Tuesday, February 3, 2009

DR. Jill Biden

My friend sent me this article the other day about Dr. Jill Biden, and how she is probably the first Second Lady to hold a paying job while her husband is Vice President. That's kind of cool.

The other thing is that she holds a PhD and now all official White House business refers to her with the honorific of "Dr.".

The article makes *brief* mention of how asking to be called Dr. when you hold a PhD and not an MD can be considered a bit stuffy or pompous.

I don't know about you, but I plan on being pompous when I am through :).


EthidiumBromide said...

It really bothers me that the same people who think it is "obnoxious" to call a Ph.D. by "Dr." probably have no problem referring to Henry Kissinger or Martin Luther King Jr. as Dr, rather than Mr. Just because you haven't accomplished something monumental does not mean that you aren't worthy of the title. Hell, most Ph.D.'s take longer and require more effort than MDs... both my PI and my husband (both MDs) admit it all the time!

Ambivalent Academic said...

I will totally insist that people start calling me Dr. AA for at least a week after my defense. We have somewhat of a tradition of that in the lab anyway. After about a week though it gets kind of old and we all go back to calling the newly-minted Dr. by their first name.

On the other hand, I think it is totally appropriate for the "Dr." to be included in official documents, introductions, etc. A PhD is a HELL of a lot of work and I think I've you've got one you deserve the respect for that.

DamnGoodTechnician has a recent post about the frustrations of being a damn good scientist, but not being taken seriously by your colleagues for lack of those three little letters behind your name. In my opinion, the PhD is not necessary but is sufficient to garner some respect for your education and your craft.

DrugMonkey also has an interesting post asking whether the muppet from the LA Times is griping about calling Dr. Biden "Dr." because she's a woman. Sounds ridiculous in this day and age but there's been quite a bit of discussion at some other blogs (Professor Chaos and Female Science Professor) lately about how many people are surprised/confused when "she" is Dr. not Mrs., while the husband is just assumed to be Dr.

PhizzleDizzle said...

AA - I know what you mean about the gender thing. I reread the LA Times article a few times before posting though, and it was hard for me to see overt gender bias or even that much griping about what her title is (I don't want to be one of those "overly sensitive" feminists), but when I read from FSP how much trouble she has getting people to call her Dr. I get pissed. So, from me the LA Times gets a pass, but not FSP's colleagues :).

EB: I know, I think a PhD is way harder too, no offense to my MD friends :). Dammit, I will be called Dr. :).

Gail said...

My husband will be the only person required to call me doctor if I get a PhD ;)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

""Ordinarily when someone goes by doctor and they are a PhD, not an MD, I find it a little bit obnoxious," Sullivan said."

Oh whatEVER. PhDs were the original doctors, in the context of a physician it is an honorary title. See Wikipedia...

Dr. Cath

Nicky said...

I'm totally using the Dr. title when I'm done. People can think it's obnoxious if they want to, I don't care. And my husband is *totally* looking forward to us being "Dr. and Mr. X" -- he's cool that way. :)

Rebecca said...

I have "Ph.D." following my name on my business card and in my email signature. Otherwise, too many people assume that I might be the department secretary :(