Doctors Galore! 01/07/2011

This prefix Dr. to a name is filled with ambiguity. When he/she  introduces himself / herself  as doctor so and so, you can’t conclude that  they are medical  practitioners. Nor can you   assume that they have earned   a doctoral degree  given  by the University for  having gone  through the academic grind  irrespective of the discipline  they pursued because doctorates can also be conferred on people for  their contributions to society. Sometimes we find  people possess more than half a dozen such doctorates and they wear them lightly with all humility. One of them I remember was Shri C.Subramaniam, popularly known as CS.

When I wished to greet  all my doctor  friends, today being Doctors’ Day, I was totally confused at the very thought of  classifying them. Therefore I  decided to call it a day by not observing it this year!

n.meera raghavendra rao


12 thoughts on “Doctors Galore! 01/07/2011

  1. V Raghavan

    I am disappointed that you are not observing Doctors’ Day even though you know a dozen doctors of various hues and kinds. (I didn’t know that there was a day like this). The confusion about doctors is very much there. I remember my brother (a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering) who was working in TELCO in the sixties narrating a story. The signboard read Dr V. J… A couple of local people walked in, rang the bell and said: “Saab, ped mein durd hai. Kuch dava dijiye”!

  2. Prof.V.N.K.Kumar

    You are spot on. When somebody calls himself Dr XXX, it could be a person who has passed MBBS or MD/MS or DM/MCh in Modern Medicine or BAMS/MD in Ayurveda or A Homeopathy doctor. Thus there is an obvious ambiguity even in Medical circles, unless you seek further clarification. Other titles are more transparent, like Vidwan/Vidushi for musicians, or General/Major/Lieutenant/captain/Air Marshall/Squadron Leader/Admiral or Academic Professor. When my younger son introduces himself, he says,” I am Dr.Chintan Amrit, Ph.d”. The ambiguity then disappears.

    1. Doctors whether they practice Allopathy or Homeopathy can retain the prefix for life as the holders of Ph.D.Even Judges can call themselves Justice so and so post retirement .Professors too are no exception .I wonder where journalists stand if they are not active?

  3. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Some people who have devoted their entire lives to serving a particular company and risen to the highest level in its hierarchy feel that they deserve to flaunt their accomplishments in some way, even after they retire from the job, just like the defense personnel or doctors or Ph d’s. So these people put their names in their visiting cards followed by an epithet “Ex”, viz. : Mr XXX, Ex-MD/GM of XYZ corporation Ltd. Journalists can do the same : Mr/Mz XXX, Ex-Editor/Sub-Editor/copy writer of XYZ Times. I have a friend Shri B. R. Srihari, who works for Star of Mysore , an eveninger and he calls himself a sub-editor and he says everyone in the press is a self-styled sub-editor.

    1. There is a difference between Professional Journalists and Writers/Authors.The former are qualified in journalism ,may not be attached to newspapers but prefer to be freelancers and work independently ,prefixes or suffixes perhaps don’t apply to them

  4. V Raghavan

    One way to get a suffix or prefix is to register yourself for a Ph. D. It is never too late. There is plenty of material to research about on all topics in the libraries and on-line. With your experience and knowledge of literature, you can complete the thesis within three years.

    In a lighter vein, choose a shocking thesis topic, such as “The Murky Side of the Bard”!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. Being a conscientious journalist/ feature writer I’d rather choose a topic that has become a malaise in our society —-the big C.Sure no guide would come forward to take me as his/her student for fear of his/her skin! I might end up being my own ‘guide’ and my ‘thesis’ for all I know will go into cold storage!

  5. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    Since I settled in Mysore in Jan 2000, I have been keeping track of all the Ph.d’s awarded by Mysore University. For want of other earth-shaking news, our local evening paper ‘Star of Mysore” features a regular column wherein the Ph.d’s awarded during a month is mentioned. The details about the branch of knowledge, the awardee, the guide and the topic of the doctoral thesis are mentioned. I never found any topic which could be of use to society. Most of the thesis were of the nature of ” A study of why my grandfather had to visit the toilet 6 times during the night”.

    1. Well, the awardees of Ph.Ds might be happy to see their names published by the local eveninger mentioning all the details, and the least these awardees expect is that the journalist writes the last letter of their qualification in the proper case!

  6. V Raghavan

    Talking of guides, the story goes: It takes two years for a student to realize that he knows more than the guide and that it is time to break loose. Once that realization comes, the thesis will be ready within a year!

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