Friday, June 12, 2009

Is there a Doctor in the House?

THis morning I am mildly amused for a Friday having spotted the following motion tabled in Parliament tabled by a Labour MP and supported by three Labour colleagues so far, which at first glance is merely having a pop at alternative medicine quacks, but then calls on the Government to "protect the title of doctor for British Medical Association registered and suitably qualified practitioners".

I'm amused you see because I took the liberty of having a look at which MPs use the title Dr on the Parliamentary website and then had a look at who was, and who was not a "propa" doctor in line with the motion.There are 24 MPs that use the title, of which only six would be allowed to use their title if such a protection was introduced. However, something tells me the following 18 people won't be signing the motion anytime soon.
  • Dr Roger Berry (Lab) Economics
  • Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Lab) Sociology
  • Dr Hywel Francis (Lab) History
  • Dr Kim Howells (Lab) Politics
  • Dr Brian Iddon (Lab) Organic Chemistry
  • Dr Ashok Kumar (Lab) Fluid Mechanics
  • Dr Stephen Ladyman (Lab) Isotopic Soil Development (hahahaha!)
  • Dr Nick Palmer (Lab) Mathematics
  • Dr Phyllis Starkey (Lab) Biochemistry
  • Dr Desmond Turner (Lab) Biochemistry
  • Dr Rudi Vis (Lab) Economics
  • Dr Alan Whitehead (Lab) Political Science
  • Dr Tony Wright (Lab) Politics
  • Dr Doug Naysmith (Lab) Biomedical Science
  • Dr Vince Cable (LD) Economics
  • Dr John Pugh (LD) Philosophy/Theology
  • Dr Julian Lewis (Con) Strategic Studies
  • Dr William McCrea (DU) Reverend
Having said that, perhaps these will sign it?

  • Dr Howard Stoate (Lab) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Andrew Murrison (Con) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Liam Fox (Con) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Evan Harris (LD) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) "Propa" Doctor
  • Dr Richard Taylor (Ind) "Propa" Doctor
Quite interesting I though that the majority of "non-propa" doctors that use the title Dr are Labour politicians. I've never quite understood why anyone that wasn't a medical doctor would use the title rather than shoving DPhil or PhD on the end of the name instead (see update below for further aside on this).

Still, I do find it highly amusing that a motion seemingly intended to show concern about quack snake oil salesman would inadvertently have a pop at a large number of (intellectually up their own backsides) MPs.

I left John Reid out because he stopped using the title when he was Health Secretary because some suggested it was misleading.

Update: For those of you who may be thinking I am saying that the above list of of 18 cannot use the title "Dr" I am not. I referred to "propa" and "non-propa" in quotes for a reason because it relates to argument in the motion in comparison to MPs who would be subject to it also if the Government did what it called for. Hence the bit that says I looked to see "who was not a "propa" doctor in line with the motion.

As an aside though, I personally wouldn't use the title if I had a doctorate in something other than medicine, simply because then when I introduced myself people wouldn't ask me to look at their dodgy knee etc etc.

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