DocHawkeye wrote:As a holder of a Ph.D., I can say that I have never actually asked someone to call me "Doctor." My students sometimes do it and I don't mind. They often address me by first name which I don't mind. They sometimes call me Mr. or Professor, both of which I hate (Mr. sounds elementary-school-ish and I am not, technically, a professor).
The only time I have ever used the title socially was at my wedding (i.e.: I now present for the first time Dr. and Mrs...). Nobody there would have been confused about my ability to practice medicine.
While still a 0L, I still believe that there is a gulf between the complexity of a law degree and the complexity of a Ph.D. This is not to say that a J.D. is not rigorous. I have no doubt that it is. I expect the coursework to be demanding and the exams to be stressful. The important difference is that while earning a Ph.D., one is called upon repeatedly to demonstrate both a breadth and depth of knowledge in one's field. In addition to the coursework, one is required to pass a set of examinations. In my case, there were three - the qualifying exam (given in the first year assuming you come in with a master's degree in hand) where one demonstrates one's knowledge of the literature of the field in a four-hour written and two-hour oral examination. After one completes the coursework (generally after the second year) one takes the comprehensive exams (five four hour questions given on back to back days, each tackling in in-depth problem in literature, history, or analysis). After completing a dissertation, it must be defended - in my case the dissertation committee was five faculty members, four from my department reflecting the range of sub-specialties in the department and one from another department, largely there to insure that the defense is handled with the appropriate rigor. All of this was on top of a substantial course load - 72 post baccalaureate semester hours (40 of which were post masters degree) with the accompanying papers, presentations, final examinations and so on as well as work outside of school - being active in professional organizations, attending conferences, presenting one's research, and so on. It's just a different ballgame.
Indeed, every semester to clear up confusion, I say to my students you can call me Dr, Dr Skyhook or even my first name if you feel comfortable with that, and so I get a range depending on the student's attitude, not necessarily age.
I'm not fond of Sir, although I see this is just being polite.
I'm not a Professor and it sounds weird; I suppose students are programmed that way.
But I don't like being called Mr. either, since I wouldn't have addressed my instructors at uni as Mr when I knew full well they were PhD's.
I had one student who would say "Mr...um...Dr...um...Skyhook" much to everyone's amusement.
All of my academic correspondence contains a "Dr Skyhook, X College" signature as you might expect. Hardly being pompous to expect people who have it there in black and white to address you in the expected way. It suggests a lack of attention to detail and/or respect to do otherwise.
Anyway, in my cultural background, physicians and PhD's are Dr's, no-one else is. So I am quite used to writing formal correspondence, or filling out forms, and putting Dr or ticking the relevant box. It's the standard convention for someone of my background. However, I don't get irked by someone calling me Mr in everyday life - I'm not that self-important!
Some of the Law School application forms had Dr boxes to tick, which I did.
Harvard even allowed you to choose Captain or Lieutenant!
DocHawkeye, is your PhD in music?
That seems like it was a lot more gruelling than a PhD in science! Almost my entire time was spent in the lab.
A JD doesn't seem to me to be as tough as a PhD. Yes, the courses are hard - no doubt for several reasons including volume of work, unfamiliarity, pressure to get 1L grades. And I am anxious about embarking on a JD, so I'm not saying this a cakewalk by any means, but it's not hardcore research.
I wonder how people feel about a PhD earned by instruction only i.e, taking courses?
When job-hunting in science you have to state whether the PhD is by research or coursework, so clearly there is a level of distinction, which I happen to agree with.