Friday, February 26, 2010

Doctor: What’s in a name?

In an attempt to unify the caring professions in Australia an all out battle has ensued between medics and chiropractors and podiatrists over use of the titles ''doctor'' and ''surgeon.'' A new national register of health professional boards is about to commence in July and the Australian Medical Association has insisted non- medically trained therapists do not use the term ‘doctor.’The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has similarly demanded self-styled podiatric surgeons delete the word surgeon when they register. The Medical Board of Australia uphold the belief no one should be able to use the title ''surgeon'' until they had completed a medical or dental degree and gained thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology and pharmacology. The establishment of a national register is a safeguard to the public, enabling consumers to check a practitioner's credentials and prevent unqualified operators passing themselves off as specialists. Appears the titles ''Doctor'' and ''surgeon'' are not specified in the list of recognised specialties and hence the confusion.

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