When I first began writing about the “doctor” title, I led with my personal beliefs. But as my research expanded, I realized there were so many variables and so many experiences that have shaped other women’s views on being called “doctor.”

Call me “doctor,” please

A few years ago, I was at a charity event for underprivileged kids in Detroit. One of the board members was a well-spoken nurse with a PhD. She introduced herself as “doctor,” and I admired that. She earned it. The title automatically told of her accomplishments in one simple word.

My boyfriend at the time was also a member of the board. As we were networking, I asked him to introduce me as “doctor” because I was too embarrassed to do it myself. I’ve always appreciated it when my friends would introduce me as doctor in professional settings. It took the pressure off me. He told me that I was being arrogant, and continued to introduce me as “Rozy” the rest of the night. Was I being petty? Was I being overly sensitive? It was a disappointing night, and it shaped my feelings on being called “doctor.” I speak up for myself now. I earned it.

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