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Dr Podiatrist?

Discussion in 'Australia' started by MelbPod, Aug 17, 2008.


Should Podiatrists in Australia use the Dr. title?

  1. Yes

    91 vote(s)
  2. No

    101 vote(s)
  1. Toe Jam

    Toe Jam Active Member

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for the clarification - very interesting and I acknowledge my ill infrofmed advice to Sal on this matter.

    Interestingly, as I have become involved in this forum I have realised how a discussion like this one has opened up a huge number of elements and helped clarify many aspects of our profession that readers and participants may have otherwise be unaware.

    This can only be a positive thing and one we should all be greatful to Podiatry Arena and its admin for.

    3 Cheers!!
  2. Sal

    Sal Active Member

    Hi all,

    For those interested............the origin of the word "Doctor"...................

    The entry from the OED above traces the word's origin -- from the Old French "doctor" from the Latin "doctor," meaning "teacher." And that noun came from the verb "docre" which meant "to teach." (http://en.allexperts.com/q/Etymology-Meaning-Words-1474/doctor.htm)

    If anyone should be using it, its teachers.

    Cheers and happy posting to all,
  3. Erica Bell

    Erica Bell Welcome New Poster

    You raise some good points Andrew. (thought i'd find you here :)
    It seems like there's a few things beside the dr title separating us from dentistry, vet etc.

    The enter score at latrobe is in the late 70s i believe? The other disciplines in discussion are considerably higher.

    As you were saying today, prescription rights and pathology rebates are still lagging.

    We are still a smaller community. With 100 students coming through each year though, hopefully our professional voice will grow (lets hope they all become association members!)
  4. Richard Chasen

    Richard Chasen Active Member

    ok, we're not medical practitioners and we're not dentists. So what, exactly? This point seems to arise frequently and as much as repetition tends to cover up rebuttal arguments unless you've been reading these posts for several weeks as many of us now have, I fail to see why we are only compared to the latter two disciplines.

    I don't particularly want to be a GP, or a dentist. What I don't quite understand is why it's so conveniently ignored that chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists and a good few naturopaths use the honorific title. As yet, I've not seen a single decent reason why podiatrists should not be using it with respect to these other health disciplines and trotting out enter scores, which are merely an annual reflection of a course's popularity relative to the number of offered places, just doesn't quite fit the bill. Also, Erica, before La Trobe added about 25 places a few years back, the score was usually high 80s to low 90s. similarly, length of course has been soundly put to rest on this thread weeks ago as a reason, so please, somebody, offer me a reason why I spent the day doing surgery, biomechanics and fracture management without so much as a heloma in sight, but it's somehow more acceptable for the osteopath across the road to call herself doctor for a day of soft tissue massage work. I'm genuinely interested...
  5. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    Good evening Richard, definitely not "acceptable" to me for an osteopath, who said it was (I must have missed that one). Do notice the forces for good (and pioneerism) are making a rally (in the poll). Strange I'm not usually on the winner, one last cup of herbal tea and I'm off to bed, mark c
  6. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    A majority of our brethren in this poll suggest that they do not want to use the title - is that enough of a reason for you Richard?

    Let me play devils advocate here....

    .....is the fact that you spent the day doing surgery, biomechanics and fracture management without so much as a heloma in sight a good enough reason?

    What exactly would you constitute as a good enough reason? Where will your argument stop and you as a Podiatry practitioner be happy?

    Will that happen when:

    a) You use the title?

    b) The government legally allows you to use the title?

    c) When people stop taking the "mickey" out of you for using the title?

    d) When you are conferred with a degree that legally allows you to use the title?

    Is this really that important in the grand scheme of things for the profession?

    Its an interesting debate.........
  7. Adrian Misseri

    Adrian Misseri Active Member

    Good morning (or evening as is quite often the case with you) my dear friend Richard! :drinks

    So good to see you posting back on here. I do find your opinion most thoughtworthy, and your conversation stimulating, even if we don't entirely agree on ths topic (a rare occurence).:boxing:

    You're very right in a lot of respects, The enter score does only reflect demand, and the year that I aplied it was 94 or thereabouts at La Trobe. The dropping of the ENTER score I think is actually a good move to try to bolster podiatrist numbers, something which is very important if we as a profession are to move forward and have any sort of political sway.

    The slight issue I see with your comments here is that so many podiatrists are unflrtunately not doing this, but sitting there and mundanely trimming nails, debrideing corns and generally being well paid pedicurists. Certainly with your background, knowledge base and drive, your use of the Dr. title is warranted, but how many other podiatrists are that motivated? Certainly most (if not all) of the contributers to Podiatry Arena have a drive to be better at what they do, but does this adequately reflect the whole work force? As I have been harping on about, it is a whole move as a profession to be better on the whole, more motivated, more committed to improving ourselves, and being the first, foremost and united in all aspects of foot and lower limb health is what we need as a profession if we want to demonstrate ourselves as Dr. Podiatrists. :deadhorse:

  8. Sal

    Sal Active Member

    Hi Paul,
    Whats is a good enough reason?

    My answer.........we are THE EXPERTS in foot health! Thats good enough reason for me!

  9. Sal

    Sal Active Member

    Some of us think so, and i think thats why this debate has been so involved.

    Keep the great posts coming.

    Its been a very interesting debate indeed.

    Cheers to everyone,
  10. a.mcmillan

    a.mcmillan Guest

    Hi Richard, this hasn't been ignored .....

    While use of the title ‘Dr’ in alternative and complementary medicine may have helped to drum up business by lulling patients into thinking they have scientific medical training, the impact on their interprofessional relationship with the medical profession has been detrimental.

    Use of the title by alternative practitioners is an argument against our adopting it, and is reason to survey the likely impact on our own interprofessional relations. It could be argued that podiatrists receive referrals from alternative practitoners (eg chiros), however, they’re not likely to refrain if we don’t adopt the title.

    In contrast, should we adopt the title, what will be the impact on our EPC referrals from GP’s ?

    Nicola Roxon may allow more EPC funding for allied health, but it is our relationship with the medical profession that will determine who they choose to refer to.

    It may be in the best interests of our profession for this to be investigated with a cross-sectional survey that includes GP’s ….. before we adopt the title …… not after !

    Your friendly skeptic :rolleyes:,

  11. Sal

    Sal Active Member

    Hi Andrew,
    Have been using the title for some time now and my EPC referral's haven't changed. So far i've only had positive experiences with using the title. Outside of the profession, i've had no negative experiences.

    Why do we have to get the approval from GP's or other medical practitioners? They don't own the title!!
    In effect, they could potentially "punish" us by not referring just because we use "their" title?

    Just my thoughts........
  12. a.mcmillan

    a.mcmillan Guest

    Hi Saleh,

    It’s great that you have had positive experiences. I’m not against podiatrists using the title on principle ....

    However, before adopted, I think a survey should be conducted to ascertain the majority view within our profession. Also the likely impact on our interprofessional relationship with GP’s.

    Why the rush :rolleyes:?


  13. Sal

    Sal Active Member

    Hi Andrew,
    I couldn't agree with you more in regards to conducting a survey to ascertain the majority view within OUR profession. I agree 100%. As for the whole GP thing, i think it'd be good to get an idea of what they think, but i don't think we or our practice as Podiatrists should be defined by them in any way (even with something like the Dr title).

    My 2 cents,

  14. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Some people think that rushing it through will make it legislative. Sad news is that it will do nothing of the sort.

    The current Victorian situation exists because of shades of black and white in the given area. We have to keep in mind here that we are NOT discussing this in relation to legislation - we are discussing it in relation to the "wants" of certain people.

    Regardless of what anyone wants in this forum, I can guarantee you that we face an uphill battle to use the title in coming years - Victoria or otherwise, unless you have a degree conferring the title upon you from a recognized institution the current "loophole" will be made redundant by certain sections of the medical community. This will become more prominent as federal registration becomes closer.

    It is important to remember as Podiatrists that you and those using the title currently are only doing so because of the "loophole". No matter who tells you you can legally use it or not - its not legislated for or against.

    In NSW there are current moves to investigate the legalities surrounding title use and protection and how this will impact us currently and as we move to federal legislation.

    I find it interesting that with all the major dilemma's facing Podiatry in Australia currently that this discussion raises such interest? Maybe it would be better if we fixed the foundations of our house before we started worrying about the pictures on the walls and where the home cinema should be?

    Just my lousy 2 cents worth!!!
  15. Richard Chasen

    Richard Chasen Active Member

    ok, so I'm a little pressed for time tonight, but I couldn't justifiably allow time to pass without saying Adrian that it's nice that we can manage to both be on both sides of the same debate (I actually do mean it that way). I agree with you wholeheartedly, even though my approach is from the other direction.

    Incidentally, Paul, I am happy as a practitioner and the only resistance I've ever encountered thus far in my use of the title, a more recent occurrence, has been from within.

    Have a good weekend people. Adrian, this means you...:good:
  16. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    You mean like a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Science...
    or, Bachelor of Dental science.....
    or perhaps Master of Osteopathy....?

    Correct me if I am mistaken, but neither single or double Bachelor's degrees, nor Masters degrees 'confer' any honorific title, yet, they are used by said professions...

    Just my lousy 2cents as well...
  17. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    But you forget (possibly out of convenience) one thing - their "HONORIFIC" title is legislated in Dentistry, Vet Science and Medicine. Enshrined. Protected in most accounts.

    The title you use is by default - and why is that? Is it because some people in the profession lead you to believe it will be good for us? Or is it simply because some people in the profession secretly believe it would be good for them?

    Maybe we are getting closer to the real truth behind all of this? Remember all that glitters is not gold!
  18. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    ...and your greatest enemy will always be your own kind.

    Forgive me Richard, but if you were happy as a practitioner then your use of the title DR would not be an issue - and for someone who apparently is happy with no issues, you sure have a lot to say about this topic!

    Undergraduate programs are crying out for funding and staff, patients are left on long waiting lists, public health Podiatry and high risk wound care is underfunded, the profession is under-staffed...........and you think taking the DR title fight is the most important thing to tackle?

    Seriously - if you Victorians have this at the top of your priority list - everything must be fine and dandy with Podiatry in Victoria!
  19. jb

    jb Active Member


    I don't usually agree with what comes out of Sydney (see the Cam Smith decision for further details), but this has to be the most valuable post of the nigh-300 on this thread.

    Frivolity breeds ignorance.

    Thank you
  20. a.mcmillan

    a.mcmillan Guest

    It's been a very interesting and worthwhile discussion........

    Thanks to all members who have taken the time to make contributions.

  21. ja99

    ja99 Active Member


    Firstly, I have not forgotten out of convenience, I (and other QLD Pod's) have been reminded and reminded by my own State's Board (QLD) via bulletins that Podiatrists are not to use the Title.

    Secondly, I cannot and do not use the title, I have nothing to gain by supporting the Vic's on this issue, other than offering a small degree of solidarity. No one has "lead you to believe it will be good for us", I give you the benefit of the doubt and don't presume you are suggesting I am just one of the 'sheep' so to speak.

    Thirdly, if you peruse back over the 10 pages of this topic, you'll find that guys like Sal, myself, Andrew and co have not argued that the title is a Panacea for all that beleaguers our Profession. It is but one of many initiatives that could or should be considered. If you have evidence that anyone posted that adopting "Dr" it is the most important issue facing Victoria, or the other states....please post it and support your own assertion ?

    Fourthly, if your following quote is a genuine concern:

    Undergraduate programs are crying out for funding and staff, patients are left on long waiting lists, public health Podiatry and high risk wound care is underfunded, the profession is under-staffed...........and you think taking the DR title fight is the most important thing to tackle?

    Elsewhere, you support Roxon's attempts, you also admire the APMA for clever marketing of their Salary levels in the US to attract students.

    Then surely addressing our public profile is a valid concern? Perhaps adopting "Dr" along with improving our educational model and some marketing of our profession will attract more students to Podiatry, and improve our profile with regards to underfunding and under-staffing. The squeeky wheel gets the grease, but right now, we are a very small voice happy to eat the crumbs offered by the Public Health system.

    Presently, we are minnows in a pool of sharks (both in numbers, clout and profile with legislators) in the Health care schema. Our scope of practice, expertise and rapid advancement of our Education is at odds with how we are perceived by the decision makers. The aforementioned points have been made, and reiterated numerous times......'but if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got'.

    I agree that all that glitters is not gold, and also add that there are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

    Have a good weekend.
  22. Richard Chasen

    Richard Chasen Active Member


    no amount of directing personal snipes at my professional happiness wil advance your argument. Each of the points I've put forward in my multitude of things to say on this topic has been thought out and said in what I believe to be the interests of advancing a profession that IMHO has many practitioners who suffer from an inferiority complex based solely on their perception of what others are able to do, rather than their own valuable abilities.

    For the record, you have never met me, you know nothing about my practice and I find thinly veiled hints about my perceived insecurity to be beneath either further reply or anybody who claims to be advancing a productive point of view. I suspet we have enough scientific training amongst us to tell who is or isn't happy as a practitioner. Get over it. Your last comment only detracted from the debate.
  23. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    No offense was intended, I am just curious about some peoples intentions within this thread. I have no opinion on this matter currently and don't really mind either way - as long as no one is mislead by propaganda. I was in no way trying to advance any argument, as I do not really have one.

    My apologies if you think I was directing anything at you personally - I most definitely was not - my point was a simple one - if we are happy with what we do - why does this actually matter and why is it such a priority?

    Don't we have other things to worry about - and isn't promoting PODIATRY over DR the important thing here?

    Have a good weekend! :drinks
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  24. Hylton Menz

    Hylton Menz Guest

    Dear colleagues,

    This old chestnut rears it's ugly head from time to time, and in my opinion, it's time to put it to rest once and for all.

    The arguments put forward to support the adoption of the "Dr" title seem to be:

    1. Some of my patients already call me doctor, so why not?

    Misunderstanding on behalf of the general public is hardly a sound argument for adopting an honorific title, is it?

    2. Chiropractors, osteopaths, etc do it, so why not us?

    Again, a poor argument. I don't agree that adopting the title has done these professions much good.

    3. Adopting the title would enhance our standing amongst the medical professions

    If you believe this, ask your GP what he thinks about chiropractors and osteopaths using the title.

    My personal view is no doubt tainted by my role as an academic researcher, but traditionally, the "Dr" title was conferred upon those who had obtained the highest academic award - a PhD. Medical practitioners took it on themselves to adopt the title much, much later, and it is always worth reminding ourselves that the standard medical qualification is a double degree, not a "doctorate". Therefore, from a purist's perspective, medical practitioners shouldn't be called "Dr" either (although I acknowledge that this argument has already been lost through the sands of time).

    Two additional arguments against adopting the title:

    1. The "thin end of the wedge" argument

    If podiatrists adopt the title, then why not every other allied health professional? Once we get to that stage, the title becomes meaningless.

    2. What about podiatrists with PhDs?

    Podiatrists who have done the hard slog obtaining a PhD are not going to be particularly happy with common, garden variety podiatrists adopting the title once they've finished their undergraduate degree. People don't do PhDs just to get the "Dr" title, but it is nevertheless a worthwhile way of recognising their substantial degree of sacrifice and scholarly effort.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2008
  25. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    Dear Hylton,

    No, no, no, no, and no. :bash:

    Have you actually read the previous posts?

    Because, if you had you'd ,be hard pressed to find anyone making those arguments, what you've done is submit a very very loosely paraphrased myopic view through the eyes of a Podiatrist with a Ph.D.

    11 pages and 300+ posts and 72 votes just on this one forum tells you that it IS an issue that us "common, garden variety Podiatrists" do wish to debate.

    Sorry Dr. M, can't agree with any of your statements.

    Common , Garden Variety Pod...:D
  26. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    Dr Menz

    Thanks for your learned contribution from the hallowed halls of academia.

    Unsurprisingly, some might say, your position on this issue would be consistent with most PhD holders I know from inside and outside of the profession.

    If only such a drawn out, lengthy and polarising debate could be solved in one post, kind sir. Dissapointingly, I feel you fell far short.

    Misunderstanding? Oh, I forgot that the "Dr knows best" attitude is still alive and kicking. Give these poor uneducated general public folk some credit. Some even got to Year 10. :rolleyes:

    Agreed. But they have much bigger fundamental problems within the philosophy of their practice that have caused their PR problems.

    As shown earlier in this thread, podiatrists are the only profession in the US (besides dentistry), that has the support of the American Medical Association regarding the use of Dr title.

    Perhaps a better question to ask is what your average GP thinks of dentists using the title - as we are all contemporarily placed as a profession in the allopathic camp with those guys.

    This has already been acknowledged repeatedly, but really is just part of the historical context to this debate now.

    So where do you sit on podiatric surgeons? A 3-5 year training program, hospital priveleges, etc etc? Enough sacrifice and scholarly effort? Perhaps not.

    Sorry to sound cynical, but your post has only re-enforced to me the absolute parallel universe that separates coal-faced clinical practice and the remote and distant ivory towers of academia.

    I think this thread can be put into the "agree to disagree" basket. :drinks

  27. jb

    jb Active Member

    I'm curious as to whether anyone's initial opinion on this issue has been changed since reading the posts contained in this thread.

    Hot air or hot potato?

  28. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    Hi LL / Everyone,

    Is "physician" a protected title in QLD or elsewhere?

  29. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    I believe it is protected for medical practitioners in QLD under the Medical Act.

    However, the title "podiatric physician" is protected by the local Podiatry Act in WA.

    Its a topsy turvey world we live in.:dizzy:

  30. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    Really, go figure !
  31. Toe Jam

    Toe Jam Active Member

    Dr Menz,

    A very interesting post and nice to see that you regard your contribution to this forum would be so highly regarded by all that it would 'put this issue to rest'.

    Prior to getting to defensive in my reply to your post - just to clarify as to whether you are inferring that your concern is that "NEW" graduate 'garden variety' Podiatrists adopting the title immediately after they graduate - in which case they have not earned the right to use the title as they should have some years of practical or academic experience first?

    If this is the case then I can see your point and maybe it is worth further discussion and elaborating on the possibility of considering some sort of tiered system of promotion to a level of acceptance of experience or achievement within the profession prior to assuming the entitlement of using the honorary title. I am not saying I agree with this but maybe it is worth exploring further.

    This so called "hard slog" for those having obtained a PhD continues to be mentioned in threads and raises the question of what constitutes a 'hard slog' and 'sacrifice'. If this is to suggest that us 'garden variety' Podiatrists have been on 'easy street' in comparison having made little or no sacrifices compared to our esteemed colleagues who 'chose' for their own reasons to undertake a PhD then accordingly I would take a great deal of offense.

    Those "garden variety" colleagues reading your thread may in fact interpret your comments this way and this potentially only further adds strength to the argument that if those within our own profession rate ourselves as lowly as you - then we we certainly need to do what ever it takes to change such a perception and if adopting a title helps this cause they should be all for it.

    Sure we cannot underestimate the contributions your efforts have made for the Podiatry profession however at the same time I take offense to the insinuation you make that others who have not achieved PhD status are not worthy given have that not done 'the hard slog' just because they went down a different path to you.

    It may also be worth re-evaluating the extent to which you consider your contribution has made towards our profession or the level with which you respect and appreciate the general and overall benefits obtained by your colleagues in the everyday aspect of treating, trialling and practical experience, voluntary involvement in groups divisional practice workshops, public health sectors etc. and treating patients on a daily level. In other words 'hands on experience'.

    I hope your slightly inflammatory comments are not wholly representative of the opinions and thoughts of those PhD holders out there in our profession who in my experience thankfully demonstrate more humility and modesty even though we may ultimately have a differing opinion on this issue.

    Another issue that continues to crop up, is the one that assumes that adopting the "Dr" title has done Chiropractors, Dentists and the like harm - can anyone provide actual evidence of this fact?

    Finally, I hope that we all appreciate and acknowledge the contributions, big or small, made for our profession and I think we should stop looking at the use of this title being reflective of the contributions, efforts or sacrifices made but rather as a reflection of our professions OVERALL expertise and role in the PROVISION OF PRIMARY FOOT HEALTH CARE and whether we all agree that as a profession we are the experts in providing such care.

    No need to see this as us vs each other. I am sure there were many Chiropractors, Dentists and so forth who have PhD's. I am not sure to what extent they felt it necessary to hold back their entire profession on the basis that they worked hard and made sacrifices where as the rest have not!

    Maybe those Podiatrists with PhD's who are that passionate about preventing others within their own profession from using the honorary title should get together with those from other professions also and collectively they should lobby all professions using the honorary title to refrain from doing so - not just their own - and that includes medical practitioners.

    So much for putting this rest - sorry!

    Take it easy guys!

    Toe Jam.
  32. Hylton Menz

    Hylton Menz Guest

    Dear colleagues,

    I've clearly underestimated how sensitive this issue is. My posting was not intended to be inflammatory.

    LuckyLisfranc said:

    Can we please debate the issue and refrain from the old "ivory tower" cliche? The core business of universities is conferring qualifications (and the titles associated with them), so surely academic staff are reasonably well-placed to comment on this?

    ToeJam said:

    I never inferred this. I do believe the issue should be put to rest, but I definitely do not think my brief contribution could achieve this. I have far less of an ego than you seem to think!

    ToeJam also said:

    I was going to use "Average Joe" podiatrist but realised it was sexist. I mean no disrespect to anyone by using the term "common, garden variety" - it was simply a way of delineating between PhD and non-PhD podiatrists (in retrospect, I should have used this nomenclature). If I caused offence, I do sincerely apologise. I have put a lot of time and effort into assisting the profession over the years with little or no direct benefit to me, so your suggestion that I rate the profession "lowly" is incorrect and offensive. My suggestion that non-PhD podiatrists should not bestow upon themselves the title of "Dr" in no way diminishes their role - without clinical podiatrists, there would be no profession.

    ToeJam said:

    I never said anyone was "not worthy"! I'm simply stating that the universally accepted justification for conferring the "Dr" title is for those who have obtained a doctorate. This should not be controversial. We all make sacrifices for our profession, but the sacrifices (and rewards) differ (in form, not magnitude) depending on the jobs we have. It just so happens that one of the rewards for doing a PhD is putting "Dr" in front of your name.

    ToeJam said:

    Ouch! This is an unwarranted personal attack made by someone hiding behind anonymity. I request that it be withdrawn and ToeJam reveal his or her true identity.

    To clarify- my personal opinion (and it is influenced by my academic background and current role, just as everyone else's opinion is) is that podiatrists without PhDs should not bestow upon themselves the title of "Dr". This does NOT mean that I have a lack of respect for clinical podiatrists or the profession, nor does it mean that I consider people with PhDs somehow superior to everyone else. Anyone who knows me well would appreciate this. The podiatry profession has come a long way simply by working hard - academically and clinically - and the level of respect we currently have is testament to this. We don't need to adopt the title of "Dr", and in fact doing so could actually be counterproductive.
  33. Toe Jam

    Toe Jam Active Member

    Dear Dr Menz,

    Thank you for taking the time to more carefully explain your position on this issue which has given a more clear understanding of exaclty where you were coming from with your post and that your intention was not to offend.:D

    While I find it difficult given the level of input and content of this forum that you would not appreciate the sensitivity of this debate prior to your inital post - I none the less understand that things can be taken out of context very easily which explains the entire basis of my reply (and others also). This would have been no where near as cynical otherwise.

    Anyway as they say 2 wrongs don't make a right - so I apologise for any offence also and by now means do I belittle your acheivments which you have every right to be proud of and our for which our profession is fortunate.

    Given your explanation I am more than happy to retract my comments as you request providing of course you understand that they were made on the basis of the content and manner in which you presented your initial comments which you have since admitted could have been worded differently.

    Apologies and have a nice day!

  34. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Toe Jam I think you will find the correct title is Associate Professor Menz, not Dr as you have been incorrectly calling him, but then again in the context of this thread it doesn't really matter does it?


    Also I think it's important to acknowledge the contributions and well thought out posts by people within this thread who are proud enough to put their name to their belief - whatever that may be.

    I applaud Julian, Adrian, Hylton and all the others who have put themselves and their beliefs on the line for the sake of their opinion.

    As others have pointed out before, it is easy to sit behind a computer screen and throw comments away without showing who you really are. It is refreshing to see comments from Podiatrists, Academics, Orthotists, Podiatric Surgical Registrars and the like who are "real" people actively involved in this debate.

    Not that it matters much, because in the end very few of us will have a hand in the final outcome, and if the Profession votes in any way like the small sample have here the decision will be over before it really gets started!
  35. posalafin

    posalafin Active Member

    Toe Jam wrote: "Another issue that continues to crop up, is the one that assumes that adopting the "Dr" title has done Chiropractors, Dentists and the like harm - can anyone provide actual evidence of this fact?"

    I don't have any evidence that adopting the title "Dr" has done them any harm but conversely nobody arguing for podiatrists adopting the title doctor has shown any evidence that it has done them any good. Several podiatrist posters here who already use the title "dr" have stated along the lines that using the title "Dr" has helped them, yet to the best of my knowledge not one of them has been able to give any specific examples of how it has benefited them, and they certainly haven't provided any evidence that it has benefited them. If you are going to introduce something that may cause harm then it is up to those wanting introduce it to provide the evidence that it is going to be beneficial.

    I think that at as a general rule the public knows who does what in the health sector, and if the public aren't aware of the podiatrists scope of practice then adopting a title isn't likely to change that, but educating them about what podiatrists can do may very well. As Hylton Menz mentioned in his post if every health care provider ends up calling themselves "Dr" then it simply diminishes, no, makes a complete mockery of the title and it will be completely meaningless.


    David Kelly
  36. Toe Jam

    Toe Jam Active Member


    Thanks for pointing out my innapproriate reference to Associate Professor Menz as "Dr" - again ignorance on my part - inadvertant none the less - but I do apologise and once again acknowldege Associate Professor Menz' qualifications and contributions to our profession as I acknoweldge the contibutions made by any member of our profession who has worked hard to obtain a Phd. Once again I state, as I have earlier, I applaud these guys immensely for their acheivements and think they should be upheld as the leaders for their academic acheivements for our profession. I am just fighting for the respect and credibility of us garden variety Podiatrists out there who without (as Hylton mentioned) there would be no profession.

    I too applaud those you mention for their stand on their issue as well as the many others (not just myself) who are involved in this forum on any capacity anonymous or otherwise.

    At least we all know where we stand on the topic what we beleive in and are not 'sitting on the fence' with this issue as with all due respect you have had a lot to say for someone who is yet to make up his mind where he sits on this topic.

    By the way I happen to notice on your website which is promoted heavily throughout this forum and the Arena (see your advertsing really works!!! ) that you refer your practice as "The Foot Spot - Podiatric Medical Centre" ,which I think is a great play on the word "Medical", I was just wondering why you felt the need to use and include the word MEDICAL in describing your practice and the services you offer in your practice LOGO. Not that it is the same as individuals assuming the honorary title of "Dr" but in a similar way I trust you thought its' unique use would add credibiltiy to your practice and the services you provide from a marketing perspective. Which by-the-way I applaud.

    It is just that it could possibly be argued that the use of the words "Medical" or "Medicine" is suggested to indicate that you are a Doctor or Medical Practitioner and could arguably be suggested to be somewhat misleading as many are arguing about the use of the "Dr" title.

    Just wondering if you have you had any feedback or comments previously - or has this been questioned before? Personally I think it is great - well done - and think that all Podiatrists engaging in any form of surgical procedures ultimately consider themselves to be working in a medical centre and should be comfortable referring to themselves a 'Podiatry physicians'.

    Also, I noticed in your personal testimony it states that you are personally responsible for "lifting the benchmark in Podiatric Medicine".

    Not to at all deny you the opportunity to promote your wonderful contributions to the profession and your acheivements however it would be safe to assume that there are many other Podiatrists, individuals, and organisations who would challenge that claim. Associate Professor Hylton Menz could indeed be one of many throughout Australia and the world.

    Cheers and have a great weekend everyone - I am off for lovely walk along the beach!!

  37. Toe Jam

    Toe Jam Active Member

    Thanks David,

    Point taken - so essentially we agree that we can't argue either way if the title's use is good or bad for the profession based on any actual evidence - just opinion. Which is fair enough.

    I disagree that the title will become meaningless - but I can see where you and Hylton are coming from.

    Though it does raise the question, as to where it would leave Podiatry and it's perception in community arena should all the other professions - who have been mentioned and are considering adopting the honorary title actually do so - and we are one of the few that don't?

    Does that suggest to the public that our profession has not reached a stage of credibility and self belief as to where we are considered to be placed as specialists in foot care?

    I keep going back to the fact that those more researched and in the system like yourself can make good arguments against its' us and what it all means etc etc. However I can gaurantee you that the overwhelming majority of the general public rightly or wrongly simply associate the title with being a medical specialist in their particular field and I can't see this ever changing.

    I just don't think we can afford to ignore or overlook the potential ramifications this can have on our profession - which is why healthy debate and discussions like these are good!

  38. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Sorry TOE JAM - I know exactly where I stand on the topic - its just that venting my frustration in this forum will get me no where so I choose not to take sides. Rather I take both sides of the argument into context and like to discuss the pro's and con's of each. If I had my way, undergraduate and post graduate education along with legislation would change to reflect better what PODIATRISTS actually do. That's why I freely give and have given my time as a director/committee member/adviser to the state registration boards, Podiatry Associations, and state health ministers office. SO lets not confuse what "I WOULD LIKE TO HAPPEN" with what actually "WILL HAPPEN and is ACHIEVABLE". They are too separate things.

    My practice website is not posted ONCE on these forums. You must be referring to the EDUCATION site for health professionals which is advertised heavily (thanks for noticing - advertising is a great thing and we are happy to support Podiatry Arena in that way). The education site is for continuing education of health professionals - from Podiatrists, to GP's, to Nurses, to Chiropractors, and Physio's. All are welcome! Email me TOE JAM and I will give you a FREE PROMO CODE to join - i'd love your input on the site!

    I assume this means that you actually know me personally - so we are getting closer to knowing who the person behind the name actually is. Maybe it is the same person DaFlip the renound Sports Podiatrist was who has magically vanished on these boards. C'mon lets not hide behind names - show your real colours so the world can see who is making comment. Anonymity is one thing, hiding behind it is another.

    Fair point - my lawyers argue otherwise suggesting that the term PODIATRIC MEDICAL CENTRE indicates I am a PODIATRIST, just as the degree at UWA is a Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine. Just as one of the units I used to teach at UWS was PODIATRIC MEDICINE. Personally I feel that name reflects what I do. Its not illegal, breaches no laws, abides by state laws and is something we as a practice are proud of.

    More importantly it still promotes the word PODIATRY - which is something the DR title does not do.

    We have only had positive comments regarding our practice. Our marketing team and the practice manager deserve a great deal of praise for their efforts. I am merely a Podiatrist and focus on fixing feet - I don't have a large hand in the business side of things.

    Regarding my personal profile - I didn't write it however it is important as a clinician to publicly show your involvement with things within your profession. I am proud of what I have achieved and happy to have that written about me.

    I don't really understand your last point - it doesn't really make any sense. I personally know and have worked with Hylton in the past and present and he has never challenged any claims I may have made. In fact I have worked with some of the finest Academics in the world and all have been extremely gracious towards Podiatry, Podiatrists and the entire gammet of Podiatric Medicine. So I am not quite sure what you mean exactly.
  39. ja99

    ja99 Active Member

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  40. posalafin

    posalafin Active Member

    Julian maybe you are just making the assumption that Dr Perlman's reputation was as it was because he used the title "Dr". Maybe the reason why his patients held him in such high esteem was because he had exceptionally good clinical skills, or maybe he was just a really nice person who was able to communicate well with his patients, or more likely it was a combination of both of these attributes i.e. a good communicator and a good clinician. I suspect that even if Dr Perlman hadn't used the title "Dr" his patients would still have thought as highly of him even as "just a podiatrist".

    I don't really care what other health practitioners think of podiatrists but I do care about people bestowing upon themselves titles that they are not deserving of whether they be medical practitioners, dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, podiatrists etc etc. If people want to earn a title then they should do what it entails to rightly deserve that title. To bestow upon oneself a title is really only conning oneself and the community. And while medical practitioners have got away with it they had the advantage of adopting the title a century or more ago when they were generally reveered within the community and held in very high esteem, so the public at the time probably thought they were deserving of it. I think the public are a lot more educated (and sceptical) nowadays and can see when they are being conned. Personally, I don't think that the community will be quite as accepting of any Tom, Dick, Harry, Mary or whoever with any sort of 'health qualification' bestowing upon themselves the title of "Dr".

    David Kelly

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