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Are veterinarians doctors?
July 6, 2010 8:35 AM   Subscribe

I just walked past a veterinary clinic in Montreal, and noticed that the names of the veterinarians were printed on the window as "Dr. xxxxxx, m.v." So, are vets doctors?
posted by Premeditated Symmetry Breaking to Education (16 answers total)
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterinary_school

Second sentence under degree:

"For example, in the United States, schools award the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM),[3] and the same degree is awarded in Bangladesh, Canada, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Tobago and Trinidad"
posted by brainmouse at 8:39 AM on July 6, 2010


Yes. Presumably these doctors hold a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
posted by citywolf at 8:39 AM on July 6, 2010


The degree they get is a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine).... so, yes.
posted by torisaur at 8:39 AM on July 6, 2010


They went to medical school, so I'd say yes.

Here in the U.S. a vet has to be a DVM, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. If he's not a DVM he's not a Vet.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:40 AM on July 6, 2010




You can be a 'Doctor' of very many things, different branches of human and animal medicine included. The title 'Doctor' does not solely correspond to Medical Doctors who treat humans. Broadly, a Doctor is someone who holds a Doctorate.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:41 AM on July 6, 2010


It depends on what you mean. If you're asking if they have a doctorate, the answer is undoubtedly yes. If you're talking about whether they have a doctorate in human medicine, the answer is no.

For what it's worth, any person with a PhD can use the name "doctor," although outside of medicine and college campuses, it's not very common. Technically my friend with a PhD in Computer Science could put "Dr." in front of his name and be completely correct.
posted by mikeh at 8:49 AM on July 6, 2010


And, technically, a lawyer's J.D. is a juris doctor--a doctor of laws, though for a lawyer to claim to be Dr. Soandso, J.D., Esq. would be the height of buffoonery.

The word "doctor" has its roots in the Latin word for "teacher"; it's not solely a medical term. A person who has a doctorate is, at it's most basic level, a person imbued with enough learning to teach.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:53 AM on July 6, 2010


My understanding is that most doctors aren't real Doctors ... as they don't have a doctorate.

Your understanding is mistaken. Both the M.D. and D.O. degrees are doctoral degrees. (And, to the original question, so is a D.V.M.) Not all doctoral degrees require a thesis.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:03 AM on July 6, 2010


If the vet was trained in the UK or a country with a similar system, he or she would have entered veterinary school as an undergraduate and gotten an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree like a BVM. The same is true of physicians, who get a BM/BCh or similar instead of an MD. However, the level of training would be the same as the holder of a North American DVM: they are both considered 'first professional degrees' and held to essentially identical standards. The term doctor is used regardless of whether the degree is a bachelor's or doctorate.
posted by monocyte at 9:04 AM on July 6, 2010


"Doctor" has multiple meanings in American English and Canadian English.

"Doctor" as a noun for a profession means "Physician." Are vets doctors in that sense? No. If you ask "Is there a doctor in the house?," vets should keep mum. This use of "doctor" is relatively new, and AFAIK came about because medical work used to be rather disreputable and physicians were trying to claim the prestige owed to "Doctors," which as noted before meant something like "learned teacher."

"Doctor" is also a title, which means different specific things in different industries. But in general it means that you have been awarded the terminal degree in your field, which usually contains the word "Doctor" in it somewhere. Hence, "Dr. X, mv" or students calling me Dr Xenophobe.

This does mean that for a JD to refer to himself as Dr X would be double the height of buffoonery, because the JD is not the terminal degree in law -- that's (normally, in the US) the Doctor of Juridical Science. It also means that it's arguably not incorrect in an academic setting to use the title "Doctor" to refer to professors who have MFAs where that is the terminal degree in their field.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:19 AM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Penn still awards a VMD, just for the record.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 9:20 AM on July 6, 2010


Your understanding is mistaken. Both the M.D. and D.O. degrees are doctoral degrees. (And, to the original question, so is a D.V.M.) Not all doctoral degrees require a thesis.

What the person who said that was getting at is that the MD, DO, or DVM degrees arguably do not meet the historical and archaic definition of "Doctor" because there was no research component to the degree; they are not (necessarily) scholars.

Technically my friend with a PhD in Computer Science could put "Dr." in front of his name and be completely correct.

There's nothing technical about it; that is his professional title. One of his professional titles, if he's also a professor.

Would your friend be a jackass if he put "Dr. Firstname M. Surname" on his personal checks and insisted that waiters far away from work call him "Dr. Surname"? Yes. Would a physician doing the same also be a jackass? Yes. Would a colonel in the military insisting that people call him "Colonel Surname" away from a military setting be a jackass? Yes.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:26 AM on July 6, 2010


And, technically, a lawyer's J.D. is a juris doctor--a doctor of laws, though for a lawyer to claim to be Dr. Soandso, J.D., Esq. would be the height of buffoonery.

If a J.D. is teaching, it is appropriate for them to use the title "Doctor" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juris_Doctor
posted by jgirl at 9:53 AM on July 6, 2010


Just to clarify the obvious: the MV title stands for Médecin Vétérinaire, or 'veterinary physician/doctor.'
posted by greatgefilte at 10:14 AM on July 6, 2010


I'm a vet. I'm a DVM and an MRCVS. From formerly practic(s)ing in the UK, vets there are not called Dr unless they actually have a doctorate. Vets educated on the Continent were generally Dr, though, because they had post-graduate degrees.

I only go by Dr when someone else does first. ("Yes, *sigh* mine's as big as yours. Can we move on?")
posted by marmot at 11:18 AM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


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