To doctor or not to doctor?

First, yes, I did a small workout:

The idea was to do PT, workout and not get to the point of pain, then roll and massage. And today’s pace hat a 12:56 mile 2 and 13:05 mile 3; I did get to the point of minor tingles.

Yes, the sweatshirt if from an old 30 mile race in McNaughton Park; one I’d have zero chance of finishing now.

But, it is nice to keep up the pace. Last week’s walks looked like:
4 (too much), 2, 3 (just right), 2, 2, 3 for 16 total. Kind of pathetic, I know, but the pace is starting to come back a little bit, and deadlifts are looking up just a bit.

Title: From time to time I’ve thought about the use of the title “doctor” by a Ph. D. in a social setting.

This is not the classroom: personally, I do not like the use of first names (I am on the order of triple the age of my students) but I tell them “Mr. ” or “Prof X” is fine (“not “Professor” “Prof” for informality that respects a bit of distance.

Dr. is ok if there is a formal, say, an adversarial work communication. Otherwise, first names with colleagues.

Conferences; NO ONE uses titles at professional talks, at least at the ones I go to. Status isn’t talked about but is conferred by the quality of one’s work, and well, that is just something that people know about.

So, this Wall Street Article comes out and there is quite the discussion on academic twitter (which is slanted to the left).

I wondered how the public would perceive this; I kind of thought that using the title is a bit snooty, but, to my surprise, many of my non-academic friends didn’t seem to be bothered by it.

Here, Professor Coyne (famous evolutionary scientist and author) gives his take, and it is similar to mine.

I don’t use it socially.

But I should probably share some background: at my graduate school, NO ONE used it regularly; you were laughed at when you did.

At my first (and current job); most of self referred to themselves as Doctor were the old guard ..yes, some were still active in research, but were doing stuff that was decades old. Yes, that was excellent for a 12 hour teaching situation BUT, well, this wouldn’t get you tenure at a R-1..and they knew it..and frankly resented it.

And so, I developed an attitude and when I hear “I am doctor X” and I am not in a medical doctor’s office, I get a negative first impression (“what are they compensating for?”)

BUT, I grew up in a different era..the old “if you win, act like you’ve won before” era. I didn’t go around saying how “awesome” I was, how “bad ass ” I was, how “smart” I was ..and well, it appears that you ARE encouraged to do just that, especially if you belong to an approved “non-privileged” group.

I guess I am just a dinosaur.