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Opinion: "Dr." Title is Important for Women & Psychologists


a woman doctor

Everyone has different opinions on the issue of whether to call your healthcare professional Dr. X. It takes a lot of work to become a doctor and the title shows some respect to that effort. Of course, I believe each individual should be able to be called whatever title they prefer. Personally, I prefer to be referred to as Dr. Mosley (or Dr. Cam, for the little kids). I put in 5 years of sweat and tears into a degree and I will reap all the benefits. Jokes aside, I want to explain why I see this as important.


There are two scenarios I saw commonly in a healthcare setting...


Scenario 1

A doctor would make introductions of the healthcare team to the patient. They would introduce Dr. Smith (man), Dr. Jones (man), and Kate (woman, who is also a doctor). It was just a subtle way of saying "you're not one of us" to women in the healthcare field.


Scenario 2

A doctor would make introductions of the healthcare team to the patient. They would introduce Dr. Chu (woman; medical doctor), Dr. Jones (man; medical doctor), and Aiden (man; psychologist). This time, it was an exclusion of mental health professionals from the medical field.


I have seen this play out time and time again. I find it incredibly disrespectful and this is why I advocate for the "Dr." title strongly for both women and psychologists. No one should be made to feel less than another professional.


Now in both these fields, we have another problem: How do we refer to master's-level therapists, nurses, nurse practitioners, etc. who are not called doctor but do similar work and also deserve much respect? In my opinion, there should be a special title for these professionals as well.


I know people are divided on this issue and would love to hear other opinions. Do you believe this issue depends on the culture or community? Comment your thoughts below!

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