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Pa. To Issue ID’s For Medical Personnel

HARRISBURG (CBS) – There’s a hearing scheduled in Harrisburg this week to begin the process of creating state-approved ID’s for medical personnel.

When the question is asked, ‘Is there a doctor in the house?,’ it is usually expected that a D.O. or M.D. will answer and not a PhD.

Scott Chadwick, vice president of government affairs at the Pennsylvania Medical Society, said a law passed last year recognizes that a lot of people in medicine have doctorates but not all are physicians. “You might see a non-physician health care provider with a white lab coat that says Dr. Jones or Dr. Smith and to the public they’ll think that’s a physician,” Chadwick said, “but it might be someone with a doctorate in nursing or some other non-physician speciality.”

The badge is likely to include a photo, name, title, and the type of license or certification its bearer holds. Hospitals, which largely already do this, have been given extra time to comply with the State guidelines.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio

More from John Ostapkovich
  • Patient Perspective

    PhD RN. The term doctor in a health care setting is associated most often with an MD or a DO. For the sake of the public, let’s not confuse them. In academic settings, I think it’s ok for you to call yourself a doctor. Justs don’t do it when you come walking into my hospital room.

    PS I’m not a doctor in any way, and I’m not a nurse. I’m a patient.

  • PhD, RN

    Oh please forgive me for having a PhD, RN and responding to the title ‘Doctor’! For the uninformed, the title of doctor describes a professional who has earned one of the highest academic degrees conferred by a university. It does not describe any specific discipline (i.e., English, Biochemistry, Nursing, Psychology, etc.) but do require the completion of a research-based dissertation. On the other hand, an M.D.and a D.O. are professional degrees…ones that usually do not require the completion of a research thesis.

    Therefore, physicians do not hold ownership of the title ‘doctor’….far from it. The title doctor comes from the Latin (docere – to teach) and was used for thousands of years as a reference to learned teachers and theologians, most notably the Doctors in the early Roman Catholic Church (i.e., the Apostles, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, etc). So, forgive me members of the medical profession if I do not bow in homage…You do not “OWN” the title of “Doctor.” Each individual who holds the title PhD is no more or no less of a Doctor than any medicine man who has earned an MD or DO. SO, GET OVER IT!!!!

    If you are really concerned about protecting your patients and assuring high quality patient care, then consider working as a team player among health care professionals whose combined talents, skills, educational preparation and experience lead to better patient outcomes. Rather than ‘pouting in the corner’ and having your over-paid lobbyists push for legislation to protect your so-called title, why not work at promoting better relationships with the professional nurses who provide the quality bedside care for your patients?

    Incidentally, the term GOD refers to the Supreme Being….it is not interchangeable with the designation “medical doctor.” Is there any chance that Scott Chadwick would consider challenging Him for inappropriate use of his title, too? Then again, a profession composed primarily of women is so much easier to attack….but, I digress…

    PS: What do you do with those nurses who complete medical school? Now there is a real conundrum….I’ll bet you don’t try stepping on their toes!

  • State to approve new medical personnel badges | HealthPoint PA

    […] scheduled in Harrisburg this week to begin the process of creating state-approved ID’s for medical […]

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