BAD WSJ OPINION
I’m an MD, and I Would Call Jill Biden “Doctor.”
Most of my teachers in medical school were PhDs, actually
On December 11, Joseph Epstein penned an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing those who call Jill Biden — who holds a doctorate degree in Education — Dr. Jill Biden. He argues that only MDs should be given that title. I found it quite curious.
I am an MD. I went to medical school and successfully finished my studies and earned that degree and the title of “Doctor” with which that degree comes. In fact, the best thing about graduating medical school was that I no longer felt like a fraud when I called myself “Dr. Hassaballa.” You see, to get anything done as a medical student, I would fib and say “This is Dr. Hassaballa” for some people to not hang up the phone on me.
Yet, as an MD, I found Mr. Epstein’s contention — and his doubling down on this opinion — that PhDs should not be called “Doctor” quite curious. PhDs, EdDs, PsyDs, DDSs, and the like are doctorate degree holders. When they graduate, they get hooded — just like I did when I graduated medical school — to confer the honor of that doctorate degree.
And so, they are given the title of “Doctor.” Even DDs — Doctors of Divinity — have the right to call themselves “Doctor.” I mean, no one ever questions a Dentist when she calls herself “Doctor.” So, why is there even a question of calling Jill Biden by her well-deserved title of “Doctor”?
It was a silly opinion. In fact, I wonder if Mr. Epstein knows that most of my teachers in medical school — the ones who taught me the basic science upon which I rely to practice medicine each and every day — were almost all PhDs. I am confident that this is also true of most, if not all, medical schools in the United States. And do you know what I called my teachers throughout medical school? “Doctor.”