• Don’t Get Fooled Again – It is legal to use Dr. when you are not a medical doctor?

    The third installment in the Don’t Get Fooled Again series is a statement about the use of the abbreviation “Dr.”:

    When giving advice to endurance athletes, it is legal to use the abbreviation “Dr.” before your name even when you do not have a degree that would allow you to practice as a doctor in medicine. (True or False?)



    True.  “Doctor” is an academic title for a person who has obtained a research doctorate or PhD degree. The ethical and accepted use of “Dr.” preceding (Name) varies depending on the country.  In the USA, some states protect the title “doctor” and limit use to those offering medical services; but this is not the case in all states.

    How this affects you?

    If you are an endurance athlete, buyer beware. Someone offering coaching and nutritional services can legally use the title of “Dr.” (First and/or Last Name) and that person may NOT be a medical professional. He or she may well have a PhD (doctorate degree) in political science, optometry, environmental science, criminology, forestry or a list of other subject areas. Check the person’s bio on their website. If s/he does not list an actual medical degree or any other details about the degree, a good assumption is s/he is not a medical professional. You can always ask.

    Bottom line, it is legal to use Dr. in front of your name if you have a doctorate degree. It is not ethical to imply or otherwise mislead readers to believe that you are a medical expert (medical doctor) if you do not have an advanced medical degree.  

    Be sure to see if I have an easy-to-use training plan for you on my site to help you reach your goals. And, there are more options on the TrainingPeaks site.

    Don’t Get Fooled Again – Workout recovery

    Don’t Get Fooled Again – Can the brain only use glucose?



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