Doctor? Doctor of What?

By | March 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Critics made ignorant remarks about First Lady Jill Biden calling herself “doctor,” though she isn’t a physician and never claimed to be. The word comes from the Latin docere, to teach. She has the degree Ed.D., doctor of education. Rather than complain about one who never claimed to be a physician, how about complaining about those who pretend to be physicians but aren’t.

First we have Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. You remember him. He’s the guy who parroted the Chinese Communist government’s lies that Covid-19 didn’t spread person-to-person so there were no worries, and that air travel to and from Wuhan should continue. He has an M.S. in immunology and a Ph.D. in community health. But because of his WHO title and authoritative pronouncements on health, many assume he has an M.D. I did.

Then we have Doctor Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health for Los Angeles County’s 10 million people. She has a Ph.D. in social welfare, plus an M.A. in public health and an M.A. in education. But because of her Department of Public Health title and authoritative pronouncements on health, many assume she has an M.D. I did.

Can non-physicians have important things to say about health? Of course, just as non-attorneys can have important things to say about law. But if non-attorneys give the impression of being attorneys and give legal advice, they are in big trouble. The same should be true for non-physicians having the appearance of physicians and giving medical advice.

Jill Biden is a doctor. But Tedros Ghebreyesus and Barbara Ferrer are not physicians, though they play them on TV.

   

 

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