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Old 13th July 2011, 17:18   #46
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Ok, let's not talk about honorary doctorates, that deserves a thread by itself.

I agree, I don't mind a PhD fellow with lots of post-doctoral work with many well received published work being called doctor. That is what I said in my previous post. But a fresh PhD is not getting that honorific from me. I'll wait for a decade at least to see what he does with his PhD. For example, I can't imagine calling Chris the VB programmer as Doctor.
Degree of Ph.D. is conferred upon only after completing research work for at least 3-4 years and after coming up with new findings/technologies/innovations/research areas, which are accepted by panel of accomplished professors in that area. You can not earn the degree by completing course work by going through text books, but only after coming up with original research, which no one has done earlier.

Hordes of Universities and institutions may have depleted the quality of work done and general respect for the degree, but I, for one, will not hesitate in calling even a fresh Ph.D. as Doctor, since he has hard earned it.

Coming back to Chris "the programmer". He may not be Doctor when it comes to programming, but he sure knows much more when it concerns Psychology; just that he chose not to practice it for whatever reasons. That doesn't take anything away from him. Just because his skills are not relevant to me, I can't disregard them.
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Old 13th July 2011, 17:44   #47
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Coming back to Chris "the programmer". He may not be Doctor when it comes to programming, but he sure knows much more when it concerns Psychology; just that he chose not to practice it for whatever reasons. That doesn't take anything away from him. Just because his skills are not relevant to me, I can't disregard them.
Well said!

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Yes - he is a real lt. colonel.
Exactly! What I meant was knowing Mohanlal can we ever compare his skill sets (pertaining to Lt. Colonel) to that of a serving "real time" Lt. Colonel.

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With a bunch of war films behind him, I think the army viewed him as a brand ambassador for the TA.
You said it, he got the honour as Army looks to him as a brand ambassador. His physique although resembling an Ambassador is a different story altogether.

Spike

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Old 13th July 2011, 18:11   #48
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Default re: PhD Thread

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Degree of Ph.D. is conferred upon only after completing research work for at least 3-4 years and after coming up with new findings/technologies/innovations/research areas, which are accepted by panel of accomplished professors in that area. You can not earn the degree by completing course work by going through text books, but only after coming up with original research, which no one has done earlier.
That is how it should be. But do look at post #20 of this thread.

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Hordes of Universities and institutions may have depleted the quality of work done and general respect for the degree, but I, for one, will not hesitate in calling even a fresh Ph.D. as Doctor, since he has hard earned it.
But I tend to hesitate a lot.

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Coming back to Chris "the programmer". He may not be Doctor when it comes to programming, but he sure knows much more when it concerns Psychology; just that he chose not to practice it for whatever reasons. That doesn't take anything away from him. Just because his skills are not relevant to me, I can't disregard them.
You can't, but I can. I work in IT industry, where nobody calls anybody SIR. Even a trainee in my company calls the company CEO using first name, despite 35 years of age difference. It has been the same throughout my IT career. Once I met Lewis Platt during the 90s, and I called him Lew.

See, here is my point. There are lots of highly accomplished non-PhD individuals in this world who have accomplished lot more than any average PhD. When we address them normally using their name, why this urge to call somebody who just spent 3-5 years on some academic research with such grandiose?
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Old 13th July 2011, 18:44   #49
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You can't, but I can. I work in IT industry, where nobody calls anybody SIR. Even a trainee in my company calls the company CEO using first name, despite 35 years of age difference. It has been the same throughout my IT career. Once I met Lewis Platt during the 90s, and I called him Lew.

See, here is my point. There are lots of highly accomplished non-PhD individuals in this world who have accomplished lot more than any average PhD. When we address them normally using their name, why this urge to call somebody who just spent 3-5 years on some academic research with such grandiose?
There is nothing grandiose/non-grandiose about calling someone Doctor. It's an acknowledgment of research work completed by that person. "Doctor" is a term which has come from academics and was used for learned scholars. The degree itself mentions as "Doctor of Philosophy". One can't say that an Mechanical engineer should not be called an engineer, just because he writes code, or because a 10th fail mechanic has far more experience in fixing automobiles than him.

Again, that has nothing to do with how we call each other in IT today. That's just part of IT culture or should I say American culture. (British still use "Sir" at several places).

The concept of honorary doctorates is again to acknowledge vast amount of work done by people in various sections of life, though they may not be scholars in academic manner. Albeit, that is now hijacked by politicians, cooperative and industry barons, which is a separate topic.

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Old 13th July 2011, 19:14   #50
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Default re: PhD Thread

I don't think this is a argument anybody can win. Each of us have to go with what we find acceptable. When a fresh PhD guy demands to be called a doctor, for me it trivializes the accomplishments of so many others. Fortunately, all the PhDs whom I presently know don't care about the title.
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Old 13th July 2011, 19:27   #51
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Default re: PhD Thread

Any title has to be commanded and not demanded. That includes a PhD also.
If a candidate with a freshly earned PhD, demands to be called a "Sir" may be that is inappropriate.
If the candidate has done good work, which folks are aware off, then that in itself would lead others to address the person by his title.

Apart from that, in some places norms/way-of-life do force us to address people by their title (eg in academic institutions).

This is again my personal assessment.
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Old 13th July 2011, 21:57   #52
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There is nothing grandiose/non-grandiose about calling someone Doctor. It's an acknowledgment of research work completed by that person. "Doctor" is a term which has come from academics and was used for learned scholars. The degree itself mentions as "Doctor of Philosophy". One can't say that an Mechanical engineer should not be called an engineer, just because he writes code, or because a 10th fail mechanic has far more experience in fixing automobiles than him.

For the Educators (people who specialise in Education - like automobile engineer, system administrator, DBA, finance guy, lawyers, physicists, economists, etc):-

1. When you complete what we call in India matriculation, the person has around 2000 words vocabulary and can communicate in writing, orally and verbally in the language of education.

2. With another 2 years of education, the person adds approximately another 500 words in the chosen subjects at +2.

3. A person with under graduate degree (B., A., B. Sc., B. Com. etc) knows where to find more information on a question / problem in his subject.

4. A post graduate degree equips a person to bring others to #3 level. In certain degrees, the objective will slightly vary. (Notable examples - MBA, MCA, PG in Medical sciences, etc where objective is definitely to provide more knowledge / change in competencies etc.).

5. Any qualification beyond #4 brings a person's knowledge in that particular branch up to date.

This is a sort of quote from a UGC report on curriculum development. I do not remember what exactly the report was about. Other countries / societies will have different objectives. For example, every site of non-Indian university speaks of average 3 years duration for a Ph. D. course; UGC says 3 years.
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Old 14th July 2011, 00:30   #53
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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
+1, sometimes I feel PhD students are subjected to tortures which a "Medical Doctor" seldom experiences (comprehensive viva et al.) Moreover, calling someone with a prefix Dr. is an individuals own opinion. One may not call a person a Dr. but still give respect also one may call a person Dr. and not give respect . It is all mutual.

Spike
In UK, the surgeons cannot carry the prefix "Dr". only the physicians can. Surgeons can only be Mr or Mrs

One of the fullforms for Phd = Passed with High Difficulty

Sorry for the OT here

Last edited by Deep Blue : 14th July 2011 at 00:32.
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Old 14th July 2011, 00:37   #54
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Any title has to be commanded and not demanded. That includes a PhD also.
If a candidate with a freshly earned PhD, demands to be called a "Sir" may be that is inappropriate.
Going with same logic, just by virtue of degree itself, the "doctorate" is commanded. It's not honorary doctorate we are talking of.

I suggest, you do not trivialize work done to earn Ph.D. by calling the person as "fresh" Ph.D. While I do not/did not have intention to pursue Ph.D., at IIT Kanpur, I have seen several researchers pursuing PhD for 4-5 years, few of them changing the research topic after more than 2 years of research after getting stonewalled and starting from scratch on another topic.

BTW, I have seen that, in most non-Indian universities PhD is almost time bound (2.5-3 years), whereas in few premier institutes in India, it can get dragged on for 5-6 years.

While I agree about calling only scholars or distinguished ones or respectly elderly ones as "Sir", I don't see a problem with calling someone as "Doctor" when he/she has earned it.

Again, to each his own. I agree on that.
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Old 14th July 2011, 06:31   #55
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Default re: PhD Thread

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Going with same logic, just by virtue of degree itself, the "doctorate" is commanded. It's not honorary doctorate we are talking of.

I suggest, you do not trivialize work done to earn Ph.D. by calling the person as "fresh" Ph.D.
I am not trivializing the work. Sorry if it creates such an impression.
Maybe I should not have used the word fresh.
(I thought it was a common term used in academic circles without demeaning anyone).


I was opposing to a person who is demanding respect. As you said, if a person has earned his Phd with hard work, respect would already build up for him.

And with hard work in the course of earning his degree, the person should also have learnt humility which comes with knowledge. So as such in the first place he would never be "demanding" respect.
That is the only thing I oppose to. I have no issues calling a doctorate as sir. Just when the person demands for it, my respect for him goes down.

Last edited by ampere : 14th July 2011 at 06:40.
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Old 14th July 2011, 10:19   #56
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BTW, I have seen that, in most non-Indian universities PhD is almost time bound (2.5-3 years), whereas in few premier institutes in India, it can get dragged on for 5-6 years.
In Indian Agricultural/Veterinary Universities also PhD is 2.5/3 years(5/6 semesters). This includes one year class room stuff also.
This may be because in these universities Masters is also by research not by exam alone.One has to take up some issue and present a thesis for external evaluation. This is not the case in General universities

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One of the fullforms for Phd = Passed with High Difficulty

Sorry for the OT here
PhD is also means "Please Have Degree"
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Old 14th July 2011, 10:52   #57
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When medical doctors do research, does that lead to PhD? I knew a distant relative who got into Medical research after his MD.
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Old 14th July 2011, 11:37   #58
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When medical doctors do research, does that lead to PhD? I knew a distant relative who got into Medical research after his MD.
Yes. Doctors on this forum can correct me but MD is equivalent of Ph.D. (it is "Doctor of Medicine"). I am not sure if there is separate Ph.D. degree in Medicine. You would often hear murmurs that only MDs should call themselves as "Doctor" as opposed to MBBS degree holders, which is essentially a Bachelor's degree.

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And with hard work in the course of earning his degree, the person should also have learnt humility which comes with knowledge. So as such in the first place he would never be "demanding" respect.
That is the only thing I oppose to. I have no issues calling a doctorate as sir. Just when the person demands for it, my respect for him goes down.
I am not saying that you should call a Ph.D. holder as "Sir". I am saying, it's not wrong for him to carry title of "Doctor". And I am totally with you that, respect should be commanded and not demanded.

BTW, you would often come across some of the most egoistic professors in premier institutes though they are stalwarts in their respective areas

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In Indian Agricultural/Veterinary Universities also PhD is 2.5/3 years(5/6 semesters). This includes one year class room stuff also.
This may be because in these universities Masters is also by research not by exam alone.One has to take up some issue and present a thesis for external evaluation. This is not the case in General universities
That is interesting. I did not know that. I know someone who has done M.Sc. in agriculture, but I doubt if that was research.

BTW, Master's degree in engineering involves 1 semester research. (2 semesters in classroom and 1+ semester in research). If you are in IIT/IIsc, most likely, you end up publishing 1-2 research papers along with your thesis. I am not sure if that's true everywhere though.

Last edited by RX135 : 14th July 2011 at 11:39.
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Old 14th July 2011, 12:34   #59
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Yes. Doctors on this forum can correct me but MD is equivalent of Ph.D. (it is "Doctor of Medicine"). I am not sure if there is separate Ph.D. degree in Medicine. You would often hear murmurs that only MDs should call themselves as "Doctor" as opposed to MBBS degree holders, which is essentially a Bachelor's degree.

That is interesting. I did not know that. I know someone who has done M.Sc. in agriculture, but I doubt if that was research.

BTW, Master's degree in engineering involves 1 semester research. (2 semesters in classroom and 1+ semester in research). If you are in IIT/IIsc, most likely, you end up publishing 1-2 research papers along with your thesis. I am not sure if that's true everywhere though.
There is no PhD in medicine filed. I too think MD is = PhD

If it is Msc Agri, then thesis submission is a must if it is from Agri univ.

Msc(agri) /MVSc is 3 semesters class room + one semester research work

PhD = 2 semesters class room + 3/4 semesters research work
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Old 14th July 2011, 13:49   #60
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Y
I am not saying that you should call a Ph.D. holder as "Sir". I am saying, it's not wrong for him to carry title of "Doctor". And I am totally with you that, respect should be commanded and not demanded.
Sorry. "Sir" was a typo. I meant calling one doctor. As I said earlier I dont mind addressing one by the title. Just that, when demands it becomes difficult.

I too have seen many of those professors asking to be called professor/doctor etc.
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