Why Didn’t I Become a “Real Doctor”?

Why didn’t I become a real Doctor? This has become a question that makes me smile. The truth is, it didn’t always have that effect on me. Most of my colleagues are offended, even angered, and become defensive when they hear the snippy derivative, “You’re not a real Doctor.”

It all changed for me at a business mixer about 12 years ago, as an unfamiliar business man in his early thirties approached our eclectic and diverse group.

Typically one person facilitates the introductions. Introducing me to the newest member, “This is Dr. Joseph Joly, from Joly Chiropractic”. DD amiably introduced himself, “DD from Derrick Davis Mortgage. Hi… You know (semi- nose snarl). I’ve never considered Chiropractors to be real doctors.” It was just as the rest of the group began to lean in (reminiscent of those days at MacGregor Jr High, when somebody would break out on me with “Yo Momma” jokes) that I decided against doing the right thing, which would’ve been a polite smile followed by “Hey DD, May I have your business card?” . . . Instead, I politely asked this, “What was your name again?” “Derrick Davis.” He answered. With my finger tapping my chin as I searched the recesses of my mind, I responded, “Well that explains why your name isn’t on my diploma or CA license.”

A doctorate is a level of education. It doesn’t permit anyone to treat patients. It is individual states that issue the license to permit the practice of medicine, dentistry, and chiropractic. The state requires a doctorate in order to apply for a license and the exam must be passed to be permitted to serve humanity in this capacity.

Here’s a comparison of the educational requirement for doctors of Chiropractic and Medical doctors.

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