No, this has nothing to do with Obamacare so retract your claws.
I have for a very long time, as have many others, referred to physicians as "Doctors". However, as a college student who is now more aware of degree and the titles that come with them - I now know that a Doctor isn't necessarily a "Doctor" and a "Doctor" is not always, technically, a Doctor.
So here is a thread on a nursing site regarding their right as a nurse to refer to themselves as a Doctor if they have earned, through rigurous study and invested time, a doctrates in Nursing Practice ( A degree that allows them to act in some capacities as a physician)
Can you be called "Doctor" with a PhD in Nursing? - pg.5 | allnurses
An articulate quote from one Dr. Nurse -
Now this is a MD forum discussing the same topic. Skim through it if you like but the overall sentiments there are - "No only we physicians get to be called 'Doctors'"It seems to me that some of the posters in this thread have some "self esteem issues" when it comes to the profession of nursing -- and are putting physicians on a pedastal they do not deserve.
It is wrong to put physicians on a pedastal and it is wrong to encourage the general public to do so. Other disciplines have much to offer and should not be shoved aside or diminished by encouraging a glorification of the medical profession over all others. We should be educating the public about the value of the other professions, not perpetuating any existing misunderstandings or illusions about the absolute supremacy of medicine.
As I have said before, I introduce myself using my first and last name -- rarely using any title and always identifying myself as a nurse. But my PhD outranks an MD in the world of academic degrees and I have earned the title of "Doctor" with 7 years of full time graduate education plus many years of practice. In case you didn't notice, I have spent more years in school than most physicians.
I have earned the title of "Dr." and will use it when I choose to use a title. Those who don't want nursing (or other disciplines) to be given the respect and public acknowledgement we have earned should get over their desire to worship physicians. It's insulting to those of us who have done the work to earn other doctoral degrees.
Physicians chose to use the title of Dr. back when it was an elevation for them to be called the same thing as college professors with PhD's. Historically, their education was less and the "Dr." title was a way for them to be elevated in the public eye. They should not now try to kick the PhD's down by stripping the title they appropriated from them in the first place. If they want a title that is exclusively their's, they should either use the title "physician" or make up another title -- not kick the original "owners" of that title out of the club.
Doctor of Nursing Practice? | Student Doctor Network
Now the title Ph.D predates the academic established field of Medical Practice. Being a Doctor of any field and referring to yourself as a Doctor was thing before physicians stepped into town. From what I can gather physicians in America, since outside of the US physicians are often referred to as just that physicians, started referring to themselves as Doctors to gain more repsect for a field of study that at the time wasn't being as respected as it should be.
Though physicians are skilled, vital, and educated people - I don't believe they have the right to monopolize the title Doctor, especially when many physicians do not have a Doctrates in the first place. Granted as language has evolved the word Doctor now includes physician as a definiton, but I don't believe that addition in meaning should trump the original and still applicable meaning of -
In a nutshell if you have a Doctrates in Economy - You are a doctor.A person who has earned the highest academic degree conferred by a university.
If you have a doctrates in English Literature - You are a doctor. And you have every right to refer to yourself by your earned titled.