Doctor or doctor-I’m a doctor. You didn’t know? Well, my law degree says “Juris Doctorate” or at least I think it does.

I’m not exactly sure where it is, but I suspect it’s in a box in the basement growing mold and looking like a third grader’s science project.

I’m also pretty sure “Juris Doctorate” is Latin for Doctor of Law, and not for Doctor of Juries, which is what it sounds like.

I might not be a medical doctor, but I’m a doctor nonetheless.

If you don’t believe me, you should see my student loans. The balance on those is enough to make any doctor cringe.

Yep, as a lawyer, I am thus a doctor. Yet, when I get a wedding invitation, it isn’t addressed to Doctor Newlin.

writing invitationWhen introduced at royal balls, the serf announcing my arrival will add “esquire” at the end of my name, but never thinks to begin with “doctor.”

In fact, I can’t recall any lawyer I know ever being called “doctor” at any time or any place.

So why is it that lawyers aren’t called doctors?

Admittedly, the wedding invitations I receive are usually through an Evite entitled “We’re finally making it legal” so perhaps the moniker of doctor is a bit too formal.

Still I’m quite certain that’s not the reason the honorific is left off.

The question is even more prescient when you consider all the other people who are called doctor, despite the lack of any medical education. Consider, for example:

glass of sodaDr. Pepper

I’m not sure who he is, but I’m pretty sure Dr. Pepper isn’t a real doctor. Actually, I don’t even think he’s a real person, which is even more offensive.

Apparently, a non-existent person can have the title of “doctor” just because of a product’s deliciousness, yet I can’t be called doctor even though I have the degree.

Okay, I might not physically have it in my possession, but I acquired it through hard work and, ironically, lots of Dr. Pepper.

kid in big shoesDr. Scholl’s

My sophisticated search on Wikipedia says he’s a doctor, but I haven’t seen his credentials, and I think he’s bluffing about the doctor thing.

I’m pretty sure “Dr. Scholl’s” is just an old man with horribly bad foot odor who figured out that mixing baking soda and fragrance cuts down on the offensive smells coming from his closet.

He’s not so much of a doctor as a Captain Obvious.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection.

Dr. Seuss

This guy really isn’t a doctor. In fact, he’s not even alive.

To make matters worse, when he was alive, Seuss wasn’t even his real name.

He was more than a bit odd, as he thought Horton the elephant could sit on a bird egg without crushing it. This isn’t a theory that screams medical professional.

“Dr. Seuss” was just a crazy guy who liked to rhyme and draw cartoons that give adults nightmares (or at least this adult). Nothing about any of his writing suggests he was a doctor.

In fact, nothing about his writing suggests he was sane, yet “Green Eggs and Ham” will always be one of my favorite books.

If crazy people with strange rhyming abilities are doctors, then the homeless man outside my office building is most certainly a doctor and will now be referred to as Dr. Funnypants.

military bootsDoc Martens

Although these shoes are classic, and part of what made Seattle’s grunge scene so popular in the ’90s (along with Kurt Cobain’s luscious locks), the creator of these shoes is most certainly not a doctor.

I don’t actually know this to be true, but I know no medical doctor would create shoes that take five minutes to put on and cause carpal tunnel when lacing up the boots.

DocDoc from the Seven Dwarfs

This creepy little guy insisted on being called Doc, yet to my knowledge, he’s never displayed his credentials anywhere.

I’m not saying he wasn’t a doctor, but he didn’t even wear a white coat to make his profession clear.

I can’t believe he couldn’t find a white coat to fit him, as he somehow managed to find those tiny glasses. Come to think of it, perhaps he is an eye doctor, although I won’t believe it until I see the diploma.

Even if he was a doctor, he wasn’t a good one. All he did when Snow White fell into her deep sleep was put her in a glass case and stare at her.

Nowhere in any of the stories did I see him trying a little mouth-to-mouth to revive her.

So if these people, fictional characters and inanimate objects can be called doctor, why can’t I use the prefix as well? It seems to me lawyers have earned the title, or at least I have.

I spent my years of law school wearing scrubs all the time and cleaning up vomit (usually after a late night “study session” with friends). If that doesn’t make me worthy of the doctor moniker, I don’t know what does.

**©2012Under Analysis, LLC. Under Analysis is a nationally syndicated column of The Levison Group. This column was initially published in March 2012.

39 Thoughts on “Doctor or “Doctor?”

  1. OMG. This made me laugh so hard. I can’t wait to explore more of your blog. 🙂
    Lesa McMahon just rambled about…Taming the BeastMy Profile

    • I’m so happy to hear/read that! I only just want to make people laugh, so if I did that, I’m chalking it up to a success.

      I can do nothing for the rest of the day now since I’ve already accomplished something, right?

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Explore away on my blog! 🙂

  2. Lisa,
    I love it! And I never thought about what a disappointment Dwarf Doc was.
    Tim Stutler just rambled about…Professional Titles Are Worthless — Or I’m No Doctor/ScientistMy Profile

    • Doc just let us down overall. He didn’t even try to revive her! Where’s his doctor bag? And you know that based upon that guy’s huge gut, his cholesterol and blood pressure are not under control.

      I’d take an apple a day just to steer clear of that guy. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s always good to hear from you.

  3. I will call you doctor is it will make you feel better!! But seriously, you make some valid points here and also put a smile on my tired face this morning. So, thanks for that 🙂
    Janine Huldie just rambled about…Weekly Confessions Wrap-Up #14My Profile

    • Thanks Janine! I really just want to be called doctor so I can throw it in my husband’s face…you know….like any good wife would do. 🙂

      I’m glad I could give you a smile. I swear, I don’t know how you keep up with everything you do!

  4. If I had my doctorate, I swear I’d make everyone call me Dr. Mayen. And I’m pretty sure Dr. sueuss had to be experimenting with mind altering drugs…
    Amy mayen just rambled about…Ruffled Diaper Cover/ McCalls 6345My Profile

    • Dr Mayen,

      Congrats! I’m extending an honorary doctorate to you, just so you can force people to call you doctor!

      Also, I’m with you on Dr. Seuss! I know I liked some of his stuff, but a guy like that probably collected dead cats in his basement and made them act out scenes from movies.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, doctor! 🙂

  5. If it makes you feel any better, my husband IS a medical doctor (a surgeon, nonetheless) and he is NEVER called “Dr.” outside the hospital. If he’s lucky, he gets a “Mr.” every now and then, but more likely it’s just, “Hey, YOU!”
    Thanks for the laughs!

    • People don’t call him doctor outside the hospital?! WHAT?! That’s so disrespectful!

      I can assure you that if I was there right now, I would call him doctor. Or perhaps, to make him feel more comfortable, I would yell out the standard “Hey, You!” but then throw “doctor” on the end. Kind of like a surprise!

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and it means so much to me that you took the time to let me know. 🙂

  6. SmackOfHam on May 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm said:

    Brilliant concept for a blog essay – I’ve always thought that Mr. Pibb always got the short end of the stick just because he couldn’t hang “Dr.” in front of his name like that know-it-all Dr. Pepper.

    • Dr. Pepper really is a know-it-all, but Mr. Pibb sounds like more of a respectful guy. He’s like someone who would wear a top hat and walk with a can even though he doesn’t need it.

  7. wow! You’re a JD?! That’s impressive since I work with attorneys in my line of work! None of them are as funny as you are for sure!
    Roshni just rambled about…What I’ve been reading this week #25My Profile

    • Oh Roshni, don’t be impressed! It really isn’t that big of a deal, but yes, I’m a lawyer. I’ve been practicing for 8 years, but I rarely talk about it on my blog because it really isn’t who I am at all…it’s just a job!

      My real love is writing and if I could get a writing gig doing humor stuff, preferably writing humor books, that would be my real dream! Isn’t it funny that there are probably writers out there who dream of becoming an attorney, and I’m an attorney dreaming of becoming a writer?

      A girl can dream, right?

    • And now you know why my posts and comments are always done super late at night or in the wee hours of the morning…because I’m still working. It’s a definite down side to the profession.

  8. You’re right. You totally earned it. Maybe if you introduce yourself that way it will catch on. Good luck.

    Stopping by from SITS. I hope you have a lovely weekend, doctor.
    misssrobin just rambled about…Living with Chronic IllnessMy Profile

  9. Pamela on May 19, 2013 at 6:47 am said:

    What an awesome post! Now that is good reading! Lol

  10. Leslie on May 19, 2013 at 11:32 am said:

    Oh my goodness, too funny!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  11. Good morning Dr. Newlin. Very creative post.


    From now on, just refer to yourself as Dr. Newlin. That has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?

    Say it; Dr. Newlin, Dr. Newlin, Dr. Newlin. Okay stop. If you say it too much it doesn’t even sound like real words anymore.

    Have a fabulous day!
    Gina just rambled about…Poop DoodyMy Profile

    • Dr. Newlin totally sounds like an evil doctor who performs questionable experiments on children and dolls. Naturally, Dr. Newlin’s lab is in a basement somewhere.

      Maybe that’s why I don’t call myself doctor….I don’t want to get arrested for having a creepy name.

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and giving me some encouragement to call myself doctor. It’s gonna catch on. I know it!

  12. Helena Chung on May 19, 2013 at 1:26 pm said:

    you’re living in the wrong country. where I come from it doesn’t matter what kind of doctor you are, you’ll be called “doctor”. (at least formally in letters etc.)

  13. This was hysterical! I love it…
    It’s amazing when you think about it all the non-doctors out there!!
    I think you should get some personalized stationary with doctor on the title ~ your student loans at least give you that right!!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Lanaya @ Raising Reagan just rambled about…Raising Imperfection Sunday Link Up Week 25My Profile

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It really is kind of surprising how many people pretend to be doctors, when I actually am one…sort of….

      I will check back on Friday. I wanted to let you know that I tried to grab the blog hop button but I couldn’t copy it. I could click on it, but couldn’t copy it so I couldn’t put it on my blog. It may just be me, but wanted to let you know either way.

      Thanks for hosting! 🙂

  14. I have to tell you, I’m studying to go to law school now and I always wondered why lawyers aren’t called doctors. It’s not like we’re earning honorary doctorates; getting a law degree is tough work.

    However, I would argue that the “Doctor” Pepper thing really doesn’t need to be worried about for travesties. In fact, I think they actively recognize that it truly isn’t deserving of the title. Look closely at the label. It’s not “Doctor” Pepper, it’s “Durr” Pepper. There is no period in front of the “r” thus it’s not technically an abbreviation. The name of the soda is literally Durr Pepper according to their own advertisements.

    Great blog, and Cheers!
    Peter Licari
    The Deliberate (Belligerent) Literate.

    • Thanks for the insight on Durr Pepper. It definitely makes me feel better to know that d-bag isn’t really getting credit for being a doctor. He’s a total tool and I hate knowing that he’s got street cred for whatever reason and goes by “doctor.”

      And you’re studying to go to law school? Why? It sucks major balls! There’s gotta be something you would prefer to be doing, right? Surely there is.

      Just kidding…kind of. I enjoy my job and my profession, but I get why people burn out after a while. It’s just a fast paced world that’s very intense, so it can get to you at times. I would suggest keeping the writing outlet. It will give you a way to express yourself without losing your mind on someone random in the office.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂
      Lisa Newlin just rambled about…Dear Diary: an entry from Mailman RicardoMy Profile

  15. LOL! I can’t begin to imagine that there’s any doctor that would endorse something as sickly sweet as that soft drink! How did the name Dr Pepper’s come about?
    But more importantly, why haven’t I come across your blog before? You’re hilarious!
    Grace just rambled about…FYBF – The Half Marathon EditionMy Profile

    • I’m so glad you enjoy my blog! I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. Where did you find me? (HINT: The correct answer is “you were sent from heaven above.”)

      Please come back and see me again and hopefully I can continue to make you laugh! Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  16. Hahahahahahaha. I’ll gladly call you Dr. Newlin!
    I actually AM a medical doctor and am rarely addressed as such in everyday life. Dr. Scholl gets WAY more respect!
    I can’t tell you the amount of mail we get that lists my HUSBAND as “Dr” (which he is not) but I’m listed as not.

    I did get one great invitation by a confused bride that labeled us: Dr and Mr. Lisa Far…..
    instead of Mr. Robert and Dr. Lisa Far….
    My husband was thoroughly amused to be Mr. Lisa!! (as well he should be)–Lisa

    • This story is awesome! If I were you, I would only refer to your husband as Dr. Lisa, and require him to refer to you as Doctor as well.

      It would be one confusing (and emasculating) household.

      I also had NO idea you were a medical doctor. WHAT?!

  17. I loved reading this. I’ve often pondered the Dr. Pepper too. Like why that name?? Hilarious post! Visiting from the showcase! 🙂
    Heather just rambled about…Top 5 Apps To Keep Your Kids SafeMy Profile

    • Yay! I’m so glad you found me! Feel free to come back again. I can’t promise to provide more insight into the injustices of life, but I can promise to put a smile on your face, and hopefully a chuckle. 🙂

  18. Oh, Dr. Lisa, you make me laugh so!!! I don’t know why anyone would call the members of KISS “Doctor Love” or the members of Motley Crue “Doctor Feelgood” and not apply that same respect to you!! Jackholes! Are you this funny in court? Because I’d love to be the court reporter just to see if I could stifle my laughter (I wouldn’t – which means my career would last probably 20 minutes).
    Mom Rants and Comfy Pants just rambled about…May Secret Subject Swap: The Name GameMy Profile

    • I totally forgot about Kiss and Motley Crue, although I understand why they called the one guy Dr. Feelgood. He’s the one that makes you feel all right.

      I get it. 🙂

      And I’m exactly the same in court as in real life and it’s pretty ridiculous. Last month I had a bench trial and I was going through an arial photograph of a large property and there were various buildings, etc. on it. On direct examination, the lawyer had the witness put numbers on different spots on the exhibit, denoting what was where with the numbers.

      When I got up to do my cross exam, I also wanted him to denote additional things on the exhibit, but for some reason, the thought of using numbers escaped me.

      So I made him draw a smiley face on one building, and then a star on another. I was getting ready to have him draw a moon on another building when the judge interrupted and said “or you could just use the number 11. Or the letter A.”

      It was flipping hilarious and we all cracked up, including the court reporter. I have no idea why I didn’t think to use letters or numbers. What the frick?

      I saw that court reporter last week and she said she was typing up the transcript recently and laughed at the whole “smiley face building” thing.

      Oddly enough, you’d never guess it, but I can be quite the bulldog in court when I want to be. I’m always nice…until I’m not. You have to push me there, but once I’m there….look out!

  19. Bawaaa!!! This made me laugh hysterically! I am a dentist so I am obviously not a daughter- well, according to my daughter anyway!
    mel just rambled about…Allowing my Kids To Watch Safe Kids Shows with Netflix! #NetflixKids #adMy Profile

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