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Old 27th Sep 2008, 12:33   #1
FrostedNipple
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Difference between professor and Dr

I know Dr means they have a PhD, but is Professor a higher 'rank' as such?

The head of my department is a Professor, the administrator is a Dr, and the senior lecturer is a Mrs, so is a Professor harder to get than a Dr or can you be a Professor with having a PhD?

I did use Google but it only showed American sites full of retards saying only medical doctors should be tittles Dr.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 12:40   #2
SexyGreyFox
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Here at the NHS it goes upwards from -

Doctor (does ward rounds etc)
Professor (knows a hell of a lot more)
Mr/Mrs (surgeon)

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 12:41   #3
Ben M
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professor> doctor
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 12:57   #4
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From what I know, the process of becoming a professor involves being selected and evaluated by a 'professorship' panel, (all of whom are well established professors themselves) and the work that you have done in your career is taken into account, and interviews held, before passing the decision to award professorship. A 'Professor' is the highest academic ranking you can hold, so yes, harder than becoming a Doctor (PhD), so I would imagine that given the work needed to be done to become a Professor, all professors would already be PhD by that stage.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:02   #5
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Originally Posted by Doohickey View Post
From what I know, the process of becoming a professor involves being selected and evaluated by a 'professorship' panel, (all of whom are well established professors themselves) and the work that you have done in your career is taken into account, and interviews held, before passing the decision to award professorship. A 'Professor' is the highest academic ranking you can hold, so yes, harder than becoming a Doctor (PhD), so I would imagine that given the work needed to be done to become a Professor, all professors would already be PhD by that stage.
Yup. That's how it works.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:04   #6
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Yup. That's how it works.
Indeed, I asked my tutor about this ages ago and this is pretty much what he said, and he should know, he is one.


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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:04   #7
fini
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Also, never refer to a professor as 'Dr' in anything even coming close to a formal form, letter etc - they HATE it.


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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:04   #8
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Essentially, becoming a prof is usually something you don't specifically aim for, unlike a PhD, which is a very defined process which anyone who can pay and do the work, can complete. Somebody without a PhD can become a Prof if the work they do is deemed suitably worthy by a panel of peers, but generally speaking the majority of people in the world of academia have done the whole BSc/Msc/PhD thing anyway, so most are Dr as well.

Often, promotion to a head of department or similar role sparks the process, as universities like their people in charge to be well appointed.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:06   #9
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but generally speaking the majority of people in the world of academia have done the whole BSc/Msc/PhD thing anyway, so most are Dr as well.
It is VERY unlikely for anyone to be awarded a professorship without having a PhD.


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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:10   #10
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It is VERY unlikely for anyone to be awarded a professorship without having a PhD.
My old supervisor was a professor, he doesn't have a PhD. He had just been in the game for a very long time and is a big name in the field we work in. He recently moved onto Rolls Royce.

But yes I concur, it is unlikely, as the judging panel themselves will mostly own a PhD and thus will judge those who never completed the process negatively.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:13   #11
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In order to be a Professor, doesn't the person need to be working or attached to the University?

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:14   #12
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Professor is really a job description rather than an academic qualification as it a post awarded by competition and/or review. A PHD is awarded for a moderated assessment of an academic submission.

We get Unis do do research for us and Profs do generally get irritated at being called Dr - which I do if the are a PITA but as I am controlling the cash they don't complain. It's a bit like when a printer/scanner unit pack up and the new building manager said we have to wait for an Engineer. We have over 100 Engineers in the office and 20 E-mailed the poor bloke saying that as Charted Engineers they were willing to help him designer a more reliable printer but he really needs a technician instead to repair it.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:21   #13
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In order to be a Professor, doesn't the person need to be working or attached to the University?
When the professorship is awarded, yes. Universities can retrospectively award honourary professorships also, in the same way as they gave Jeremy Clarkson an honourary doctorate.

Once its awarded though, they can't take it away without good reason.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 13:51   #14
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My tutor at Uni 'used' to be a Professor in neurotoxicology working for the Government, however, now he is back to a Dr again, working for the University but still contracting for the Government.. Don't understand why.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 15:25   #15
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My tutor at Uni 'used' to be a Professor in neurotoxicology working for the Government, however, now he is back to a Dr again, working for the University but still contracting for the Government.. Don't understand why.
Probably they lost some funding so the post had to be downgraded; Normal practice is for emeritus profs to be still to be referred to as profs as a courtesy.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 15:27   #16
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Professor is really a job description rather than an academic qualification as it a post awarded by competition and/or review. A PHD is awarded for a moderated assessment of an academic submission.
^^ this

tbh.. though they both carry titles they are rather different in that a 'Dr' has an doctorate (or is a medic) whereas a Prof has risen up the ranks in his/her uni (and probably has a doctorate too)
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 15:30   #17
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There is also an intermediate step of being A Reader, normally after being a Senior Lecturer. We now have the grand total of 10 Profs. in the Dept.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 15:51   #18
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what people have said here is more or less true - its usually a 'chair' i.e. a job description, and you cease to be a professor when the chair ends. My boss, however, has been made an emeritus professor so he can use the title forever even though he is sort of retired (long story).

you have to have a pretty good record to be awarded a professorship tough - there is a certain number of papers etc that you need - not that idiots can't be professors - i know a few, but not many.

in the US its different (and some other countries) - there you are a professor if you lecture in a uni - you can also be an assistant professor. So from those countries, being a professor is pretty meaningless. So, if you see an american professor on the TV it means very little in education or competence terms.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 15:59   #19
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Here at the NHS it goes upwards from -

Doctor (does ward rounds etc)
Professor (knows a hell of a lot more)
Mr/Mrs (surgeon)
Eh - what?

Why are surgeons the best? Professors can also be surgeons and they are called Prof X rather than Mr X.

Professors also do "ward rounds etc", they just choose to do more research than "bog standard" doctors. Professors are often the ones with their names on all of the papers but they have to sacrifice other commitments (ward rounds, operating etc) in order to do so. I also wouldn't say they know a hell of a lot more - a lot of what they research is very specific to a very small field.

Surgeons also do "ward rounds etc".

EDIT: I appreciate this has nothing to do with the OP!
Last edited by markyp23; 27th Sep 2008 at 16:04.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 17:18   #20
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it should be noted that for medical doctors the title comes with the job - they are not real doctors as they don't have a PhD. thats why surgeons are mr/mrs - to distinguish them from the 'lesser' Dr's and from the other medical professionals who may be real dr's as they may do a PhD in a medical field (comparatively rare).
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 17:27   #21
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A 'Professor' is the highest academic ranking you can hold, so yes, harder than becoming a Doctor (PhD), so I would imagine that given the work needed to be done to become a Professor, all professors would already be PhD by that stage.
Not necessarily; one of the professors at my university doesn't have a doctorate.


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Old 27th Sep 2008, 17:30   #22
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it should be noted that for medical doctors the title comes with the job - they are often not real doctors as they usually don't have a PhD.
fixed


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Old 27th Sep 2008, 18:11   #23
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Surgeons being called Mr or Mrs hails back to ships as far as I know.


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Old 27th Sep 2008, 18:14   #24
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it should be noted that for medical doctors the title comes with the job - they are not real doctors as they don't have a PhD. thats why surgeons are mr/mrs - to distinguish them from the 'lesser' Dr's and from the other medical professionals who may be real dr's as they may do a PhD in a medical field (comparatively rare).
This is wrong.

Surgeons are called Mr/Mrs for an entirely different reason. Infact, the reason they are called Mr/Mrs is almost the opposite of what you just said.

Upon attaining membership of the Royal College of Surgeons, they are free to use the title "Mr" as a tradition from the days that surgeons did not attend medical school. People commonly went to barbers to have minor surgery and as such using Mr is a hark back to the days when surgeons were very much the 'lesser' of the two.

Many doctors do an MD (Medicinę Doctor - equivalent to a PhD) which is a postgraduate degree and requires them to submit a thesis in some sort of research field.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 18:31   #25
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It can be a right pain in the ass.
Every day I get emails from Surgeons, Professors & Doctors and they usually go something like this -

Hi David,

blah blah blah

Regards
Ahmet (or Mark or Monica or Mohammed etc)

but because of etiquette I have to email them back with a Mr/Mrs, Prof or Dr which means looking through email address books or NHS phone books and if I get it wrong they will sarcastically tell me.

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Old 27th Sep 2008, 19:32   #26
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This is wrong.

Surgeons are called Mr/Mrs for an entirely different reason. Infact, the reason they are called Mr/Mrs is almost the opposite of what you just said.

Upon attaining membership of the Royal College of Surgeons, they are free to use the title "Mr" as a tradition from the days that surgeons did not attend medical school. People commonly went to barbers to have minor surgery and as such using Mr is a hark back to the days when surgeons were very much the 'lesser' of the two.

Many doctors do an MD (Medicinę Doctor - equivalent to a PhD) which is a postgraduate degree and requires them to submit a thesis in some sort of research field.
i stand corrected on the surgeons.

but whilst 'many' doctors to an MD, it is still comparatively few compared to the overall number of medical doctors.

as a side note the people i know who work with surgeons call them 'butchers' - our company has been told that the general rule when making a product that they will use is that it must be easy for an idiot to use - i find that amusing since our lives are literally in their hands!
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 20:27   #27
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i stand corrected on the surgeons.

but whilst 'many' doctors to an MD, it is still comparatively few compared to the overall number of medical doctors.
They all do research though, and they would struggle to get a job without their name on several papers in well recognised journals. The medical degree (MBChB, MBBS etc) isn't exactly comparable with other undergraduate degrees in this respect. Although - does this really matter? What makes them "not a real doctor" - if the medical degree was called the MD as it is in America would they then be a "real" doctor?

Quote:
as a side note the people i know who work with surgeons call them 'butchers' - our company has been told that the general rule when making a product that they will use is that it must be easy for an idiot to use - i find that amusing since our lives are literally in their hands!
Of course! I know computer programmers who cannot make word documents. They also aren't all particularly steady-handed.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 20:43   #28
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Many doctors do an MD (Medicinę Doctor - equivalent to a PhD) which is a postgraduate degree and requires them to submit a thesis in some sort of research field.
erm no

this is the problem you get with the internet - people start quoting wikipedia and just get it all wrong

most medical doctors do not have an MD - they technically have two bachelors degrees upon graduation - bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery. MD is a US qualification and not relevant to the UK.

FWIW German doctors don't use the title 'Dr' unless they've earned a proper doctorate.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 20:46   #29
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erm no

this is the problem you get with the internet - people start quoting wikipedia and just get it all wrong
Erm no.

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most medical doctors do not have an MD - they technically have two bachelors degrees upon graduation - bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery. MD is a US qualification and not relevant to the UK.
I never said MOST I said MANY. Re-read what I have written. You even quoted it.
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Old 27th Sep 2008, 20:47   #30
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and you're wrong - it is a US qualification - hardly any over here have it
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