Doctoring vs Vetting (written Aug 2015)


From the 5th of March 2015 vets are allowed to use the title Doctor or Dr in front of their name as long as they also add 'veterinary surgeon' or MRCVS (Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). This is to align the UK veterinary degree with other nations.

I have always found it rather intriguing that in the English language the verb vetting means to investigate (someone) thoroughly, especially in order to ensure that they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty, or trustworthiness. Whilst the verb doctoring means to change the content or appearance of (a document or picture) in order to deceive, falsify, interfere with or manipulate. I also find it interesting when doctors become Surgeons they also becomes Mr/s again. Recently I found out that if a Doctor (medical to be specific) gets struck off by the GMC (General Medical Council) they do not lose the title Dr, but they must not imply that they are in practice.

Is it a benefit for clients that vets can call themselves Dr? I think the great British public are quite relaxed about it. I think if you work abroad it will be helpful since all your colleagues will hold the title Dr. Interestingly during the RCVS consultation on the matter, veterinary nurses were the group that disliked the idea the most. Maybe they think vets are big headed enough!

Talking about titles, I read in the paper that we can all now use the title Mx, this is gender neutral and marital neutral. I do wonder if there is any point in it at all as if we all use it it would become rather irrelevant. 

Will I start to use the title? I think I will save it for angry letters to insurance companies.

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