Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

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Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by Lou42 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:55 pm

Good evening :)

I have just started the doctorate and we had a very interesting debate last week regarding how we should introduce ourselves upon qualification. It appears that there is a shift towards not mentioning that we are qualified to doctoral standard, as it will cause a power imbalance with service users, and make them feel that they have a problem that we can 'fix.'

So it got me wondering whether this is common practice? Is it perhaps also because service users could confuse us with medically trained doctors, who they might also come into contact with?

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Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by oncourse » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:22 am


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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by Lou42 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:32 am


My name is Dr John Smith / my name is John..?

Edit to add: Perhaps I didn't explain myself well. Of course we introduce ourselves but my question is whether you include your title.

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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by BenJMan » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:47 am

oncourse wrote:#mynameis
The Hello my name is... campaign was never a campaign for or against using the Doctor title, it was a recognition that many professionals do not bother to introduce themselves at all before treating a patient.

As to the original question, I think it has always depended on the setting and situation for me (just to give you a nice vague answer). So I work in inpatient brain injury, very medicalised, I will often use my title if I feel it will help to facilitate a relationship between me and current patient. On the other hand I will often drop it after first introductions, or sometimes not use it at all if I want a softer, more therapeutic beginning to my introduction.
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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by lakeland » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:48 pm

I think I did when I was newly qualified and super excited to have my title. Now I tend not to, to the point where in my last job, service users were surprised that I was a doctor when they found out. Obviously I took that to mean I look incredibly young, rather than them thinking I’m not clever enough or lack gravitas! :lol:

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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by Peach » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:09 pm

I've never introduced myself with the Dr title, only use first name as it fits my style of working. Plus I work in a very medical setting and so using Dr causes confusion for clients and staff.
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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by BlueCat » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:26 pm

I always introduce myself as "Hello, I'm BlueCat, the psychologist who works with the team" but they will have had a letter inviting them to a meeting with Dr BlueCat, and my letters are from Dr BlueCat, mostly, although sometimes depending on style and purpose, they're from just BlueCat
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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by workingmama » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:41 am

I do if it's to my children when they're being assy (e.g. that's DR workingmama, you're sassing, child), but mostly only on letters.
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Re: Do you introduce yourself as a Dr?

Post by maven » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:28 am

This isn't a new debate at all, it is been going as long as the qualification has been a doctorate.

I'm comfortable with using the title, but it really depends on my role and which hat I'm wearing. In policy or leadership contexts, or if acting as a subject expert or training I usually use the title. In therapy I might say "Hi, I'm Dr [firstname surname], call me [firstname]" if I was in an external or medical setting or doing an assessment, but in a less formal setting for therapy I'm fine with "Hi, I'm [firstname surname], call me [firstname]".

I think your approach to clients lets them know if there is a power differential much more than whether or not you use the title!

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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