Can I use "Dr" as a prefix, or "MD" as a suffex, when entering a new ancestor?

+7 votes
in Genealogy Help by Robert Baebenroth G2G Crew (400 points)
Yes -- but it shouldn't be both at the same time.
And please make sure the country is set for the profile you add them to. dr/Dr means different things in different countries.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Use MD in the suffix field. Its meaning is less ambiguous.  "Doctor" could be a PhD, or doctor of anything.

And as Mel said, not both.
by Lois Tilton G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
I use the Dr in the prefix field if/when I have other  letters to go in the suffix — example : Dr First-name Last-name MRCS LRCP
+7 votes
The prefix "Dr" is specifically an optional title regarding the fact this individual has a "Doctorate" Degree.

The suffix like an "MD" is specifying the specific field of specialty "Doctor of Medicine" and "PhD" is for "Doctor of Physiology" and "DDS" is for "Doctor of Dental Surgery" and so on...

The prefix doesn't represent the Specialty of an individual, it represents the Title of an individual.

When it comes to using both, yes they both can be used, but they both apply for two separate reasons.

I hope I was able to explain this okay via text... :-)

~Brian Kerr
by Living Kerr G2G6 Pilot (312k points)
In Britain, the  use different degrees than they use in the US.  They have a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of  Laws,so Dr as a prefix there is not appropriate.

When it comes to using both, yes they both can be used, but they both apply for two separate reasons.
by Brian Kerr


The problem with using Dr and MD is that the one duplicates the other.  Almost nobody uses Doctor Name LastName Doctor of Medicine.  It's repetitive and redundant. 

In other countries than the US, almost nobody would call their dentist "Doctor".  He's the dentist.  The doctor is the doctor.  (Because degrees don't matter when the person has their fingers in your mouth poking and probing and scraping at your gums and teeth.)

For those who have PHDs, while some may use the Dr prefix, most (and all the ones I have seen) use Name LastName PHD.

Also, I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall a thing on g2g saying you should not use both Dr and MD, but to choose which one.{{citation needed}}

As said, this really depends per country.

In Germany, dr (the PhD version) becomes a formal part of your name.

In NL, dr is a protected title, abused by MDs that did not receive a PhD.

Prof is worse. In NL, it is a protected title you should only use when you are an active professor.

In Italy, any teacher/professor, even at kindergarten, can be called a prof or a doctor and use that on their ID.

MD is not used in mainland Europe.

So if we do not want mr and mrs as prefix, why allow dr? (mr is a university title in the Netherlands as well... how confusing!)

Mr / Mister used to be (still is?) the title for surgeons, a step above mere doctor.  cheeky

Well, here it is the people that sue you, or help you when you are sued. Maybe that is the same wink

Mr / Mister used to be (still is?) the title for surgeons...  It's is still true in the UK unless they are Miss, Ms, or Mrs wink

It is confusing. The basic qualification for doctors is not a research degree. The American MD isn't a postgrad research degree   but in other countries an MD  is a post grad degree.

I don't  think I agree with Melanie that most Phds or DPhils don't use the title Dr. University staff lists are full of Drs. ( if I want to see what my sons been up to, I can find him easily on google using Dr; not so with Mr. )

I wonder why we are so pernickity about what goes in the prefix and suffix box. As Michel points out the use of occupational titles varies by country, so does the meaning of and  the usage of post nominal letters.

Just to add, the answer above may have a typo but  a Phd is not a 'Dr  of Physiology'

  A Doctor of Philosophy is a generic title for a post graduate conferred after a thesis or dissertation based upon substantial original research. 

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