Hi all :) I was here seeking viva advice a month or so ago and got some very good advice indeed.
Good news - passed with minor revisions, submitted corrections, and it was all approved last week! My PhD will be awarded next week.
Now for an important question....
When exactly can you call yourself Dr?
Do you call yourself Dr just in academic contexts, or professionally otherwise, and in ordinary general life, too?
What's the dickish thing to do, and what's the normal thing to do?
Does it matter if you're not employed in academia?
Does it matter what field your PhD is in?
Any answers to these pressing questions would be most appreciated :-x
I waited until graduation before I used the title at all. But, technically, I had the PhD as soon as Senate conferred it on me. They wrote to tell me when that was. It was at their next every-couple-of-months meeting.
I changed my title with the bank, but I've hardly used it in any other context. I did this with the bank partly to get extra ID with the title on it, if I need it. I can't work in academia due to progressive neurological disease. But there are situations - for example when going to a historical archive and getting a reader's ticket - when it would be helpful to have some sort of evidence of my title and therefore professional accreditation as a historical researcher. I sent a copy of my degree certificate to the bank. And they issued lots of new versions of cards, cheque books etc.
But I don't use it otherwise in general day-to-day life. I'm not working in academia, but I am turning my thesis into more journal papers, and doing some independent research. Obviously I use the title in those contexts. And I have some nice business cards for when needed :p
My husband hardly uses his title in day-to-day life either. Though he did get his passport title changed, when he renewed that. I'll do that next time my passport runs out. Could be handy.
======= Date Modified 02 Mar 2011 12:24:35 =======
First of all, congratulations on passing!!! (up)
I've settled into the exact same pattern as BilboBaggins, such as Bank Cards, Passports, Journal Details.
It varies from person to person I guess. You get some who never use it and others who'll even use it to order a pizza for crying out loud!!! Why?
I did a website for people interested in doing PhDs whilst I was doing post-doc (http:///www.wearthesis.talktalk.net - got sick of people asking me questions, so was able to point them at the website) and on that I stated you shouldn't push it in people's faces. To me, there's nothing worse than a know-it-all and to use it all the time is to me arrogance beyond belief.
There's a mate with a teaching qualification and it does get tiresome hearing he's got it, even though he's in a job where it's not used. He qualified back in 2003, but he still feels the need to announce it every so often.
As for myself, I'm back in the real world. I have not specifically talked to any workmates about it or told them I have it (I even avoided putting it on my CV). It's basically none of their business as it's not relevant to the job I currently do, though I'm certain they've found out off the Internet (cheeky birthday card!!!). They don't broach the subject, so I don't talk about it.
Unless it's professionally advantageous to do so or with financial records (extra ID for banks can give a little extra leverage with security I suppose), is there any need to actually use it in everyday life?
I am not in academia but I do use the title in my professional life (as do my colleagues who have a PhD). Def change it with the bank, the driving licence is the other document to change it on I gather (not done this one yet). However watch out, my PA booked a hotel for me using the title and I ended up being asked for medical advice!!
Congratulations. You made it without going crazy.
Just my opinion but I never call myself Dr. except when representing the university to outsiders; eg. at open days for new students etc. It sounds/feels a bit pompous to me to give myself a title that most others don't have and I have seen the way that many roll their eyes when colleagues calls themsleves Dr so-and-so at inappropriate times; I recently heard several loud groans roll along the length of a queue when one of my departmental colleagues insisted that a receptionist write Dr. before his name when compiling a list of those waiting. I got the qualification due to my love of philosophy and because it meant my department would let me supervise postgrads and not for any title.
Don't get me wrong. It is not that I am not proud of the qualification. I am very proud and I think that we all should be. But, having said that, in my case I have also completed an apprenticeship in one of the trades (blacksmith) when I was younger and think that this was, for me at least, a more significant achievement; I felt it to be more challenging and found that it took much more work, effort and endurance. I wouldn't wish to denegrate this earlier experience by making myself feel aggrandised about my academic experiences in the same way that I wouldn't wish to suggest to my former colleagues in the forge that I now describe myself as somehow superior to them; and lets face it that is what prefixes like Dr, Sir, Lord tend to signify and why many are so ready to use them and why so many roll their eyes.
Bank accounts and passports? Are you joking? Do you put it on your utility bills? Your store loyalty cards? I just don't understand how a non-academic environment legitimizes the use of 'Dr.' My sister is a consultant surgeon, who saves lives on a daily basis by completing transplant procedures: she's quite happy to be 'Miss', so I'd feel such a fraud wheeling out an academic title in irrelevant contexts. Horses for courses I suppose.
I suppose the Dr title is best suited to an academic environment and candle-lit dinner parties. But it does have some other useful applications. Use it at an airport and you may get a free upgrade - just hope there's no medical emergency (anecdotal evidence). It looks good on any books you may author in future (My Favourite Ice Creams Flavours by Dr Walminski). Not that I'm even remotely interested in such frivolities as a man of science, but it has applications for romance and adventure....
"So, what do you do, Walminski?"
"I'm a Dr and I make questionnaires - yes, no, maybe, maybe not..." [Wink wink].
People listen to any kind of Dr (probably because they imagine they all have stethoscopes around their necks). I'm reminded of the time I received a very late delivery from the Royal Mail. I know I shouldn't have done it and I'll probably go to hell, but I wrote to Adam Crozier and complained, using my future Dr title, and he personally launched an investigation in to where my package was (a Sony MP3 player) and it actually quite quickly turned up afterwards. The title (which I haven't even got yet) is also making sure that I don't get a terrible job before my viva. Sending my CV for call centre jobs I'm being made to apply for, but being pretentious and calling myself Dr Walminski is pretty much making sure that I'm not getting interviews or being offered anything.
In reality and joking aside, I'd never dream of using the title if I ever get my PhD. Maybe for academic purposes because it signals your level of qualification, but never in the realm of normal life. Better to just stick as mista - it's the way forward.
======= Date Modified 03 Mar 2011 05:40:26 =======
hmm, yeah I thought you revert to being Mr/Mrs/Miss when you were a consultant or if you're really good in medical stuff?? My surgeon is a 'Mr' (and looks like Mario :-) )
I'd love to use it everywhere - I spent 3 and half years (and counting) getting it so why not. Although after the fuss changing to my married name in reality I'll probably not bother. :p
======= Date Modified 03 Mar 2011 09:49:07 =======
Looking at this, it occurs to me (including myself) how very English we're being about this. Not wanting to stand out and tutting about those who do stand out (we love to bring bigwigs down to size).
Many other nationalities would be more than ready to use their titles. :-)
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