillary’ medical professionals (remember bid egoed physicians treat you non-MD’s the same way as they treat RPh’s, PT’s and nurses…)

  41. I am PharmD and PhD says:

    I get questions about PharmD title from my friends that PharmD should not have a “Dr” title. It is just another year in school from rph. MD and PhD degrees take much longer time to earn. So they deserve to be call “Dr”. I told my friends that it is not going to hurt to call PharmD a doctor. Dont make it such a big deal!

  42. pharmd2be says:

    Sandman D.D.S,
    First of all, as a healthcare professional, how could you write something like this to put down the pharmacy profession? You should be ashamed of yourself. Obviously, you’re ignorant, therefore you put down others to make yourself look better. Half of the things you said is incorrect.
    >>You said ” Physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and even chiropractors (who have no prescriptive authority) differ from pharmacists. They are trained to conduct examinations on patients, understand and diagnose diseases of the human body, and determine treatment that is effective AND as safe as possible for the patient”. It is true that pharmacists are not trained to diagnose (although they are taught to recognize signs and symptoms of a disease). However, not being able to conduct physical examinations or diagnosis, doesn’t mean they don’t understand the cause of various diseases, as pathophysiology is part of the pharmacy curriculum. In addition, they are trained to determine the effective treatment for a disease and that can be either pharmacological or non pharmacological, such as diet and exercise.
    >>”Seriously, didn’t pharmacists EVER stop to wonder why they are not able to prescribe medications despite knowing so much about them?” WRONG! Pharmacists (clinical pharmacists) can prescribe if they work in a clinic, such as diabetes clinic or a psych clinic as RPh in Psychiatry pointed out above. Furthermore, having the ability to prescribe doesnt mean you’re above everybody else. Most of the dentists that prescribe penicillin or vicodin dont even know how these drugs work (mechanism of action) in the body yet they are able to prescribe whatever they want to the patient. But thats another topic.
    >>”A pharmacist, on the other hand, where patient care is concerned, has a very narrow job to perform: know the drugs intimately, their effects and interactions, and make sure the patients are receiving medications that are safe for them to take.” Guess what? I can say the same thing for denstists. A dentist has a very narrow job to perform: knows the mouth intimately, the diseases of the mouth such as cavity and gingivitis, and their effects on bad breath and make sure the patients brush their teeth and floss daily. The same thing can be said about other professions,but is it accurate? Of course not, thats just being narrow minded and ignorant.
    As for my take on this topic: Pharmacists deserve to be called doctors because they earn it..same with dentists and other professionals who earn the doctorate degree. However, pharmacists (as well as dentists) are not physicians (Only MDs/DOs can claim that title) and as long as they don’t claim that they are one then it’s perfectly fine.However, having a doctorate degree doesnt give them the right to use it or demand people to call them doctor outside of the work place. The title should be resevered for the work place for creditability.

  43. James says:

    Well, “doctor” is a term or label misused if it is to only refer to medical doctors! The label more correctly is usually assigned to someone who has achieved beyond the normal level of education. It shows a greater knowledge of a specialist area, weather medical for knowledge of the human body (related to pathology, microbiology, surgery, etc), or in non-human sciences, chemistry, physics, etc. In fact if one had a philosophical view point of view, medical professionals might be the ones misusing the term “doctor”.
    Throughout most of the academic world, the term “doctor” refers to an individual who earned a degree of Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D. Sciences is at the heart of progression in society, and these PhDs and Professors (someone with years of experience in a particular scientific field) are the real doctors! Medical doctors are only normative scientists, that is they just use the scientific tools created, developed and optimized by actual scientists who are the ones behind the scenes doing the work. e.g. who found X-rays, penicillin, who figured out that microbes exist, etc.
    Now the flip side, credit must be given to medical doctors, have all they are required to interpret an X-ray of a bone (density, broken, etc), know when and how antibiotics should be given (subjective – but that’s another issue), be able to know what microbes cause which diseases, etc.
    The overall outcome, is that the term can be used to designate a position or title to show sufficient knowledge of a certain area. It is far too simplistic to say that only one kind of “doctor” exists.
    I lots more to say, but can’t be bothered … ha,ha :)

  44. joe says:

    You sound like the fucking idiot to me. They have a PharmD right, a doctorate in pharmacy. So they are, in fact, doctors of their field. Just like you call professors with Phd’s Dr. so-and-so, but you call professors with MS’s Mr. or Mrs. so-and-so. So yeah, you BS crowd people, are not doctors because you havn’t recieved the same education. So quit crying.

  45. Steph says:

    This is not to insult the Angry Pharmacist or any other Pharmacist as I had thought of becoming one, for a time myself. But I just keep thinking of something funny as you rip these guys who are endlessly ticking you off….
    What do you call the guy who just couldn’t get into medical school? A Pharmacist.

    • ParmDad50 says:

      Many Pharmd Students were not only capable of getting in Med School, many did and chose Pharmacy. I did not apply but was courted also by our Med School as I had a 3.98 with many outstanding leadership roles, and also obtained this in the Honors College. I chose Pharmacy because I liked the field, enjoyed Chemistry, and wanted to perhaps get involved in Research. i also did a 2-year Specialty post PharmD. in both oncology and radiation pharmacy at a well0respected top research/ teaching hospital. I also at the time was not into the blood, guts and fluids of medicine or surgery. Although, it does not no longer bother me, I still don’t like the contact aspect of it, but also realize that nurses and now even more so CNA’s deal with it more than a doctor. But I still enjoy patient interaction, but am now looking more toward drug research initiatives. If you want to say that I couldn’t handle the blood and guts, I could. I worked with cold one’s hands on and been in several surgeries. But remember the $9 an hour GED nurse assistant deals with more day to day hands on non sterile environment grossness than most doctors and surgeons. Simple just respect what other’s do no matter what title as long as they do it do the best of their ability and for the all the right reasons for the patient. Again many of my colleagues could have gotten admitted not only to Med School but other fields as some who didn’t get in to our Pharmacy program went into DPT, Opt. Med or Bio Phd or applied a year later and got into some good Med schools. I also know some Mds that switched in later in BS that said they personally couldn’t hack all the Chem and changed to Pre-Med. We all have things that we are better at — it doesn’t make us better than one another. We all earned it, we don’t need to exploit it or shove it one’s face.

      • CJ says:

        LOL! you, sir, have a definite inferiority complex. The MCAT is designed to weed out all but those in the top 1% of IQ level. Maybe this is why you had to settle for pharmacy school?

        • denzoskidDO says:

          Umm the dude or dad is right and is just stating facts and you are wrong about weeding out the 1%. Just go to the MCAT results and acceptance rates based on scores gpas gender and yes even shows race. You will see that those that got acceptences in the mid and lowers scores albeit less number than hose who score highest were far from the top 1%. You must factor in school matriculated at and cirriculum. The gpa, ec’s, the interview and the med school applied. Many MDs while are usually above average in intelligece, few are genius. But compare an average gp to a cardiac specialist or cutting edge pioneering surgeon. Although there are some brilliant gp’s just as their are mediocre pharmds and brilliant rph/pharmds.

  46. its just a title says:

    It’s just a title, I’m sure if a physician was stuck on a plane they would have limited capability just as the pharmacist did. If I ever do pursue a pharmacy degree I won’t go toting around Dr, however if only physicians deserve the term Dr. then I guess you should sue Dr. Phil… btw the only thing available (at best) on a plane would be an AED, CPR, and perhaps another member flying that had some asprin or other medications that could have helped the poor man. I’m sure the pharmacist did everything in his power, the same as a physician would have….Another point, I have met several physicians that didn’t seem nearly as intelligent as a some local pharmacists. Oh and what about dentists and orthodontists, everyone I have met addresses themselves as Dr. As far as I see it, Ph.D, DDS, DNS, MD, DO, and PharmD all should be allowed the title of Doctor if they wish.

  47. fm says:

    wow you’re an asshole. anyone with a phd or similar degree is called doctor, and rightfully so. pharmacists who possess a doctor of pharmacy degree deserve to be addressed as doctors.

  48. erica says:

    WOW….can you say arrogant prick!!!! I have worked with many different pharmacists and you sound exactly like every other arrogant RPhD who has to overcompensate his insecurities by referring to him/herself as doctor!!! disclaimer: I am not referring to all RPhD’s as arrogant pricks, I am only referring to the ones who are a little too proud of themselves.

  49. erica says:

    p.s. this ought to really piss you “Dr’s” off…I am a tech who has worked at the same pharmacy for 8 years, and the customers come in and call me Doc all the time. I tell them I am just a tech and they tell me to them I am a Dr. I HATE being called that, but the RPhD who used to work with me hated it even more lol. In fact, before she found out she was leaving, she was going to make me wear a green coat because she wanted everyone to know the one with the white coat was the doctor.

  50. Future Dr. Pharmer says:

    As a current PharmD student, intern, and previous tech, if a pharmacist actually requested for everyone to call him “Dr. Assface-what-not,” I think I’d tell him off and walk out. Even our school deans think it’s stupid to refer to pharmacists as doctors.
    The only reasonable time to throw out the Dr. terminology is when patients bitch about early Vicodin refills and yell, “YOUR NOT DOCTORS AND YOU CAN’T TELL ME I CAN’T GET MY PILLS!!!!!!!!” Then you calmly explain that (ironically) many pharmacists are doctors, and the patient is still not getting early refills.
    Personally, I’d rather take care of my patients than worry about what they call me.

  51. PharmD in trainging.. says:

    The only time I see the use in doctors, is when I am working (as a tech at a pharmacy), I can never get a response from a MD if a script is questioned, etc. The easiest way to get that fixed, leave a message Dr. Pharmacist called and please call back about so and so. That cuts the call back time from 5 hrs. (if I call) to about 20 min. Amazing the power that that title has. But I will never think of myself as a doctor, only a Pharmacist.

  52. MA and A Tech says:

    I read some more comments and would like to add that in my state a pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription, can question an MD or other prescriber and can write prescriptions – with legal limitations of course.

  53. TechJess says:

    By the time I finish eight years in freaking college someone sure as hell better be calling me doctor.

  54. MDSurgeon says:

    Having worked in medicine for years, I can assure you that the pharmacist has more of a role than counting tablets – shame on him for not knowing how to avail himself of the typical pharmacist’s incredible knowledge of drugs, including drug metabolism, absorption, bioavailability, drug interactions, etc. for patients of varying ages, conditions and disorders. Think about making chemotherapy preps, radioactive preps for injections, never mind educational responsibilities to patients and consulting to MDs (you know it!). Shamefor not respecting the incredible amount of preparation, training, and competency required for this valuable profession. If you have a question about drug interactions, side effects, use with certain conditions – the standard line is to ask your doctor – but I would consult a pharmacist as well. In the hospital, pharmacists are key members of a patients’ team. Just like anything else, there is too much knowledge for one person to be the sole provider of healthcare information. The title doctor reflects the mastery of massive amounts of clinical and academic information and does not imply a medical degree. We have many people working in healthcare who have PhDs – very, very common in the academic training institutions.
    Mastery of a subject area is the reason for a doctoral designation. Consider the clinical doctorates that are primary profession degrees (four years of college followed by four years of clinically focused training) – I can think of Doctor of Psychology (Psych D), Optometry (O.D) for a start. There are numerous PhDs running around hospitals who are not confused as MDs. The good MDs know how to use the resources available to them and are not threatened by those who have worked hard to acquire specialized knowledge. Being aware that there IS more knowledge out there is required first, however.

    • denzoskidDO says:

      As a DO I couldn’t agree more. There is just to much for any of us to know to think we no better about something that some who focuses and specializes in an given field, all the way to the specialist who knows better how to sterlize the rooms. We all need to not let our arrogance make us ignorant when it comes to maximzing whats best for patient care. And afterall, my DO is an entry level doctorate technically. And I never heard a pharmacist say in rounds – I am or will be your doctor. I usually introduce them as they know I am their doctor, the attending physician and say- this is Dr. Abc a pharmacist who I asked to consult with who specializes in conditions like yours. It makes him acknolwedged with no confusion to the patient and gives me and the hospital credibility and importance and concern to the patient and their family. I have noticed many pharmds shy from the doctor title and I encourage them to as long as its simple direct and not confusing. I am dr. Johns a clinical pharmacist working with your physician doctor smith to ……

  55. Odinne says:

    It might be a bit late, but I fully agree with your post. I worked in a pharmacy (just to deal with the costumers) and my pharmacist would always say “go see a doctor” when a costumer came asking questions about symptoms other than a cough, a headache or otherwise (and this would happen more often than not). I’m not entirely sure, but maybe pharmacists started believing their opinion counts as much as a doctor’s because too many people go to a pharmacy to treat ailments that a doctor should see. That’s why I always educated the costumers that a pharmacist is not the first person to go to if someone wants to fix their cholesterol or arthritis.

    All in all the best way to fix this is starting with the people who look up at medicine like a magic elixir: the costumers.

  56. ak says:

    I am a clinical pharmacist that teaches MD how to btr trt patients, teaches medicine to medical residents, and saves lives by diagnosing critical drug drug interactions as well as adverse drug events caused by disease state induced metabolic variances in drug clearance. The moron that has a PharmD and doesnt think PharmD = Doctor shouldnt be called a doctor because clinically / sceintifically – he is at a BS level. He/she has not REALLY seen what a high level clinical PharmD does….bottom line: retail pharmacist – not doctors; real clinical pharmacist = doctors. By the way I also teach at a Med School….I have met people just like that that are pharmacist even in the hospital setting that dont consider themselves doctors, the reason is because they are dumb. They memorized drugs while we master disease states and therapeutics; then completed extensive residency programs while they ‘counted pills’. I bet that same person voted for Bush, lives in a trailer park, and can’t discuss any topic other than NRA rights and NFL picks. How about this: stop sleeping with your sister so at least your kids will have a chance to surpass your intellect, or lack there of.

    • Pharmacist Bob says:

      You sound like the arrogant SOB pharmacist that no one likes! I bet you have mastered masterbation also!

    • CJ says:

      is it mainly the liberals who need to be called “doctor” lol. I hate to break this to you but PharmD’s are not and will never be doctors. Sorry.

  57. DrMrMrsMissSirMam says:

    Doctor is but a title. And like all titles, it has specific levels of appropriate response. Students refer to their teachers in grade school as Mr. or Ms. Many people respond to strangers as sir or mam (sland for madam). But most of us, EVEN PHYSICIANS, like our friends and family to refer to us by our good old fashioned name. Thus, if a title is appropriate, USE IT. Doctor, PEOPLE! DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT REALLY MEANS? It’s Latin for “teacher.” Thusly, people who have mastered a discipline are often given this title, be it academic (Ph.D., Psy.D., D.A., etc) or professional (M.D., O.D., D.D.S., D.B.A., Pharm.D., etc). Law is an exception (as most states agree that at least FOUR years of post graduate school denotes mastery, and law school is three years in duration). Thus, the degree is Juris Doctor, NOT doctor OF Jurisprudence. So, if a customer comes to the counter of Pharmacist, not title necessary. However, if Pharmacists are in their own PROFESSIONAL SETTING, either lecturing, working at hospitals, or interacting with pharmacy students, absolutely positively should use the title denoting MASTERY of pharmaceutical science. Remember, the only people that shun the word are people that DON’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANS!!!! Since I’m not in a professional setting, this is DAVID saying until next time. ;-)

  58. ka says:

    wow! ak sure is full of himself! Good luck in life with that attitude.

  59. pharmdforlife says:

    pharmacists are drug experts. pharm ds are doctors whether or not anyone likes it. however, idiotic people think of doctors as doctors of medicine only. therefore, to not further confuse the public concerning the matter, pharmacists should not address themselves as doctors in front of uneducated people so that confusion is minimal. however, when pharmacists talk to people with advanced degrees that fully understand that they have reached the highest level of specialization in a specified area, pharmacists may call themselves doctors because they know that they are speaking to someone that understands and will not confuse him or her with a medical doctor.

    • MrCustomer says:

      Although we had very similar comments, it appears that you chose to make your contribution insulting, condescending, and a very complete demonstration of why many people would not consider some pharmacists “professionals”, let alone doctors. I can’t imagine my MD calling anyone “idiotic” for any reason. If you’re convinced that the only method to attain education is through pursuit and attainment of an undergrad/graduate degree, then I can understand completely your use of this offensive term. And while I think most people are aware that doctoral degrees do exist, that does not mean they agree with the regular usage of a bestowed title. Any educated person will tell you a title means very little unless accompanied by general acclaim. If you have difficulty comprehending this concept, try calling yourself “King” and see if a crown pops onto your head.

      In closing, perhaps you were absent all the days they were covering punctuation and capitalization in your graduate classes? Oh wait, those subjects must only apply to the “uneducated” folks who had to make do with a primary and secondary education…

  60. mrshollley says:

    I am currently working to complete my PhD, and when I am done, I expect to be called Dr.Holley by my students and colleagues. Referring to a PhD recipient as Dr. is completely acceptable in the higher education environment, however, I do not expect family and friends to do so, that would be riciculously pretentious!

  61. theoneupper says:

    Anyone holding a doctoral degree can be be called a doctor. Doctors are not just physicians. GET OVER IT…

    • CJ says:

      umm… no. In the hospital, only the MD/DO is a doctor.

      • denzoskidDO says:

        Ummm no DO here. We call pharmds, dpts physical therapists, Psycholoogist Phds, dds oral surgeons all who work in our hospital/ medical center doctor. We like our patients to know it that we are providing them with the highest level of care in their assigned team. The patient will know who their main physician is as yes it can be confusing as it is most likely not their office doctor and may also have a different attending hospitalist, etc. But when we bring them to the therapist for evaluation and treatment plan, they say this is doctor Susan she is a physical therapist who will be… By the way my youngest sister did not get into pharmd program twice with a 3.7 prepharm and applied to a big 10 dpt program and has been a doctor of pt for a major med center for 3 years now doing well and looking back she likes the patient interaction that she probably would have as a pharmacist so things sometimes happen for a reason.

  62. Jessica says:

    You’re an idiot! IF you really were a Pharmacist, you can take a look at that degree of yours and it says right on it, DOCTOR OF PHARMACY! Being a Doctor does not mean you went to medical school. It acknowledges the 6+ years of school you’ve been through. You’re a DOCTOR! Get over it.

  63. Jessica says:

    I have something to add! WoW! to this guy that is so ignorant! He thinks he’s a Doctor because he’s a clinical pharmacist. But retail pharmacists are not. YOU ALL HAVE THE SAME DEGREE; AND YOU’RE ALL DOCTORS! Grow up!

  64. Patrick says:

    You’re incorrect. You ARE a doctor. You may not be a PHYSICIAN, but you are a DOCTOR of PHARMACY, making you a PHARMACIST.

  65. Intern Lover says:

    Hm…. why do these guys keep saying “get over it”? I mean, get over being a doctor and not wanting to be called a doctor? What’s wrong with that? When I want to cut through the UP (useless people), I’ll say “this is Dr. Pharmacist calling for….” But come on, when there’s a code blue, there is no way in hell I’ll announce “Out of my way, Dr. Pharmacist’s in the house.” GET OVER IT people! Call yourself whatever the hell you want to, just don’t confuse others while you’re in a situation that people are actually depending on you.

    • CJ says:

      “Call yourself whatever the hell you want to” — if you were smart enough to get into medical school, you would know that such a behavior can equate to mental illness / delusion.

  66. Dr. Ray, PharmD says:

    Totall confused On where to stand on thia matter, Can’t I just Title myself

    dr. Name, pharmd

    It shows designation and no one is confused as to the profession.

  67. Dr. Ray, PharmD says:

    Also two questions

    1) when you all pharmds subscribe to magazine and are prompted for prefix, do you put Mr./Ms/Mrs (lol I know this is stupid but seriously)

    2) if someone emails you or writes you and says mr/ms/mrs name don’t u get the least bit like you want to say something? It’s ur title you’ve earned it whether or not you wanted it

  68. dr. uppity rph says:

    yes, ive also gots that rph so i expect require average folk to call me doctor. yes we are doctors of pharmacy and we must be called doctor at all times. fellow doctors do not allow your patients or techs to address you as anything less than doctor then your last name

  69. jP says:

    The title of Doctor is not that of a particular profession, it is a title representative of one’s education! The fact that physicians think that they have an exclusive right to this title is at best unwarranted arrogance and elitism. Again, the title Doctor is not a job title! I would recommend people use the term physician to avoid confusion if they wish to specify that one is a medical doctor.
    The problem with physicians believing that they have exclusive right to this title sends the incorrect message that they, (1) have more education than anyone else, and (2) that their education is somehow more difficult than other fields of study – both of these assumptions are patently false. Physicians – GET Off YOUR HIGH HORSES.
    The fact is, if the title doctor is used correctly, it applies to PhD’s first and foremost, not to a particular profession. This insistent arrogance by physicians is immature and almost laughable, but, again, I will repeat – the title of Doctor is not a title of one’s profession, rather it is one’s level of academic achievement.
    I find that physicians are at best disingenuous if not outright liars when it comes to their education. Yes, they have 8 years of higher education, which purposely misleads the average person into thinking that they have 8 years of medical training. Rather they should be more candid and tell people that they have 4 years of medical training. Compare this with the training of a PhD, who most always has 9 to 12 years of training in one subject. As an example, a close friend has a PhD in math. Well, 9 years at university – all in math – and from day one far more difficult than anything one studies in med-school. After which, he spent 3 years doing post doc work, now we are up to 12 years of study, all in math. This is typical also for other fields of study, in particular physics, but also applies more and more to fields of study such as biology, chemistry, engineering, etc.
    So why do physicians insist they are true doctors? This puzzles me. They know full well that people assume the title puts them head and shoulders above everyone else – in reality, and according to medical bulletins; medical school is no more difficult than majoring in history for a BA is. But again, the title is not about this, it is not about who’s field of study is most difficult, who has been in college the longest, it is simply a title, (originally a title for teacher), of one’s level of academic achievement.
    Well educated and knowledgeable people laugh at physicians and their elitist – incorrect – and rude remarks such as ‘I am a real doctor’. Let us not forget their history – only a century ago med school was only 6 months, and then changed to a year, and they were rightfully called butchers at the time. The stated prerequisite for med-school was to ‘to have a strong stomach’ so has to be able to tolerate a very gruesome environment and procedures they would perform on patients.
    In my personal experience with PhD’s and med-students, as well as physicians, if the title of doctor is to now meant to represent ones level of education and difficulty of one’s field of study, then physicians would be without a doubt close to the bottom of the barrel and not worthy of the title.
    The solution to this is simple, start using the title correctly, and address PhD’s as Doctor and physicians as this, physicians. In fact, in my view, they do not truly deserve the title of Doctor as they use it to mean trained in medicine, and med-school is only 4 years.
    One last remark – the best and brightest go into all fields of study and statistics based on actual knowledge/grade performance shows that the best and brightest are not as likely to choose to go to med school as the physicians would like people to believe. They are in fact more inclined to choose a field of study they are Interested in, and not for adulation and/or wealth.

    • CJ says:

      Damn…I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more blatant case of inferiority complex. LOL. you need serious help.

      This is a very interesting topic and thread. I will preface my remarks by disclaiming that I am a realist, so some of this may seem a bit blunt to those whose egos or personalities are damaged (inferiority complexes, etc.). I am also speaking solely for the US.

      The US allopathic medical school degree (MD) is the most prestigious and difficult to attain degree in the country, based on the intellectual (IQ – as assessed by the MCAT, which, you may not be aware, is designed to weed out those who are not in the top 1% of IQ level), academic, and extracurricular credential-set required to be accepted to a US allopathic school. The US osteopathic schools and Caribbean/foreign MD schools allow a lower standard of requirements for admission and are therefore excluded from this distinction. Even the most rigorous PhD program entrance requirements pale in comparison (again, nothing against PhD’s at all, I’m just presenting the facts/reality as can be accessed online by anyone willing to look up the statistics). I write this only because some on here/elsewhere feel that the title of doctor insinuates a level of prestige, which is not necessarily untrue. If this is important to you, then you need to go to a US allopathic school. If you cannot get accepted, but are prestige-hungry, then you may need to see a therapist, or settle for something less prestigious.

      In the case of the hospital setting, the following should be observed (on the basis of minimizing patient confusion, which in my opinion is the most important factor):
      Medical students: the appropriate title is: Mr., Ms., or first name
      MD, DO, clinical psychologist (PsyD, PhD), DDS, DMD, DPM, OD: the appropriate title is Dr.
      All others (DPT, DNP, PharmD, academic PhD, DC, etc.): the appropriate title is Mr., Ms., (or simply first name); addressing themselves as Dr. is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable and potentially illegal depending on the context
      (Clarifiers after name [medical student, physical therapist, etc.] are appropriate as well)

      In the case of the general public/social setting, the following should be observed:
      MD, DO, clinical psychologist (PsyD, PhD), DDS, DMD, DPM, OD: the appropriate title is Dr.
      All others (DPT, DNP, PharmD, academic PhD, DC, etc.): depends on the social context, but most often the appropriate title is: Mr. or Ms.
      For example, the correct way to address an MD on a postal envelope is Dr. (always), where as an academic PhD is Mr. / Ms. UNLESS the sender is addressing the academician as an academician (and not a random individual).

      In the case of the academic setting or a personal office, the following should be observed:
      MD, DO, clinical psychologist (PsyD, PhD), DDS, DMD, DPM, OD, DPT, DNP, PharmD, academic PhD, etc.: the appropriate title is Dr. or Professor

      The etymology and history of the word “doctor,” while interesting, is mostly irrelevant from a realist’s perspective living in this day and age (vernacularism and tradition take precedence). Hate to break this to some of you, but no one in the general public considers, or ever will consider, a DPT, DNP, PharmD, PhD, etc. as a “doctor.” If you obtained one of these degrees hoping to be seen as such, you made a mistake. sorry.

      Hope this helps with minimizing patient confusion. I certainly am confused when anyone but my physician labels themselves as Dr. while I am in the hospital, and I find it quite offensive (if not amusing) to be honest. But, I certainly do hope that all fields can work together as a cohesive unit regardless of degree type or level.

      • asdskhsdlfgf says:

        My middle school principal was Dr.(insertnamehere) and everyone called him Dr. (insertnamehere). No one cares, and he will always be Dr. (insertnamehere). So anyone with a “Doctor” in their major deserves to be called “Doctor”, whether you like it or not. Those lacking in intelligence, such as yourself, will be confused, but the “Doctor” deserves their title, and did their work to rightly be called as so.

    • Satyanarayana Rapolu says:

      I like: The title of Doctor is not that of a particular profession, it is a title representative of one’s education! The fact that physicians think that they have an exclusive right to this title is at best unwarranted arrogance and elitism. Again, the title Doctor is not a job title! I would recommend people use the term physician to avoid confusion if they wish to specify that one is a medical doctor.

  70. PhD says:

    Several people have mentioned that the term doctor is generally reserved for someone who has mastered their field, which I can buy as a general definition. Simply put, I don’t believe that is the case for a PharmD. This is not meant as an insult; a PharmD is an entry level professional degree. Everyone who wants to practice pharmacy nowadays has to get that degree, then get a license. A PharmD makes one competent in the field of pharmacy, not a master of the subject. The PharmD is not the terminal degree in the field; several schools have combined PharmD/PhD programs for those wanting to master the subject matter and go on to perform research in the subject.

    An undergraduate engineering degree is also an entry level professional degree, and you need a license to practice engineering in many states/countries. Have you ever heard of anyone calling an undergrad ChemE a doctor? No, but you’ve probably heard someone call a ChemE with a PhD (terminal degree) in the field a PhD, or Professor if they teach (it’s less likely, and pretentious in most situations for PhD’s to refer to themselves as doctors, despite many of the valid arguments above).

    Just calling something a doctorate doesn’t make it so. Just calling a Ford Fiesta a Ferrari doesn’t make the car faster. Why call it a doctorate if it really isn’t? Several explanations are outlined above. Getting more respect for the profession, squeazing more money out of students for essentially the same degree, etc… It took me 6 years in school studying a single subject to get my masters, 6 years to me is a masters degree.

    • DroopyDog says:

      @PhD: And what about MDs? An MD is the entry level professional degree to practice medicine. We only go to school for 7-8 years (depending on whether we finish undergrad in 3 or 4 years). Should we stop referring to MDs as ‘Doctor’? Perhaps PhDs should be the only ones called ‘Doctor’… would that satisfy your ego PhD? Here are a few words of wisdom: BS = Bullshit; MS = More shit; PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper. Based on your comments, I’d say you’re full to bursting.

      • PhD says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful response Droopy?

        First, any PhD who demands the title of “Doctor” when they’re addressed, or when they address themselves falls into the same catagory of douche as a PharmD who does. I have no problem with MD’s being referred to as doctors, as that is now the accepted norm for the profession of physician.

        PharmD’s only have 6 years in school … they don’t even need an undergraduate degree to get into the program. Sorry, 6 years isn’t rigorous enough for a doctorate. Pharmacy is a good degree, good job, etc … Insult me all you want, a PharmD is a disguised masters degree.

    • DroopyDog says:

      And that goes double for my good friend jP.

      • MrCustomer says:

        Hey all-

        I was thinking that there may be an easier way to provide some clarity in this discussion, so I consulted Mr. Webster, which I’m thinking not many people have done. Here is the Webster’s definition of “doctor”

        1.

        a : an eminent theologian declared a sound expounder of doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church —called also doctor of the church

        b : a learned or authoritative teacher

        c : a person who has earned one of the highest academic degrees (as a PhD) conferred by a university

        d : a person awarded an honorary doctorate (as an LLD or Litt D) by a college or university

        2.

        a : a person skilled or specializing in healing arts; especially : one (as a physician, dentist, or veterinarian) who holds an advanced degree and is licensed to practice

        The way I read these definitions, the pharmD degree doesn’t quite apply to any of these definitions. Numbers 1a, 1d, and 2a absolutely don’t apply. Number 1b could apply if the pharmD is primarily occupied with instructing apprentice pharmD’s in a formal setting – sorry, holding a OJT session twice a week just doesn’t count. I’m assuming that most pharmD’s would argue that 1c qualifies them. Here’s why it wouldn’t-

        Did you attend a university for your pharmD? If you went to a college (or school of Pharmacy), please exit to your left.

        Is it the highest academic degree at that university? Most likely not – I would warrant an educated guess that all major and most minor universities have both a Master’s and a PhD program. There might be, however, a VERY small university, or some school incorrectly billing itself as a university, without a advanced degree program – such a place would technically check all the boxes in the 1c description – just barely. This would, of course, depend on whether you use or discard the PhD example provided by Websters.

        So, very few of the pharmD’s would qualify for the title “doctor” based upon it’s official description. Of course, the pharmD degree automatically awards the recipient the title “doctor”. But as I asked earlier, who decided this degree warranted this distinction? This is just a WAG (wild ass guess), but it was probably either the individual pharmacy colleges and schools, or it was the national bosrd (NABP). In either case, this was pharmacists making a decision about pharmacists, and how much they would pay for schooling and receive as compensation – not the most impartial of sources. Please let me know if I’m wrong on this point of where the determination was made- I really am interested.

        Why does any of this matter? Well, IMO, this is a matter of exclusivity – that’s what titles are all about. The problem is, the larger the group that it’s conferred upon, the less exclusive it is. Without limiting it to the general public’s common usage of the word “doctor” (MD’s and maybe DDS’s), you have a huge group of people who are entitled to use it – thereby rendering the title virtually meaningless

        As a matter of disclosure, I am neither a pharmD not MD – nor anyone who is entitled to claim the title of “doctor”. Just an interested observer to this discussion. Sorry this went on so lomg – can’t get to sleep. Gotta take something for that LOL..

  71. gassa says:

    I have read alot of stupid, nasty, ignorant and confused argument on this blog but i need to clearify most of you out there. I am not a PharmD nor an MD. They are the same and i will prove it.
    D= doctor. M= medical, Pharm= pharmacy.
    MD = doctor of medicine or medical doctor
    PharmD = doctor of Pharmacy
    they both have same prerequisites
    then PCAT for PharmD and MCAT for MD
    MD only do 2 years of didatic learning and 2 years of practice
    PharmD does 3 years of didatic learning and 1 year of practice
    after 4 years they graduate with a PharmD and an MD
    so if you can call an MD doctor why not PharmD a doctor?
    there are lots of ignorance in the public.

    when you say i have to see my doctor, that statement is ambiguous.
    the correct thing to say is that you have to see your physician.
    all physicians are doctors but not all doctors are physicians.
    It is absolutely correct to say you want to see the pharmacist. he /she can be addressed as Dr in respect of his degree.
    physician is the profession of an MD
    pharmacist is the profession of a PharmD because now our days you need a pharmD to practice pharmacy and an MD to practice medicine.

    pharmD, MD, DO, DN, DNS, are professional doctorate degrees
    PhD is an academic doctorate degree based on research.

    • mspharmtox says:

      In some countries like Germany or the UK, you can be a physician without having earned a doctorate. Basically, after high school, they go to med school for 6 years. Then they graduate as “physicians.” They can opt to earn the title of “doctor” by completing a dissertation and only then they’re entitled to call themselves “doctor.” So, in Germany, it is not uncommon to see a physician who is called by either “Mr. X” or “Mrs. X.” Some patients though still call them Dr. even though these practitioners never earned a doctorate.

      The bottom line is, if you went through the pains of earning a doctorate degree, you should be addressed by your title in a professional setting. Contrary to what some think, a PharmD is not a piece of cake and it is hard work. In Germany, a pharmacist is highly respected even if he or she doesn’t have a doctorate. They can earn a doctorate though (Dr. rer.nat.). In the UK, a surgeon earns the title “Mr.” and it is a title of high esteem.

      • WANALA says:

        In the UK, medicine is a 5-year bachelor’s degree (typically MBChB) and “doctor” is a courtesy title. Those interested in research can undertake an MD though.

    • OSCAR PERERA-MONTANES says:

      People do not determine who is or should be called “doctors”. Remember that we call the opinion of people “mundane”. Who is “called” or “granted” a doctorate is determined by the educational institution and the education accreditation boards. If a career determines that a particular academic field of study is a doctorate and is accredited, it is so. Mundane opinions do not make this determination. If the ACPE (American Council on Pharmaceutical Education) determines that the entry levels of pharmacists has a doctorate, it has a doctorate. You like of not is irrelevant. Accreditation council is the only one to make this determination. Not the dentist (DDS or DMD), not the MD, not the PhD, not the PA and not the nurse. IN fact, some nurses now have the title DN, or doctors in nursing, and believe me they deserve their doctorate, and to be called doctors. To call the professional with doctorate “doctor”, is a demonstration of social respect. If you have a “chip on your shoulder”, and you have no respect for anyone, not even your professional colleagues, you will not call your professional colleagues doctors, because you have no respect for them. A call my physician “doctor” because I respect him (regardless he is my cousin and I can call him by his first name). Those that cynically insult the PharmD here are precisely the ones that do not have one and would like to have one, and are in denial., PharmD is a doctorate degree! Too bad you do not like it Mr Dentist DDS!

  72. Gravis says:

    This is a great rant. First, let me say that I have much respect for the work and education of pharmacists. No doubt it is a hard curriculum by any standard no matter what name you go by. And I know that the average pharmacist should be proud of the work they do.

    That said, I was surprised a year back at a colleague who always referred to his wife as a doctor. The reason I have the same feeling as the author is I felt he was always sketchy about her field. Having 2 friends who are in anesthesia, I pressed him for her specialty. After some serious questions, he finally revealed she was a doctor of pharmacy. I asked what her PhD study was in, and he started getting pissed. “She has a PharmD man.”

    I was really confused. I had to look this up to find out it wasn’t any different that a JD or a ptD. I know there are one to two other professional degrees that have a doctorate title. Yes you absolutely specialize in an area. But what if everyone with a “masters” specialty was called doctor. Or if everyone who spend 5-6 years in college with multiple (similar) degrees would be called “doctor”. Most believe that calling someone Dr. is a special title. Most “doctors” spend 4 years undergrad and 4-5 years getting a specialized degree, following it with postdocs or residencies. I think Pharmacists are trying to ride the nursing jealousy coattail where they have some inferiority complex to rich MDs and though their job is every bit as important, there are MAJOR differences which cause a disparity in both pay and title.

    If you are shadily calling yourself “doctor” with quiet hopes of being lumped in with other highly regarded scholars, you are truly a douchebag. A PharmD is NOT the same as a DO, PhD, MD, or any of the others you can compare, and you shouldn’t be running around being called “doctor” because there is “doctorate” in your title. If you don’t believe me, introduce me to one non-Phd lawyer or PT that calls themselves doctor, and I will show you a douchebag.

    And yes, I am also a douchebag and I have NONE of the degrees I have mentioned in this post. Just an outside observer annoyed with yet another group who wants all the accolades without all the work.

    • mspharmtox says:

      @gravis

      You don’t make much sense. There are special programs for promising high school students who can earn their MDs in 6-7 years – the same amount of lenght of a PharmD program.

      I think you’re jealous and feel inferior that you have none of these degrees. Could it be that you really did lousely in chemistry and thus harbor some anger towards PharmDs?

      The PharmD stands for “doctorate in pharmacy.” They have the right to be addressed by “Dr.” in a professional setting just like any other professional such as psychologists, podiatrists, optometrists, etc. I once knew of an anthropology instructor at a community college who insisted on being called “Dr.Soandso” just because she had a PhD in cultural anthropology, which must be one of the easiest PhDs to get on the face of this earth.

  73. Jon says:

    Why all this hate? If you went to school and got a Pharm D. (Doctorate of Pharmacy)… you have every right to be called Dr. Sorry for all you Rph’s out there but you could get a Pharm D and then be called a Dr. too. I never ask anyone to call me a Dr. but I do consider myself one. It’s a doctorate degree you fucking idiot. It comes with the title. Get over yourself.

  74. Nikoll says:

    Hey ya all folk(es). What ish PharmD? Is it something to eat?

  75. Anonymous says:

    I am a graduate from an old european university. I have a grade in pharmacy, which is a master degree in my country, and a PhD. I am allowed by law to call myself doctor verbally and written, even in my passport, only because of my PhD. If I would call myself doctor because of my pharmacy master, I would violate laws and can get punished.
    As somebody correctly stated above, the only true doctor is the PhD. The MDs were granted to call themselves Doctors later, which was out of gratitude, because during medical studies you dont develope new knowledge such as a PhD.

    To make it clear, I have seen the curriculum of american PharmDs and must say it correlates rather with a master degree, certainly not with a PhD. In fact, in most european countries pharmacy is a master degree.
    Interestingly, in france pharmacists, medical doctors and veterinarians are adressed as doctors, but not PhDs. But that seems to be restricted to france only.

    In summary I think only medical doctors and PhDs should call themselves doctors, although for MDs it must be clear that its just a gratitude towards them through tradition, even they are not real doctors.

    • mspharmtox says:

      The pharmacy education in France is far more rigorous than that of any other European country. In many European countries, the pharmacy “masters” includes undergraduate coursework like organic, general and physical chemistry. So, I wouldn’t say that the US pharmD is equivalent to a European masters in pharmacy. Definitely not! As a matter of fact, the European masters in pharmacy is more similar to a combination of pre-pharmacy and the BPharm in the US, which no longer exists.

      • OSCAR PERERA-MONTANES says:

        It is the preparatory courses that is different. The pre-pharmacy pre-requirements are different. In Europe, you can start pharmacy school from high school. In fact in some countries such as England, you can start Pharmacy School before you graduate from high school. You graduate with a Master in Pharmacy, however it is equivalent in the US to junior college. In Europe you do a Thesis or dissertation, and of course, not been a true high school graduate, a dissertation is needed to grant you a “Master” in Pharmacy. Average age of Master graduate in England, for example, are 21 years of age. In the US, average graduation age for a PharmD is 26. This only implies that the PharmD in tyhe US usually have more than a pre-pharmacy, in some cases they have a BS in chemistry, biology, or other BS in a discipline of science. PharmD are most academically prepared professionals of pharmacy in the world. I worked with a Master in Pharmacy from England, and they do not come close to the knowledge of the PharmD.

  76. medo_elpana says:

    if pharmcist isnot called doctor so physicion shouldnt called doctor

  77. a_docs_wife says:

    Please explain ? the blank regarding website on The Angry Pharmacist blog. I have never responded on a blog and I do not have a clue to what I am supposed to type in this space. I really would like to possibly enlighten all the professionals on this site regarding the title of DOCTOR.

  78. David says:

    I think it is important to understand what the term “doctor” means both explicitly and implicitly. Explicitly, doctor refers to someone who has received a doctorate degree, either an academic PhD or a professional doctorate (i.e. MD, PsyD, PharmD, etc.). Implicitly, however, when one refers to themselves as “doctor”, the average person will assume that person is a medical doctor. It is important to use the title appropriately, and legally, most states will require an individual to have a doctorate degree in order to use the term. However, realizing that most people automatically assume “doctors” are medical doctors, it is important to use the term with caution. Whether this is correct or not doesn’t matter. PhD’s are the original “doctors” but the term has transcended and has been generically attached to MD’s. So if someone yells, “Is there a doctor on the plane?” and you are a PhD, you should not respond, even though you are in fact a doctor, as we know the person is actually referring to physician. Additionally, if you are a nurse with a PhD, you probably shouldn’t go around a hospital calling yourself “doctor”; why, because people will assume you are a medical doctor. We can argue what is accurate all day, but in the end, it is really about what the perception of the term is, whether that perception is correct or incorrect. If the public assumes that the term “doctor” is = to “physician” than it is important to use the term conservatively in order to not unintentionally deceive the individual. We have to consider the setting we are working in. I have a PhD, and am referred to as doctor; however, if I walk into a hospital and introduce myself as “doctor” it will be assumed I am a physician. Similarly, if someone asks me what I do and I state ,“I am a doctor”, while this might be technically correct, it will be assumed I am a medical doctor. Consider the perception of the term and use it correctly.

    There are other terms that have similar conflicts. For example, the term “therapist” denotes many different professionals. (i.e. physical therapist, psychotherapist, speech therapist, etc.); however, therapist has (like doctor) been generically applied to psychotherapists. If one is a physical therapist and states, “I am a therapist” the average person will probably assume the individual is a psychotherapist. Therefore, the term should be used with caution, as it can refer to many different professionals, but has been generically applied to a particular profession.

    There are other terms that have similar conflicts. For example, the term “therapist” denotes many different professionals. (i.e. physical therapist, psychotherapist, speech therapist, etc.); however, therapist has (like doctor) been generically applied to psychotherapists. If one is a physical therapist and states, “I am a therapist” the average person will probably assume the individual is a psychotherapist. Therefore, the term should be used with caution, as it can refer to many different professionals, but has been generically applied to a particular profession.

    There are other terms that have similar conflicts. For example, the term “therapist” denotes many different professionals. (i.e. physical therapist, psychotherapist, speech therapist, etc.); however, therapist has (like doctor) been generically applied to psychotherapists. If one is a physical therapist and states, “I am a therapist” the average person will probably assume the individual is a psychotherapist. Therefore, the term should be used with caution, as it can refer to many different professionals, but has been generically applied to a particular profession.

  79. Alley says:

    Dear angry pharmacist: It sounds to me like you secretly wish you could call yourself a doctor, but you don’t feel like you should because you see a schism between the accuracy of that statement in the academy and the vernacular use of the word. I also think you may have applied for pharmacy school with the idea that you would be a doctor upon matriculation, but were subjected to some type of embarrassing “you’re not a doctor, pal” interaction with some asshole who thought they were better than you (either that, or you yourself are uncomfortable with your actual social role and you do not want your blue-collar peers to think that you think that you’re better than them).

    Either way, you have no right to censor others, or tell them what they should call themselves, period. It is perfectly fine to say, “I prefer to be called Phil,” (or whatever your name is), and its fine to ask “you mean the physician?” when they say “I went to the doctor.” But you do have an important and authoritative role in society and that is a fact, whether you are comfortable with it or not. So do all other well-educated people who have earned the education level that you have.

  80. Khalid Aslam says:

    Hi,
    I am not sure why people are so fussed with pharmacist using doctor title. The word doctor is form Doctoris which simple means Teacher. So if the doctors are using doctor, does it mean they are teacher??? NO… Doctor title is generelly used by professionals who have achieved a terminal degree in their respective professions for example Doctor of Philosphy, Doctor of Pharmacy (which is a terminal professional degree) or Doctor of Clinical Pharmacy. People wrongly use doctor to address medical practitioner. In australia the word doctor does not legally refer to someone who treats patients. IT is the term registered medical practitioner. So

  81. MD PhD says:

    I hold 2 doctorate degrees so you all better read this: over the past few centuries the term “doctor” has been used in two general ways: 1. As a formal recognition of one who holds a doctoral degree and 2. As a title of respect to refer to a person of authority in regards to your health care (the same way one respects the authority of a judge as “Honorable X”). Therefore this title of respect was originally given to high end teachers (with PhDs) and physicians who used to be dentists and pharmacists and psychologists and physical therapists all at the same time. As our knowledge grew, we needed specialists: dentistry bud off medicine in 1840 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and pharmacist were trained in the dispensing of drugs. When our science of pharmacology grew, the BS in pharmacy was an underestimate of the level of education, so Pharm.D. came about.
    THEREFORE: in regards to formal degree anyone with a doctorate degree has to be recognized for his/her achievement. In regards to authority in provision of health care, physicians and surgeons and podiatrists and dentists and pharmacist ALL are important and play vital roles in the overall health care delivery.
    THEREFORE: I do and I will call a podiatrist and dentist and pharmacist DOCTORS because I have been their patients and them my providers, and also, I have requested their expertise in treatment of my own patients.

    For those who like to know: I am an Endocrinologist.

    • Dr. Richard Schulman says:

      To be blunt and nothing less, Ph.D.s are the very engine of science. That is why they receive the vast majority of Nobel prizes, even in medicine. These prizes cover almost all categories of human endeavors, from cracking the DNA double helix to landing our species on the moon.

      The word philosophy was originally synonymous with science. But, as the late behavioral scientist and father of behavior modification, Dr. B.F. Skinner, pointed out, philosophy did not keep up with science. Discoveries in quantum mechanics and Einstein’s work regarding relatively are but two examples where philosophy and pure science parted ways. Nevertheless, the Ph.D. degree has stuck with the words Doctor of Philosophy simply for reasons of honoring tradition. The truth? Few are philosophers, but many are scientists.

      Folks in health care seem to forget where a good deal of their technology comes from. It comes from the humble Ph.D.s working quietly in their labs sans fanfare.The lay person has no contact with these scientists. They simply see their physicians and pharmacists when in need. Thus, they have little knowledge or appreciation for the innovative scientists who are doing the truly thoughtful work that often allows practitioners in the health field to improve the quality of care.

      And yes, these scientists are doctors. Just look at their diploma. And, of utmost importance, look at their astonishing accomplishments. In terms of hard core scientific thinking, you cannot compare the regurgitating type of training of a physician or a Pharm.D with the original thinking required of a Ph.D.(And, in fact, it takes far more years of schooling to earn a Ph.D. as opposed to a Pharm.D. or an M.D., because the Ph.D. has ball busting research to conduct as well as the course requirements. That folks, is fact! Are Ph.D.s doctors? Yes, they coined the term.

    • hajer says:

      hi i have a question i want some1 to answer are pharmacists allowed to give nutritional advice and do regime programs for obese people ?
      by the way i like what you wrote thanx..

  82. medman225 says:

    I don’t like the term doctor anymore. it used to be simple- a philosophical one (phd) or a healthcare doctor.

    now, its simply used to inform the person that they’ve reached a terminal degree. i don’t even like that when some phd’s demand to be called doctor in a setting out of their field. if there’s a botanist, i don’t give a ratsass if he/she has a bs, ms, or phd. other than medical, the term doctor historically means someone who teaches. so therefore, i don’t see the need to call pharmD’s doctor, or dentists, or chiros, or optomitrists. why not call EVERY professional with a terminal degree doctor? engineers with a masters? (I know that there’s a phd in engineering. but there is also one in pharm)

    much of the modern term use has become backwards. People noticed the prestige that comes with the term “doctor,” and every medical profession got the “me too” syndrome.

    and to people that think that medical school=pharm, dent, OD, Chiro school, HAHA. when it comes down to a clinician that needs to make a life saving decision, wouldn’t you want a person that has gone through school that is exceptionally difficult and difficult to get in?

  83. Pharma doctor says:

    Sir, Doctor is not only for phisicians. They are medical doctors and we Pharm D are Pharma Doctors.

  84. Dr. Richard Schulman says:

    I am sure that most of you are familiar with Albert Einstein, Ph.D. He is the father of relativity. He was also involved with quantum mechanics. And, he was probably the greatest thinker of all time. Is there anybody out there who would compare the thinking of an M.D. or a Pharm.D. to that of Albert Einstein’s? The Ph.D. is the father of the transistor, the MRI, and drugs that physicians hand out like candy. As for the Pharm.D., can anyone name one who has won a Nobel prize for their thinking? I think not!

  85. futurepharmD says:

    Should *have* settled. Maybe it is better that YOU don’t call yourself “Doctor”, anyway….

    • Dr. Richard Schulman says:

      To futurepharmD,

      I do not see any coherency in your post. It appears that you have no point to make.If you have a cogent opinion, please make it.

      • Dr. Richard Schulman says:

        It seems that the title “Doctor” is supposed to relate to those in life saving professions. Let us assume that this statement is true even though it is not. Police officers and fire fighters save lives. Moreover, unlike those in other life saving professions put their own lives on the line in doing so. In other words, they are obligated to sacrifice themselves in the line of duty. Because their schooling is far less than a Ph.D. or an M.D., we do not call them Doctors. Nevertheless, these professionals CLEARLY are involved in saving lives. (If you were in a burning building, who would you want by your side, a fire fighter or an M.D.? The answer is obvious. However, their lesser degree requirements disqualifies these courageous professionals from the title Doctor. What is my point? It is simply that saving lives is part and parcel of those in many professions. This being the point, it seems that the level of education calls the shots when it comes to the title of Doctor. Thus, it seems to me that only the Ph.D. and M.D. qualify for the title because it is this group of professionals with the highest level of schooling.

  86. Dr. Richard Schulman says:

    And, if you wish to discuss M.D,s, I suggest that you ponder the word “kick backs.” That’s right folks. These “honorable” professionals are real pros at taking “goodies” for pimping drugs that keep the pharmaceutical industry happy. It kind of contaminates the word Doctor when applied to many physicians, does it not? Maybe some physicians should have the title Crook instead of Doctor. Just watch some TV drug commercials and ponder the possibilities. Such pondering will render you a whole different organism.

  87. Doctor but not a doctor says:

    Actually the whole Pharm. D thing has always bothered me. Most doctors regardless of the discipline,( medicine, chemistry etc) have gone to school for 8 years while the Pharm.D degree is 6 years. What is wrong with just saying we have Masters in Pharmacy (6 years). I never call my self Doctor (even though I guess technically I could since my diploma says Doctor of Pharmacy) because I work in health care and in health care when you say Doctor people think physician and I am going to look pretty stupid and like a fraud when the patient finds out that I am pharmacist and not a doctor. The only time I call my self a “Doctor” is when I absolutely have to get through some pain in the ass physician’s gate keeper to talk to the physician about a serious issue. It’s amazing how quickly you get through when you say “Hello this is Dr So and So can I speak to Dr Smith regarding our patient and whamo, no wait nothing. If you say this is Pharmacist so and so then you are on hold or get the we will call you back later answer. Of course this only works with a physicians office that you do not call very much

  88. radrone 5316 says:

    This is the best, most realistic, genuine comment ! Stop pretending we are “Doctors”. I don’t care what initials the schools and the boards let you put before your name! Your a Pharmacist, Get rid of these stupid pretenses, and know your role, it’s a pretty important role. People need to be counseled by a pharmacist, leave the Doctoring to those WAYYYY more qualified. Physicians are no joke, they go through hell to get to that point, there is 11 years of learning involved in just becoming a primary care DOCTOR, that’s almost double our 6 years. We are drug experts, we are required to go to school for 6 years, we are PHARMACISTS.

  89. Brandi says:

    Doctors of Medicine don’t always have to go for 8 years, and most pharmacists these days go for at least 7 years.

  90. ParmDad50 says:

    True. Some 6 year programs require 12 credit hours in Summer also on top of paid and non-paid internship hours. So it ‘s more like 7. Plus many have their 4yr BS first and some have masters in other fields, such as engineering or chemistry or biology. Some schools still require 8 years ( I think most of the Big Ten schools still do also) or want a Bach. at min. Many PharmDs that do clinical specialties/fellowships go an additional 1 or 2 years or more, (paid a modest wage) while doing sosimilar to an MD intern.

  91. Dr. Richard Schulman says:

    Want difficulty plus endless hours of original thinking? Go for a Ph.D. in astro/particle physics.You won’t get through the first semester. You will, with your tail between your legs, go running at warp speed to med school or enroll in a Pharm.D program. Many of you folks do not know what HARD is.

  92. J says:

    Amen. From my experience, CVS gets this, Walgreens does not. Bitches at Walgreens think they are doctors, and are constantly looking for ways to challenge the Rx’s my REAL DOCTOR perscribes. My doctor is A DOCTOR, YOU ARE NOT, know your fucking role, Walgreens pharmacists. Just fill my Rx’s, mind your own business, and shut the fuck up. If you don’t like it, go back to med school and EARN the right to challenge Rx’s written by REAL DOCTORS.

  93. PharmD2Be says:

    I think i have basically read each response and nobody has touched on this simple fact thus far. Everyone has been saying how since MD’s go to school for at least 8 years then it is more appropriate to consider them a doctor. Does nobody realize the reason that a PharmD is *able* to be done in 6 years is due to a fast track program for those individuals who have already decided upon the profession? Each and every PharmD program in the US requires 4 years of Professional schooling (years P1-P4). For those who enter college in search of a career which suites them it will take just as long to graduate as any other bachelor’s degree from a normal 4-year university. Say you decide that during your 4th undergraduate year that pharmacy becomes appealing to you, you still MUST complete 4 more years of professional schooling, totaling 8 years (for anyone mathematically challenged). In essence, the only reason why I am able to complete my degree within 6 years is due to a rigorous course-load and nights studying until dawn. Because i knew that pharmacy was a career in which i would be happy before entering college, all of my classes have been geared towards this goal. So to summarize, a PharmD degree is EARNED by completing 8 years worth of work within 6 years. This is no easy feat and deserves the respect within the healthcare system. Pharmacists, MD’s, and nurses all work in collaboration in order to provide for our patients the utmost care afforded to them. By using the salutation “Dr.” in order to address someone with experience and knowledge you are showing this respect that THEY KNOW MORE THAN YOU and you are lucky they put patient care above all this bullshit arguing. To me, you cannot force someone to respect you as you cannot force someone to call you “Dr.” Referring to your pharmacist as “Dr.” only shows that you place your trust in them and their wealth of knowledge.

  94. C says:

    By an old custom, lawyers are entitled to use the prenomial “The Honorable.” (Even if they are not a Judge.) I think that is cooler than Doctor.

    In investigating a case, I had to call up a witness who happened to be a Pharm.D. I said, “Hello, is this Dr. Weewax” (I dont remember the actual name) and he said “This is Harley Weewax, I’m not a Doctor.”

    • Dr. Richard Schulman says:

      The Pharm.D degree was created for the sake of MONEY and prestige. The Ph.D. degree (as in pharmacologist) was created LONG ago for the love of learning.

      • TeranDios says:

        I sincerely doubt that the PHD was simply the art of learning,but if what you say is true; is it possible for you to give me some past history about PhD? The love of learning… is something already lost a long time ago for most students in college that I’d seen. Most of them were aiming for fame and glory at best, or to ‘prove’ themselves and simply just wanting a PHD for money and ego at worst. The love of learning,if it really existed in the next generation as much as you seem to propose. I would be gladly try to become a professor or teacher.

  95. Dr. Richard Schulman says:

    Frankly Medman225, you make little sense. Doctor is taken from the Latin term meaning teacher. Go to any med school, and you will find that the majority of teachers (thus doctors) are Ph.d.s The Ph.D. does not really pertain much to philosophers. For the most part, it pertains to scientists (like those who put man on the moon and develop drugs to help keep you alive). You need to think before spewing pablum.

  96. al says:

    Let see……… I have an RPh, and MD and a DDS (DDS,MD,RPh)…..but you can call me Al.

  97. gyrfalcon says:

    Can I call myself a doctor if I have a doctorate in electrical engineering? :)

  98. Pharmd17 says:

    The posts ive read are ridiculous. Anyone who has a pharmd degree is a doctor. This is a fact, whether you like it or not! In speaking with a physician or a setting with other health care professionals, it is appropriate to be addressed as doctor. You can even put it on your mail or bills or anything else you want. To argue this is completely and utterly absurd. In working with patients, as a pharmacist, I would not expect to be called doctor and not demand to be called so. To a patient, the term doctor means physician. And thats fine. The title of doctor, however, still exists. In writing a scholarly paper or talking to a physician, I’ll refer to myself as doctor , because I am one, whether you like it or not. This is a fact, not an opinion of mine! I prefer a more personal relationship with patients , however, and i wouldn’t put that barrier between myself and them. The title should be used appropriately. Anyone who demands the doctor title to be enforced with patients or family or friends is pompous. But it is utterly wrong to downplay anyone with a doctorate degree of any sort. I respect PhD just as i would a physician. They are both doctors of different subjects, no one degree is better than the other. But they are both doctors. This once again is a fact. you can argue that no, only physicians are doctors, but you would just be called ignorant and uneducated. (ironic?)

  99. Lo PharmD Student says:

    Doctor vs “a” Doctor
    Saying I’m “Dr. Soandso” is different than saying “I’m a Doctor.” If you have a PharmD you can say I’m Dr. Soandso just like someone with a PhD would say. But telling someone “I’m a Doctor” translates to I’m a medical doctor. Telling a flight attendant you’re a doctor when you have a PharmD is flat out douchy. Introducing yourself as Dr. Soandso is not. If by introducing yourself as Dr. Soandso she assumes you’re a Medical Doctor, that’s on her. Anyone with a Doctorate degree can introduce themselves as Dr. Blahblahblah but not anyone with a Doctorate degree can say I’m a Doctor. That’s douchy

  100. PhD Nurse Practitioner says:

    So, I’m a nurse practitioner with a PhD. There are many who have DNP (doctor of nursing practice) degrees. Do you think patients are confused if I tell them I’m Dr. So and So and proceed to evaluate and prescribe medication? Certainly they think I am relaying that I’m a physician. I am not. The work of the physician and my work overlap most of the time. I know how to treat patients and do it well. I don’t require patients to call me doctor for the ego. I want them to know that their care was performed by an advanced practice nurse, not a physician. In healthcare, using the title doctor to patient is a veil of insecurity unless you are a physician. I called a pharmacist today and asked her name. She corrected me when I called her Mrs. “it’s doctor.” Me too, but I didn’t tell her. Who cares? Doctor does not equal good. Experience does much more!

  101. Bob Smith Pharm.D. says:

    I only use my Dr. when I am at a bar trying to get layed. Other than that I feel like a tool using it because I work retail. If I were a clinical pharmacist I would feel differently.

  102. Not a dr says:

    I have read all of the post and let me have my two cents opinion. I worked as as under grad researcher, then graduate and work as a tech for a genetic research lab where my post docs and assistant prof. Were all highly intelligent people. They were also professors who teach at medical school , aka ucsd. I now work as a pharm. Tech for a drug store and my here is my observation – a lesser intelligent croud, maybe this is only applied to retail pharmacists.. The pharm. Manager at my place would always refer himself as dr. Soandso, but he doesn’t have much knowledge on drugs- with the use of micromedex , epocrete or similar programs they can just type in the words and get the info. Or most are written in the monograph. on the other hand, the regular pharmacist who has been working there for much longer and is more knowledable would never refer himself as dr. So and so. To me, phd are dr. They deserve to be call dr. And maybe other professional degree also. However, it is the individual knowledge that would earn the respect of others and of patients. But on the top are scientist, researchers, phd in science and engineering, physician, then others… Note even physician, it depends on the individual too. The physician working in my lab before was one that was mocked of the most in the lab because the main tech was the one who is knowledgeable and who conduct all the experiments then the physician use the finding to communicate to the outsiders. Pharmacists are similar, it depends on the person and their extensive knowledge . I have known many friends who couldn’t get into research as undergrad and who are not so bright went in to do pharm. Tech for several years then get into pharm schools after many tries and those people always want to be call dr. So and so.. But I also know people who are smart and got into top pharm schools but are humble and real, they don’t state themselves as dr. Soandso . I guess it all depends on the individuals knowledge that will earn the respect. I am going back to get my phd in biochem and have gotten accepted to 2 prestigious school and also gotten into pharm school in ny but decided not to go. I am not dissing pharm maybe later I will come back to get a pharmd to either do clinical or pharmaceutical , I honestly laugh inside when I see pharmacists , ESP. Retail pharmacist refer themselves as dr. I don’t think I am better than them and I have respect for certain individual pharmacists but for the most part…- on this note, I have respect for only scientists. Please disregard my grammar mistakes it’s 530am in the morning,,, wish you all a good night

    • denzoskidDO says:

      Like you said depends on the individual. The sake way with physicians. There is oarge disparity between physicians in each specialty. Depends on their schooling their residency etc. Aand the individual. Yes all the physicians from the barely made it through to the cream off the crop all get the same title but the respect has to be earned. But I disagree as with all physicians types and specialty are doctors… the pharmd is a pharmd wether they practice in a hospital in long term care or in retail or industry ..same degree. Therefore yes they should be also be considered doctors but again the respect needs to be earned. And ilI know several great hospital pharmds that cake from retail and some went back. They told me while some look down on retail he said its just snobbetry that working in the basement making up iv bags and barely no patient interaction is not that glamorous he missed the patient interaction even if they were griping about wait times and insurance problems. I love our local pharmacist very knowledgable helpfuo and caring I have no probpem calling in Dr. Though he doesnt ask to be. Probably like the humble one you talked of. But I wouod say retail pharmacists are just as valuable and may actually be a tougher job, thats why a lot of pharms in my hospital wouldnt do retail if it was even another 20% pay increase. So bless them and you techs. Good techs are no different Im sure you worked withvsome that were downright horrible and others like yourself that were outstanding. Good luck with school and your new career.

  103. Ana says:

    Do doctors have pharmacy degree…?

  104. Linda says:

    All Pharm.D.s are DOCTORS of Pharmacy, but it is true that when the average Joe hears “Dr. so-and-so”, they assume “medical doctor”. That does not meean that we do not own the title of DOCTOR any less than an MD, JD, Pharm.D., PhD, etc. Having said that, there are absolutely some pharmacists whose type of practice and expertise where it seems more appropriate than not to refer to them as Dr. So-and-so. Not all pharmacists are equal in terms of knowledge, impact, and expertise. I think that is a given. I know some MDs who don’t even deserve to be called DOCTOR.

  105. John1821 says:

    “Doctors” don’t have to be M.D.’s. They can be D.O.’s and have the same privileges. Saying PharmD’s are not doctors is illogical because it’s is stated in the degree, PharmD. Now and in the upcoming future, many pharmacists will take on a more clinical role and have a different type of relationship with patients. Clinical pharmacists are often different types of drug therapists. This field is growing fairly quickly to keep up with advances in medical and pharmaceutical sciences.

    As for anyone insisting (absolutely INSISTING and getting mad when they are not) on being called a doctor, I think they are clowns. As for people who refuse to recognize that someone is a doctor when they have a doctorate, they are also clowns. Get over it people, please.

    The source of this friction is that we are witnessing an expansion of the meaning of word doctor as it is commonly used in healthcare settings. People should get used to the idea. It doesn’t reflect poorly on M.D.’s or D.O.’s or take anything away from them. But as usual, people don’t like change. I assure you all that it’s a good thing. As time passes, our hospitals will continue to fill up with highly educated personnel to meet patient needs. As for PharmD’s working side by side with M.D.’s and D.O.’s, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind being able to shoulder off a little liability on to someone else. Haven’t they done enough already for us?

  106. CJ says:

    Just to clarify some things (this refers to US only):

    An MD/DO/DDS/DMD’s title of Dr. is formal and ubiquitous

    A PhD’s, EdD, ThD, etc. IS a doctor (they have a doctorate), BUT, the title of Dr. is HONORARY. This means that it is to only be used in certain settings/situations (not ubiquitous). However, it is not necessarily inappropriate for it to be used ubiquitously.

    The other doctorates (PharmD, DPT, DNP, DC, etc.) ARE doctors of their field, BUT the title is honorary as well, and absolultely NOT ubiquitous.

    The history of the word Doctor is, while interesting from an etymology standpoint, is IRRELEVANT. Vernacularism is the barometer for what I have mentioned (which is also how the dictionaries are updated…have you noticed this?)

    If some of you became a non-MD doctor expecting to use the title Doctor formally and ubiquitously, you made a mistake. People (of all education levels) will look at you funny, since it is not vernacular in the US.

    From my experience, the majority of people making an issue out of this are those who were denied acceptance to a US allopathic school. The MCAT has been designed to weed-out all but the top 1% of IQ level. Thus, those who constantly heard from their mommy and daddy that they were “perfect little geniuses” but in reallity were not, cannot fathom why they did poorly on the MCAT. I don’t see why this is a problem…all people should be respected regardless of their degree or IQ level, but I am aware that some suffer from inferiority complex.

    • drphdnscience says:

      I assure you if you go to the MCAT results and acceptance page, you will see the rank scores in groups and how many scored and how many in that group was accepted. It is far from the to 1%. Most pharmds go into pharmacy instead of physician,some but not most took both exams and many did well enough to be in the upper top scores. Realize some PharmDs were 3.75 plus bs or ms in chemstry,etc. No slouches. My personal physician was a French and math minor. Went to europe after graduating then work in a lab for a few years and then came back to the states took a few bio and chem then took mcat and got accepted to a decent not steller med school then did residency at a good hospital. My point is im sure many pharmd high honors biochem students could rock the MCAT and have oand odds are better than communication majors and some premed majors. The fact is heavy sciejlnce classes are not required for entering med school.

    • Jimmy D says:

      Do you work in a hospital? Did you know physicians, nurses, techs, etc, call the clinical pharmacists “doctors”? Because what patients call “doctors” are not the same as to what the medical team calls “doctors”.

      If your experiences are true then it’s sad some pharmacists spoiled it for everyone else. But open your eyes. PharmDs are doctors and you better get used to it.

    • Jim says:

      That is the dumbest, most false thing I have ever read. No. Wrong.

  107. Morgan says:

    Employers discriminate against people in their 60’s. I have a BS (got in 1971). I’m offended by a prospective employer that has a PharmD requirement for a pharmacist job. Now, my BS does not qualify for this job. If I got one of those non-traditional PharmD’s from Univ. of Florida, when I finished I would be close to 70. Who would hire me then? It’s pointless. Then I’d have a student loan to pay back. I guess somebody could try robbing my grave to get paid.

    • denzoskidDO says:

      You are unfortunately you probably right Morgan. Im guessing that you must know that the reason given is probably not valid in other jobs perhaps. My heart goes out to you. Keep the faifth and try to stay positive so that it shows when you get a break that will eventually come through. Thisveconomy even has some newer docs worried on pay long hours and large debt. I think they may have overestimated-you think? On the demand for pharmcists probably put by required pharmd slowing down the grad rate for a few years and growing automation and too many new schools, some clearly trying to capitalize on the situation. Physicians and the AMA would not let that happen. Pharrmacists in that respect tend to be their own worst enemy. They need as a whole to start demanding respect and get on same page not fragment between the different types of pharmacy practices. The Apha does very little for you and is a doormat compared to the AMA. Pharmacists need to wake up and protect their profession and patients which are also our patients, since with pbm’s and insurance companies and automation and pharm techs next they will get thegovt to let them not requre to have verification from licenced pharmacists. Your license is all you have not your rph or pharmd. Think it cant happen? Not if you unite and establish a strong org.

  108. Oriah says:

    I hope this is going to the author. Define Doctor please. It comes from doctorate as in the degree, from Latin, meaning “to teach/teacher.” Doctor has nothing to “fucking” do with physicians. You keep listing PharmD, then saying that’s not a Doctor? How the fuck did you pass the Naplex if you even took it and not get that? Hello dumb ass, the D stands for Doctor! Google the damn word! It shows “Doctor” of Pharmacy, but only the letters Ph and M can truly be followed with a D and mean Doctor? How idiotic. If this is an ego trip, than MD’s should just be called physicians from now on and not Doctor. It’s a title of education in a field. I can’t even believe as a future Pharmacist I have to explain this to someone in my own field of practice…holy shit. Pharmacists ARE Doctors, otherwise quit labeling them as Pharm “D.”

  109. Thomas Paine says:

    If you have earned a doctoral degree in any field, you have the right to be called “Doctor.” If physicians, PhD’s, and anyone else doesn’t think that’s fair, go start a petition to change the title of your own degree. We all went to school to become a doctor of our own fields, and if we graduated, we all damned well deserve to be recognized as “Doctor.” If you don’t want to go by the title, you don’t have to, simple as that. However, to bitch about a pharmacist, dentist, etc. wanting to be called doctors; it’s just unprofessional and an insult to your colleagues. Get over yourself.

    • MrCustomer says:

      To the previous posters-
      If you’ll look up the definition of doctor in thr dictionary, very few pharmsD’s would qualify, since only teachers of pharmacology would fit the description. However, I agree that your degree probably states that you have received a degree as a “Doctor of Pharmacy”. Note that it does not state you are “doctors” – it’s states you hold a degree of “Doctor of Pharmacy”. So if you would like to call yourself “Pharmacy doctor” or “pharmaceutical doctor” or “doctor of pharmacy”, I doubt anyone would have a problem with that. However, calling yourself just “doctor” appears to connote the vernacular usage of “doctor” by the common man to refer to a “doctor of medicine”.

      So, yes, you are doctors of pharmacy – but leaving off that qualification smacks of attempting to deceive the listener into assuming doctor of medicine. In communication, the responsibility for clarity falls mainly on the transmitter – the listener cannot change what he hears, but the speaker can change what he speaks. Be proud of the fact that you are doctors of pharmacy – but please don’t try to deceive persons who, rightly or wrongly, make an assumption based on common and accepted usage of the phrase “doctor”. Myself, I only call my MD doctor – I wouldn’t call my dentist that (unless he’s hurting me at the time), and I wouldn’t call my optometrist that. But I would call my opthamologist and my endodontist “doctor”. In all likelihood, I would probably call a pharmacologist “doctor” – if I ever met one…

  110. PharmD says:

    Why would you be against bringing honor and prestige to our profession. Ive been reading your “rants” and as a fellow pharmacist I REALLY feel sorry for your patients. People like you RUIN the sophistication and humble respect of our profession. You are angry that Im sure of, but mostly at yourself. I think you need some seroquel 300mg po qd.

  111. omg…someone needs to self-medicate. pharmD’s are Doctors. i’m not a pharmD — but the fact is first of all – ministers are often Dr.’s — educators, its a degree not a career — so someone needs to take a few valium and get over themselves. also, every pharmacist i know is more educated about drugs than any medical doctor I’ve ever met. In addition, even the RPh’s in states where they did not grandfather in the PharmD designation certainly have done the hours – since the extra year is clinical rotations and anyone who has worked 20 years in practice qualifies. So, in my book every pharmacist is a Dr. — but the person that started this should be careful not to upset himself next time the guy teaching English calls himself Dr. — he might have a stroke and need an M.D. — that is the purpose of those letters…to clarify what KIND of doctor.

  112. Grace says:

    My sister is currently in a pharmD program and she works her butt off!!! She works no harder than my husband whose completing his residency in medical school. I’m disgusted by your belittlement of people who pour hard work into their doctoral programs whether its a MD, PharmD, Ph.D, or Ed.d. At the end of the day their not fluffing the truth. All doctoral students whose completed a doctorate program should be recognized for their work and are ENTITLED to be addressed as so.

    • denzoskidDO says:

      Some people call me space cowboy some people call me the ganster of love some people call me maureece. I agree kiddo. They all work hard and earn it and patients wan the top experts they can get.i just think this got off kilter because probably just a few and usually newbies of all doctorates can get a lil cocky and go overboard with wanting to overly wanting to be called or hear themselves be called doctor. And ofcourse doctors umm physicians like myself have long held traditionally as looked up to the so called prestige of doctor and as healthcare became more complex and specialized more helathcare related doctorates emerged. As long as nobody confuses the patient its fine. Some of these few pharmds may want to so call use doctor in the context of physician because of perception that a physician holds more esteem. Which probably perception in the public eye does. Pharmacists newbies or these few should be proud to be a pharmasicts and a pharmd/rph on its own as many people trust their pharmacist more than perhaps any other profession including s wonderful physicians. Just like I rember hearing oh he’s not a real doctor he’s a dentist. OK tell him that before you sit in his chair and he gets that dril out! Common respect here people and controlled arrogance. There’s always somebody is always smarter , richer and better looking than you. Good luck to your sister doc and hubby doc.

  113. drphdnscience says:

    Cj is suspect or at least by all your lil troll like digs you may not have anadvanced degree. What you fail to understand, yes there are many highly qualified PharmDs and Phds that indeed did very well not only on the PCAT but the MCAT. I personally did better on the MCAT and got accepted at my two top tier picks. But I decided on PharmD route. Then earned a Phd in a puarmological Medicine and Toxicology. I don’t demand to be called doctor but most physicians do. Most of them recognize not only my Pharmd but my phd is not an entry doctorate such as pharmd and MD/DO. Yes an MD is considered an entry doctorate. Yet I have no problem refering to the pharmacist or physician as doctor. But if you chose not to you will not hurt my feelings nor would I doubt we would consult with you in our esteemed circles.

  114. buddyone says:

    I’m sorry to report that I have so many negative encounters with arrogant, conceited PharmDs that I’m losing respect for them and their profession. Pharms don’t tell you what is wrong or fix what is wrong! They dispense medication, which our increasingly litigious and overregulated medical society has helped enhance. They get paid six figures to do less good for society than cops, teachers and social workers!

  115. Kelly says:

    Hello! I am one that chose to obtain my PharmD over the BS option and I currently practice with prescriptive authority, minus a DEA because I don’t practice in New Mexico. I do use Dr. and PharmD at work in formalities, frankly because I earned it. I do not ask physicians or colleagues or even my patients to call me that, but they do. Outside of my practice, I give out advice about medical conditions, treatment, and medications to friends, acquaintances and family. Frankly, I don’t ask them to call me Dr. because I don’t care. I am skilled enough and they recognize that and respect me enough, they just call me that. Most just call me “Doc”. Maybe there are still two kinds of pharmacists? Little PharmD’s and grown up ones??? P.S. I work with a psychologist that absolutely requests the Dr. be used when addressing her. She diagnoses and treats conditions…she deserves it to and she is NOT a physician.

  116. Sam says:

    I am currently in pharmacy school earning my PharmD. Not only am I learning about medications and every thing that goes along with that but I am also learning how to diagnose diseases. Although technically pharmacists cannot diagnose as a doctor can, I feel that I know enough information to accurately diagnose patients. Pharmacy isn’t just about filling prescriptions anymore. Maybe if you chose to work in retail then yes that’s what it’s all about, but today there are are so many more opportunities as a pharmacist. I mean what do doctors really do anyway? They diagnose you with something, write you a prescription for somethng that they probably know nothing about and then send it to us where we give it to you and ensure that you take it properly so that you don’t kill yourself. When I graduate I will be called doctor, I earned that tittle and the right. Obviously whoever whote this post is not a very good pharmacist.

    • M0rgan Williams says:

      I agree with you, but, unfortunately I got caught up with the retail at the time because of ignorance. I graduated in 1971 while my classmates were discussing the war betweeen the chains and the independents, greatly favoring the independents. But when I graduated, the independents didn’t have enough jobs; so I had to work for the chains, as a matter of survival. I always hated the work, but loved the money. When I was 60, I was rudely asked to retire. Later I filed for Social Security retirement, and I have been receiving it since age 62. I never thought that the pharmacist’s role was defined clearly. I see my pharmacist’s past life as a life sentence. Now that I have been paroled, I am taking up music more than ever.

  117. Pharmacy Student says:

    This yahoo shouldn’t even consider himself a pharmacist. Total lack of professionalism, who rants like a child about concepts that aren’t a big issue? Clearly he loves his profession….. total idiot.

  118. MrCustomer says:

    Just as a matter of disclosure, I am of the opinion that although legally a pharmD degree entitles the holder to the title “doctor”, it is confusing to the general public and should be avoided. Consider that the following graduates of their respective educsations are allowed to use the title “doctor” – Lawyers (J.D.), Osteopaths (D.O), Dentists (D.D.S or D.M.D),Veterinarians (D.V.M), Podiatrists (D.P.M), Optometrists (O.D), Psychologists (Psy.D), Audiologists(Au.D), Physical Therapists ((D.P.T), Engineers(EngD), Nurses (D.N.P), Doctor of Ministry (D.Min), Doctor of Divinity (D.D.), Doctor of Education(Ed.D), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL), Doctor of Public Administration (DPA), Doctor of Social Work (DSW), Doctor of Biblical Studies (D.B.S.), Doctor of Law and Policy (Lp.D), Doctor of Practical Theology (DPT), Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS or DProf), Doctor of the Built Environment (DBEnv)

    and of course-
    PH.D’s (Doctors of Philosophy)
    and
    M.D’s (Medical Doctors)

    Out of all these, I would hazard a guess that the only ones who the general public regularly call “doctor” are the MD’s and maybe the D.D.S. Some may call others “Dr” to make them feel nice, but probably don’t do it religiously. I myself only call these two “doctor”, since I don’t go to D.O.’s, D.P.M.’s, O.D’s or any other medically oriented holder of the “doctor” title.

    On the other hand, in the Navy we all called our corpsman “Doc” (not doctor), even though most if not all had no university based medical education. Why, you ask? Because in all likelihood, if need be, that is going to be the man who saves your life when you need an emergency tracheotomy, or perhaps a missile removed from your midsection (I didn’t say he’d be successful). So he is accorded that respect.

    So do you pharmD’s call your vet “doctor”? How about your lawyer? How about a professor (outside of any class you’re trying to pass)? Your environmental engineer? Any of these other holders of the doctor title? It’ll be interesting to see the results-

    i’d like to ask a couple of questions on this subject. First of all, how many years of classroom training are required to attain a pharmD degree? I’n not talking possibilities, I’m asking about the requirements necessary. Also, how much time is required in residency, or “on-the-job” training? Exactly who was it who decided that this degree should entitle the holder to be designated the title “doctor”? Was it someone outside the pharmacy spectrum, or perhaps the regents of pharmacy training facilities? And lastly, how many of you in the retail portion of the business regularly (say, more than 4 times a day) use the more esoteric aspects of your training, beyond the dispensing of medications, advise, warnings, and checks for interactrons?

    Thanks for your time and attention…

  119. Just a Person says:

    At our hospital , who are all PharmD (PharmD only pharmaceutical services), we answer the phone ” Thank you for calling the pharmacy, this is Dr Jones, how may I help you?” This tells the caller that they are talking to a clinical pharmacist. Physicians absolutely like this because it saves time and they feel that they are talking to a colleague and not a quasi educated pill counter name Bob… Remember, respect is earned but only given when you demand it.

  120. Brian Armon says:

    No matter how you look at it a PharmD PhD MD all are doctors. It takes someone with a lil sense to know the difference. I guess where I am from we are pretty well rounded and understand the usage of the word doctor. Anyone that went to school and earned a degree higher than grad school earns a doctorate. PharmDs are not going around saying that they are a physician. Think some people need to grow up!

  121. MB says:

    First of all, academically speaking, Doctor is a title that is reserved for people who earned a Doctorate Degree. PhD or Doctor of Philosophy is a typical example. In academic setting, all doctorate degree holders are addressed as Dr. This include PhD, MD, DO, DDS, PharmD and JD. This is why you see students in a university address their professor as Dr., not Mr or Ms. In a pharmacy school, professors who teach clinical pharmacology in class all earned their PharmD. If you go to a pharmacy school, you address these professors as Dr. X and Dr. Y, not Mr. X and Mr. Y.

    Now, when normal people say “Doctor”, they mean medical doctor or physician only. To avoid confusion, PharmD pharmacists don’t normally call themselves doctor in front of patients, not without immediately clarifying to patients that they are pharmacists ie “I’m Dr. X, I’m a clinical pharmacist”.

    People who think PharmD is just a master level of education, you are very wrong. In California, most pharmacy schools (except UOP) require a bachelor degree prior to admission into pharmacy school. That is already 4 years of undergraduate study. All pharmacy schools in California (except UOP) require another 3 years of in class lecture and 1 year of clinical/experiental study to earn a PharmD. That’s 8 years total. UOP is the sole exception because they have year round learning curriculum, ie students in UOP don’t have summer break and thus their 3 years of pharmacy study is about the same as 4 years of pharmacy study from other schools with summer break.

    Now, in my case, I spent 4 years to get a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UC Davis. I spent 4 more years to get a PharmD degree at UCSF and then 4 more years to get my PhD to complete my PharmD/PhD requirement. That’s 12 years total. Do I insist on being called Dr. ? No. However, when I teach medicinal chemistry in pharmacy school, students always call me Dr. When I work as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital, patients call me Dr. as well out of respect for my knowledge.

    When patients are not around, I always talk to physicians using their first names and they do the same to me if we know each other really well. Otherwise, if we are in the present of patients/family members, physicians always address me as Dr. because they respect my clinical expertise as a pharmacist. In a patient care setting, health care providers including physicians, pharmacist, nurses work together closely to help patients. Each of us have our own area of expertise. I can’t count how many times physicians refer to my clinical drug knowledge to help them dose vancomycin/aminoglycoside or various other antibiotics to treat infectious disease for ICU patients.

    In short, depend on the practice settings, PharmD is addressed formally as Dr. by patients/nurses and even by physicians. To say that PharmD pharmacists is just another “master degree education” is completely wrong. PharmD curriculum emphasizes greatly on clinical practice such as diagnose/treatment of various disease states including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, asthma/copd, infectious disease, HIV, chemotherapy etc… in addition to the pharmacology of drugs as seen in a regular pharmacology curriculum.

  122. whatawasteoftime says:

    This blog is a waste of time. You really are a fucking pathetic person if something so irrelevant as this bothers you that much. Get a fucking life and go count some tablets.

  123. Taylor says:

    Although I am not in the medical profession, but my husband and some of my friends are. For me, Doctors are MD, medical doctors. When someone says I am a doctor, I associate that for Medical Doctors, not Doctors of Pharmacy or whatever! So yes, I agree with the author here. It annoys me when Doctors of Pharmacy say they are a doctor. If you really want to be called a Doctor, then please say I am a Doctor of Pharmacy!!

  124. rose says:

    My sister is a pharmacist and a narcissist, and you better believe that she calls herself a doctor. But she is ridiculous. She called a doctor’s office for an appointment for me, and they told me my doctor called – what? Her boyfriend spent 15 minutes once explaining how she was “different” than all those pharmacists in the drug stores with their PharmDs. Because she works in a hospital. Uh-huh. She tried her hardest to go to med school, but was nowhere near qualified. She barely made it through pharmacy school. Real doctors are arrogant enough, and now a bunch of pharmacists are going to be called doctor too and adopt the arrogance that goes with it.

  125. Satyanarayana Rapolu says:

    Pharmacist is a professional divided from physician. In olden days, a practitioner was physician pharmacist duo. If you mention Galen, he is a physician to physicians and a pharmacist to a pharmacist. If physician is a doctor, pharmacist is also a doctor!

  126. vanessa says:

    I get your point but you curse way too much

  127. Rob Drury says:

    As stated many times here, anyone with a doctorate level education is a “doctor.” The real issue here is that so many, including apparently this author, hold physicians in such high regard that they believe that other professionals pale in comparison. I, on the other hand, hold physicians to be simply technicians who often tend to fall short of the ideals upheld by most true professions. Don’t get me wrong; physicians have a tough job, but it is rare that I’ve encountered one having the level of selflessness and unfettered character that embody what I define as professionalism. Like most “professionals,” they found a really high-paying prestigious job and love basking in the benefits.

  128. tyler says:

    I’m in pharmacy school and when I graduate I will not make people call me doctor or even want them to. I don’t find happiness and fulfillment in a title. Why? Because we are all human beings and no one is more superior than another just gifted differently. I want to be connected with people on a real level not some arrogant way that they can’t relate and makes me seem like I am more important. I also find contemptment as an adopted son of my Savior not in some man made title but that’s a whole different topic.

    PS I do agree that for patients at a hospital it is confusing if everyone is a “Dr”

  129. LT says:

    a doctor is someone with a doctorate degree, a pharmD, MD, PHD, etc. a healthcare “doctor” is a physician, a pcp. if a person has a doctorate degree he/she has a right to be called a doctor if they’d like to do as such. People frame up and display their degrees for a reason, they’re proud of what they’ve accomplished in life and don’t want to downplay their four+ years in school. pharmacists, dentists, mds, phds, are doctors.

  130. Bradley says:

    I only put doctor in front of my name when I write my representatives, I would never call myself Dr socially. The only reason I do that is in hopes that they may actually pay more attention to what I have to say. We have to go through the same thing in college calling professors Dr. And I’m not sure how that started.

  131. Rachel says:

    If you have a PharmD then you are a doctor (PharmD = Doctor of Pharmacy)…whether or not you ask people to call you that is a separate issue. I personally like that most pharmacists just go by their first names instead of getting all pretentious and uppity.

    Oh, and I would think a PharmD would know that it’s “should have” not “should of.” I know this is a rant, but grammatical errors are distracting and just plain annoying.

  132. rX2017 says:

    Hi

    I am of the thinking that titles should be used if it makes sense. I believe Physicians should be called Dr for the benefit of the patient to understand where their authority comes from. If it improves professionalism in the work place then I think titles can be used. If students are more apt to respond to authority when they have to call their teacher Prof or Dr then I see this as a benefit.

    As a future pharmacist I would only want to be called Dr if it in some way improved patient care. Ex: are patients more likely to take me seriously with the title and adhere to their meds?? If yes, why not.

    Same as calling a priest Fr, or President, or Sgt, Lft, etc…there is a reason. I don’t think it’s meant to belittle one person in favor of another. I think it serves a function to respect someone and identify them for their role.

    I don’t see why the pharmacists with a BS cant get the title if they really want one – I’m sure something can be worked out by colleges and the APA.

    I know I’m all over the place with this…just thoughts.

  133. Chase Rupprecht says:

    For everyone in this blog, i feel it is important to go directly to the source and find out what the true definition of doctor is in the true sense of the term “physician” by the largest healthcare accreditation agency in the U.S., the Joint Comission. A doctor or physician is defined by the Joint Commission who is in charge of accreditation of all hospitals and healthcare practitioners as one who has earned either an MD (Doctor of Medicine), DC (Doctor of Chiropractic), DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), DMD/DDS (Doctor of Medical Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Surgery), DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, or OD (Doctor of Optometry). Unless one has received any of those degrees listed, they are not legally considered, nor can they refer to themselves as “physicians” in or outside of a hospital. I hope this solves the issue, since it is definitely one that can get confusing. Below is the source.

    http://www.sehealth.org/media/file/For%20Physicians/ConsultWinter2011_SpinalExchange%5B1%5D6.pdf

  134. PharmerJim says:

    Very interesting (and long running) thread. My colleagues and I refer to ourselves as “doctor,” but only for 2 situations. First, if we’re joking around. Second, we will sometimes use the title if we’re dealing with a difficult patient (especially psych patients) – often using “doctor” with this group of patients is able to focus them better during consults and make them more receptive to our evaluation/teaching/whatever.

  135. Tom in LS says:

    This a long and interesting thread. I have a BS in an engineering discipline. I’m not a PE, however, just as 90% of engineering graduates also are not. I’m looking to change direction in mid-life and become a patent attorney. While a Juris Doctor is a doctoral degree, very few lawyers will refer to themselves as “doctor.” The ABA discourages this practice, and prohibits it if there will be any ambiguity regarding what the lawyer is a doctor of. No prudent lawyer would refer to himself as “doctor” for this reason. A lawyer that got on an an aircraft declaring himself to the crew as being a doctor would be sanctioned in any jurisdiction. A pharmacist that does this should be sanctioned as well because of the ambiguity created by the crews assumption that by saying so, the pharmacist is actually a medical doctor. Many jurisdictions prohibit lawyers from using the title “doctor.” The vast majority of lawyers will look at another lawyer demanding to be called “doctor” as a pretentious b-hole. Once a person with a JD has passed the bar exam, that person becomes eligible to become a practicing member of the bar. A practicing member of the bar is entitled to use the title of esquire if he or she desires to. Esquire is a far more fitting title for an attorney, as it differentiates the lawyer from all other professionals. Also, in most if not all jurisdictions, lawyers (not just judges) may be referred to as “the honorable”, however this is a remnant from centuries ago, and only judges (or some elected officials) are referred to in this way today.
    Law school is far harder than what many on this forum and elsewhere think. I am a member of Mensa, and I can tell you that Mensa allows the top 5% of both the MCAT and LSAT as proof that one is in the top 2% of IQ. The MCAT and the LSAT are searching for different kinds of minds. If you think the LSAT is a joke, go take a practice LSAT (under proper time restraints) sometime.

  136. Don says:

    The most prestigous “doctorate” which can earned by any bench pharmacist, hospital pharmacist, retail pharmacist, CLINICAL pharmacist,
    hospitalist is the one which is bestowed on you by a little old man who wouldn’t even talk to you for the first two years you were practicing in that position. Initially, he would glare at you and say something like;

    You aren’t Charlie, where is CHARLIE? before spinning on his heel and leaving. After a while of this treatment, he grudgingly hands you his bottle and glares silently at you. Then one day he comes in looking for something for the wife and you guide him down the right path. From that moment on he calls you

    “DOC”

    A priceless degree that cannot be bought or hung on a wall.

    Remember how honored you are when he comes in and drops his britches to half mast saying “Doc, I got this rash on my backside, what should I do for it.”

  137. Kat Kornelius says:

    First, I am NOT a pharmacist and am really not sure how I landed on this blog BUT as someone with a PhD in Education and having worked in Higher Education for the past 15 years, I found all this to be hilarious and reminiscent of the many faculty meetings I have been a part of.

    Yes, I do identify as Dr. because I’ve earned a terminal degree in my field AND because unless you’ve actually attempted a true PhD program from an accredited university, you have NO idea what you are talking about or how difficult that process is. I will admit, before I entered, I had NO idea either. My PhD program required a Master’s to get it so I really thought that it would be a piece of cake to work full-time and get my PhD. Umm, lesson learned that was the most stressful 5 years of my life. Do I regret it? No and I embrace that I truly am an expert in my field, which is first-year transition for freshmen. For without successfully transitioning from high school to college, this blog would not exist!

    Oh and one more thing for those of you considering a PhD.. Honestly, I feel that all my PhD really did for me was commit me to life long learning because the terminal part is not true. I’m not done learning and most likely never will be BUT I now have the tools to conduct any type of research project my heart desires AND people call me Dr.. Thanks for the giggle this morning! :)

  138. The Final Say says:

    In conclusion, if you are a pharmacist — you are a doctor.

    Feel free to call yourself Dr. ____ and have others refer to you using the “Dr.” prefix.

    The end.

  139. hadees says:

    ur language shows even u r not a civilized citizen….. discussion of calling a pharmacist doctor is over but in fact its for educated person not for uncivilized persons like u

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