More "Dr." Debate Stirred by Rosie Right 

This letter is in response to the letter written by Anne Shields ("'Dr.' Calling," Aug. 22) in which she, with a surprising amount of hostility, says she's not going to call anyone a doctor unless they have met her stated criteria.

I'm not sure where Ms. Shields gets her hostile resistance to calling a spade a spade (er, rather calling a doctor a doctor). Her sentiments seem to reflect a lack of education and understanding with her assertion that only those who are medical doctors and have apparently met her stated criteria "deserve" to be referred to as "doctor."

Often, individuals with doctoral degrees in areas other than medicine have spent just as many years performing research, which, of course, is more than just writing "a bunch of papers that no one will ever read," as suggested by Ms. Shields. Ultimately, these individuals are considered expert in their chosen field of study and are often responsible for significant changes in health care as well as variety of other areas of importance.

One may also distinguish between academic (PhD and EdD) and clinical doctorates (MD and DDS), each being of great significance in whatever field the degree happens to be in. It's a shame that Ms. Shields doesn't realize that many of the comforts and supports that she enjoys in her modern life are due to ideas generated from and/or described in those "unread" papers she refers to that were written by "doctors" with doctoral degrees in nursing, psychology, engineering, chemistry, astrophysics, social policy, public health and numerous other significant areas.

Maybe we should ask the opinion of such lightweight nonmedical doctors as Dr. Eugene Trani, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Dr. David Petraeus (oh wait, he would be referred to as Dr. if he weren't a general), just to name a few.

Dr. Linda Kendall, RN PhD APRN

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