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Use Of 'Doktor' Verboten

Stefan Tilkov,

The Washington Post reports:

Americans with PhDs beware: Telling people in Germany that you're a doctor could land you in jail.

I'm not entirely sure whether this is sad or funny.

[via Language Log]

On March 18, 2008 11:13 PM, Martin Seebach said:

I thought in Germany, holders of masters degrees are Doktors?

On March 19, 2008 12:19 AM, Michael Schuerig said:

This is a clear case for classic ternary logic: When you can’t decide whether it is good or bad it is certainly ugly.

On March 19, 2008 7:30 AM, Stefan Tilkov Author Profile Page said:

@Martin: No, you have to write a dissertation which - depending on the field - can take you several years in addition to (the rough equivalent of) a Master’s degree.

On March 19, 2008 10:21 AM, Anonymous said:

At least according to the newsmagazin Spiegel this is no longer true. In its issue 11/10.03.08, p.68 it writes that US citizens with a Ph.D. may use “Dr” as a title.

On March 20, 2008 11:52 AM, Ulrich said:

I think you clearly have to differentiate between Berufsdoktorat (professional degrees)and Forschungsdoktorat (research degree). A US M.D. (doctor of medicine) is equivalent to a medizinisches Staatsexamen, but NOT a German doctor of medicine (Dr. Med.), which need dissertation. For Forschungsdoktorat (research degree) you can choose which title you want to hold in Germany (either Ph.D. or Dr.) but not both!.

Secondly you need to proof “equivalence of graduation”. Which is given for graduations granted from research universities (based on Carnegie-Foundation classification scheme). Ph.D Graduations from other intituation are highly questionable.

On March 20, 2008 12:01 PM, Stefan Tilkov Author Profile Page said:

Thanks Ulrich — now I have a headache …