Friday, February 3, 2012

Doctor (title)

Doctor, as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning.[1] The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre (Latin pronunciation: [dɔk'e:rɛ], 'to teach'). It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread to the Americas, former European colonies, and is now prevalent in most of the world. Abbreviated "Dr" or "Dr.", it is used as a designation for a person who has obtained a doctorate-level degree. Doctorates may be research doctorates or professional doctorates. When addressing several people, each of whom holds a doctoral title, one may use the plural abbreviation "Drs." or in some languages (for example, German) "Dres." may be used, for example, instead of Dr. Miller and Dr. Rubinstein: Drs. Miller and Rubinstein. When referring to relatives with the same surname the form "The Doctors Smith" can be used. The plural abbreviation Drs. can also mean doctorandus, a Dutch academic title.


The doctorate (Latin: doceō, I teach) appeared in medieval Europe as a license to teach (Latin: licentia docendi) at a medieval university.[2] Its roots can be traced to the early church when the term "doctor" referred to the Apostles, church fathers and other Christian authorities who taught and interpreted the Bible.[2] The right to grant a licentia docendi was originally reserved to the church which required the applicant to pass a test, to take oath of allegiance and pay a fee. The Third Council of the Lateran of 1179 guaranteed the access – now largely free of charge – of all able applicants, who were, however, still tested for aptitude by the ecclesiastic scholastic.[3] This right remained a bone of contention between the church authorities and the slowly emancipating universities, but was granted by the pope to the University of Paris in 1213 where it became a universal license to teach (licentia ubiquie docendi).[3] However, while the licentia continued to hold a higher prestige than the bachelor's degree (Baccalaureus), it was ultimately reduced to a intermediate step to the Magister and doctorate, both of which now became the exclusive qualification for teaching.[3]
The first academic degrees were all law degrees, and the first law degrees were doctorates. The foundations for the first European universities were the glossators of the 11th century, which were schools of law that taught Canon law and Roman law.[4] The first European university, the University of Bologna, was founded as a school of law by four famous legal scholars in the 12th century who were students of the glossator school in Bologna. It is from this history that it is said that the first academic title of doctor applied to scholars of law. The degree and title were not applied to scholars of other disciplines until the 13th century.[5] At the University of Bologna, from its founding in the 12th century until the end of the 20th century, the only degree conferred was the doctorate, usually earned after five years of intensive study after secondary school. The rising of the doctor of philosophy to its present level is a modern novelty.[6] At its origins, a doctorate was simply a qualification for a guild—that of teaching law.[7]
The earliest doctoral degrees (theology, law, and medicine) reflected the historical separation of all university study into these three fields. Over time the D.D. has gradually become less common and studies outside theology and medicine have become more common (such studies were then called "philosophy", but are now classified as sciences and humanities - however this usage survives in the degree of Doctor of Philosophy).

[edit] Doctor as a noun

Throughout much of the academic world, the term "doctor" refers to an individual who has earned a degree of Doctor of Philosophy, or Ph.D. (an abbreviation for the Latin Philosophiæ Doctor; or alternatively Doctor philosophiæ, D.Phil., meaning Teacher of Philosophy), or other research doctorate such as the Doctor of Science, or Sc.D. (an abbreviation of the Latin Scientiae Doctor). Beyond academia and in the classical professions, such as law and medicine, professional doctorates emerged such as the Juris Doctor J.D., Doctor of Medicine M.D. (an abbreviation of the Latin Medicinæ Doctor), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine D.O., Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.), and as a courtesy since the 14th century (though in the UK prohibited by section 49(1) of the Medical Act 1983 List of Privy Council Orders) Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery MBBS, MBChB, MB, BCh, etc. (an abbreviation of the Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus et Baccalaureus Chirurgiae), BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), and BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine).
The Ph.D. was originally a degree granted by a university to learned individuals who had achieved the approval of their peers and who had demonstrated a long and productive career in the field of philosophy. The appellation of "Doctor" (from Latin: teacher) was usually awarded only when the individual was in middle age. It indicated a life dedicated to learning, to knowledge, and to the spread of knowledge.
The Ph.D. entered widespread use in the 19th century at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin as a degree to be granted to someone who had undertaken original research in the sciences or humanities. From there it spread to the United States, arriving at Yale University in 1861, and then to the United Kingdom in 1921. This displaced the existing Doctor of Philosophy degree in some Universities; for instance, the D.Phil. (higher doctorate in the faculty of philosophy) at the University of St Andrews was discontinued and replaced with the Ph.D. (research doctorate). However, some UK universities such as Oxford and Sussex (and, until recently, York) retain the D.Phil. appellation for their research degrees, as, until recently, did the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
In the US, the Doctor of Science, Sc.D., is an academic research degree that was first conferred in North America by Harvard University in 1872, and is relatively rarer than the Ph.D. However, the Sc.D. degree has long been awarded by leading institutions such as Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, and so on. At many of these universities, the academic requirements for the Ph.D. and Sc.D. are identical, and with identical doctoral academic regalia (though the Sc.D. hood is gold to represent Science rather than Ph.D. blue). In an effort to standardize doctoral degree conferral at these large research institutions, the Ph.D. has replaced and grandfathered the Sc.D. in certain programs, while the Sc.D. is preserved in parallel to the Ph.D. as the highest conferred research doctorate.

[edit] Healthcare

Healthcare professions such as chiropractic, clinical psychology, dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine use the title doctor professionally.
In the United States, those training to become physicians complete a four-year undergraduate course of study, followed by a four-year graduate program in medicine to earn either the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree or the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Those training to become dentists, optometrists or chiropractors also complete a four-year undergraduate course of study, followed by a four-year post-graduate program to earn the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), or Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), degrees, or Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD), respectively. Some programs offer programs with 2 pre-professional years followed by 4 professional years, while others require a 4 year undergraduate/ bachelor's degree. Doctors of Physical Therapy complete a four-year undergraduate course of study, followed by a three plus year graduate program to earn the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).
In the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries, those training for the medical profession complete either a 5-6 year course of study or an accelerated 4-year graduate entry course of study that leads to the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS or MBChB, standing for the Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus et Chirurgiae Baccalaureus).[8] The higher postgraduate degree of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) is reserved for those who can prove a particular distinction in the field, usually through a body of published work or the submission of a dissertation.[9] To be eligible for a MD degree in the UK one must already hold an entry level medical degree (for example, MBBS, MBChB, BMed, or a North American MD degree) and usually must have had at least 5 years of post graduate training and experience. In guidance issued by Who's Who published by A & C Black,[10] it is noted that in the context of the UK, "not all qualified medical practitioner hold the (M.D.) degree" but that "those ... who have not taken it are addressed as if they had." A & C Black also note that British surgeons - a designation reserved for those who have obtained membership of the Royal College of Surgeons - are addressed as Mr, Mrs or Miss rather than Dr. This custom has been commented on in the British Medical Journal and may stem from the historical origins of the profession.[11] Those training to become dentists usually graduate with a dental degree (for example, BDS, BDent, BDentSc, BChD, and so on) and are also referred to as "doctor". In the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on January 19, 1996, health minister Gerald Malone noted that the title doctor had never been restricted to either medical practitioners or those with doctoral degrees in the UK, commenting that the word was defined by common usage but that the titles "physician, doctor of medicine, licentiate in medicine and surgery, bachelor of medicine, surgeon, general practitioner and apothecary" did have special protection in law.[12]
In India, the MBBS (graduate entry) medical degree is required to become a doctor. The higher postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) is required to become a specialist in a particular field.
In German language-speaking countries, the word Doktor always refers to a research doctorate awardee, and is distinct from Arzt, a medical practitioner.
In the Dutch language the word "dokter" refers to a physician, whereas "doctor" refers to high academic rank.
Hong Kong follows British practice in calling physicians "Doctor" even though many of them hold only an MBBS qualification. An attempt by their professional body to prevent chiropractors from calling themselves "Doctor" failed in the courts, in part because it was pointed out that practicing chiropractic physicians hold a doctorate in their discipline, and it would be anomalous to prevent them using the title when holders of doctorates in non-medical disciplines faced no such restriction.

[edit] Legal profession

Historically, lawyers in most European countries were addressed with the title of doctor, and countries outside of Europe have generally followed the practice of the European country which had policy influence through modernization or colonialization. The first university degrees, starting with the law school of the University of Bologna (or glossators) in the 11th century, were all law degrees and doctorates.[13] Degrees in other fields were not granted until the 13th century, but the doctorate continued to be the only degree offered at many of the old universities up until the 20th century. As a result, in many of the southern European countries, including Portugal, Spain and Italy,[14] lawyers have traditionally been addressed as “doctor,” a practice which was transferred to many countries in South America[15] (as well as Macau in China).[16]
The title of doctor has not customarily been used to address lawyers in England or other common law countries because until 1846 lawyers in England were not required to have a university degree and were trained by other attorneys by apprenticeship or in the Inns of Court.[17] The exception being those areas where, up to the 19th century, civil law rather than common law was the governing tradition, including admiralty law, probate and ecclesiastical law, such cases were heard in the Doctor's Commons, and argued by advocates who held degrees either of doctor of civil law at Oxford or doctor of law at Cambridge. As such, lawyers practicing common law in England were not doctoral candidates and had not earned the doctorate level degree. When university degrees became a prerequisite to become a lawyer in England, the degree awarded was the undergraduate LL.B.
Though lawyers in the United States do not customarily use such a title, the law degree in that country is the Juris Doctor, a professional doctorate degree,[18] and some J.D. holders in the United States use the title of doctor in professional[19] and academic situations.[20]
In countries where holders of the first law degree traditionally use the title of doctor (for example, Peru, Brazil, Macau, Portugal, Argentina, and Italy),[21] J.D. holders who are attorneys may use the title of doctor in advertisements in Spanish.[22]

[edit] Worldwide usage

[edit] Austria

In Austria, the title "Doktor" is granted to physicians and dentists (Dr. med. univ. and Dr. med. dent., which are technically not "doctorate degrees") as well as to holders of postgraduate research degrees (Dr. techn., Dr. phil., Dr. rer. nat., etc.).[23] They are addressed as "Doktor ______", and the title is usually abbreviated to "Dr. ______". Contrary to popular belief, "Dr." is not part of the name but just an academic title like "Mag." or "Dipl.-Ing.". It is not mandatory to use the title, although it can be added to official documents (driver's license, passport, etc.), if desired.

[edit] Commonwealth countries

In the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other areas whose cultures were recently linked to the UK, the title Doctor generally applies in both the academic and clinical fields. "Registered medical practitioners" hold the degree of Bachelor of Medicine (usually also with surgery). Cultural conventions exist, clinicians who are Members or Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons are an exception. As a homage to their predecessors, the barber surgeons, they prefer to be addressed as Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss, even if they do hold a medical degree. When a medical doctor passes the examinations which enable them to become a member of one or more of the Royal Surgical Colleges and become "MRCS", it is customary for them to drop the "Doctor" prefix and take up "Miss", "Mister", or and so on. This rule applies to any doctor of any grade who has passed the appropriate exams, and is not the exclusive province of consultant-level surgeons. In recent times, other surgically-orientated specialists, such as gynaecologists, have also adopted these prefixes. A surgeon who is also a professor is usually known as "Professor" and, similarly, a surgeon who has been ennobled, knighted, created a baronet or appointed a dame uses the corresponding title (Lord, Sir, Dame). Physicians, on the other hand, when they pass their "MRCP" examinations, which enable them to become members of the Royal College of Physicians, do not drop the "Doctor" prefix and remain Doctor, even when they are consultants. In the United Kingdom the status and rank of consultant surgeons with the MRCS, titled "Mister", etc., and consultant physicians with the MRCP, titled "Doctor", is identical. Surgeons in the USA and elsewhere continue to use the title "Doctor", although New Zealand uses the titles of Mr and Doctor, in the same way as the United Kingdom.
In the UK, an equivalent formation to a doctorate is the NVQ 5 or QCF 8.[24] However, an NVQ 5 is less work than a doctorate and such a person is not allowed to use the prefix "Dr."
With the introduction of National Health Practitioner registration legislation on July 1, 2010, the title "doctor" is not restricted in any Australian state. The title "medical practitioner" is restricted for use by registered medical practitioners, while the title "doctor" is not restricted by law.[25]
Canada lies somewhere between British and American usage of the degree and terminology of "doctor". Research doctorates - PhDs and ScDs - are entitled to use the title "doctor". In medicine, all medical practitioners trained in Canada receive the MD degree (or MDCM in the case of graduates of McGill University) and are referred to as "Doctor". The British use of "Mr", "Mrs", and so on for surgeons is not followed in Canada. In the legal profession, graduates of almost all Canadian law schools receive the LLB degree and are not referred to as "doctor" (in a growing number of Canadian law schools the degree of Juris Doctor is conferred, but the title is not used in practice). Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Chiropractic and Law (as well as other first professional degree programs) are generally considered, in Canada, to be a specialized professional undergraduate program. Practitioners in veterinary medicine, optometry and dentistry have doctorate degrees and are very commonly referred to with the title "Dr" preceding the specific name, but not referred to as "a doctor". Practitioners of podiatry and alternative medicine may not be referred to with the "Dr" honorific in relation to providing the public with health care services. In Ontario, only chiropractors, dentists, medical doctors, optometrists and psychologists can use the title "doctor".[26] A registered naturopathic doctor may only use the title “doctor” in written format if he or she also uses the phrase, "naturopathic doctor" immediately following his or her name.

[edit] European Union

Double doctorates are indicated in the title by "Dr. Dr." or "DDr." and triple doctorates as "Dr. Dr. Dr." or "DDDr.". More doctorates are indicated by the addition of "mult.", such as "Dr. mult.". Honorary titles are shown with the addition of "h.c.", which stands for "honoris causa". Example: "Dr. h.c. mult."
European Union (EU) legislation recognises academic qualifications (including higher degrees and doctorates) of all member states. In Germany, a recent federal law (signed by all Cultural and Educational Ministers in accord with the EU law) confirmed the standardisation of qualifications. Until this Federal Law was introduced, there was no recognised mechanism to prevent administrators in private bodies and civil servants in public-funded bodies (such as universities) from automatically discriminating between the qualifications of people with German doctorates compared to holders of doctorates from an EU member state. The German university bureaucratic practice of using the post-nominal form, "Ph.D." (or equivalent), to distinguish non-German doctorates can be challenged legally as evidence of arbitrary discrimination and prejudice against non-German nationals (academics). All EU citizens are now "legally entitled" to use and be titled (addressed) as "Doctor" or "Dr." in all formal, legal and published communications (provided they do in fact hold the appropriate degree). For academics with doctorates from non-EU member states, the qualification must be recognised formally ("validated") by the Federal Educational Ministry in Bonn. The recognition process can be done by the employer or employee and may be part of the official bureaucracy for confirming professional status and is dependent on individual bilateral agreements between Germany and other countries.
An example of mutual recognition of Doctor titles among EU countries is the "Bonn Agreement of November 14, 1994", signed between Germany and Spain.[27]

[edit] Finland

In Finland, the term tohtori/doktor is applied only to holders of the postgraduate research doctor's degree. The most common is filosofian tohtori/filosofie doktor (Doctor of Philosophy), but more specializations are used than in English (for example, tekniikan tohtori/teknologie doktor "Doctor of Science in Technology"). The degree requisite for a physician's or dentist's license is called Licentiate of Medicine or Dentistry (lääketieteen/hammaslääketieteen lisensiaatti medicine/odontologie licentiat). The degree lääketieteen tohtori/medecine doktor is the postgraduate "professor's degree". However, in rustic or old-fashioned unofficial usage, tohtori/doktor might refer to physicians also.

[edit] France

In France, the title of Docteur is only used in the current language for physicians, dentists, veterinarians and pharmacists. Confusingly, the professionals from these medical domains do not hold a doctorate, which is in France only a research doctorate, but a "State Diploma of Doctor". The holders of a doctorate are only rarely referred to as "Doctors", especially by the people who are themselves from an academic environment.[citation needed]

[edit] Germany

In Germany, the most common doctoral degrees are Dr. med. (medicine), Dr. med. dent. (dentistry), Dr. med. vet. (veterinary medicine), Dr. rer. nat. (natural sciences), Dr. phil. (philosophy and many other subjects), Dr. iur. (law), Dr. oec. (economy), Dr. rer. pol. (political sciences), Dr.-Ing. (engineering), and Dr. theol. (theology). All holders of doctorate degrees are appropriately addressed as "Herr/Frau Dr. _____" in all social situations. In professional situations, PhDs are recognized under the condition that the degree was granted by a university authorized to grant the degree according to the laws of the country of origin. Holders of PhDs granted in the E.U. can be addressed as "Dr." in Germany without any further addenda. According to a decision by The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany of September 21, 2001, in the version from May 15, 2008, this also applies to PhDs that were awarded in Australia, Israel, Japan, or Canada. PhDs that were awarded in the United States are recognized if the awarding institution is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "Research University (high research activity)" or as a "Research University (very high research activity)." Different conditions apply for professional degrees such as the M.D. or J.D.[28]

[edit] Greece

In Greece, the term "Doctor" (Δόκτωρ, Δρ.) (pron. doktōr) is used to formally address both holders of a doctorate degree and physicians. The title "Διδάκτωρ" (didaktōr) is used to reference holders of a doctorate degree, while the term "Ιατρός" (iatros) is used for physicians of any specialty.

[edit] Hungary

[edit] Dr as part of the name

In Hungary the title of Doctor used to become a part of the name and was added as such to personal ID documents. This practice is still common and graduates after receiving their "diploma" would usually change their personal documents in order to officially indicate the achievement.

[edit] Requirements for the doctor title

Graduates of the 6 year medical schools, the 5 year law schools and the 5 year veterinary medical schools receive the doctor title at the end of their studies. Completing a PhD research programme also leads to the doctor title. A large part of Hungarians with doctor titles received their titles for research in the old academic system before introducing PhD in Hungary. Recently pharmacists have obtained the right to use the title "Dr" after successfully completed the faculty of pharmaceutical-chemistry in relevant universities.

[edit] Italy

The first university of Western civilization, the University of Bologna, is located in Italy, where until modern times the only degree granted was that of the doctorate,[4] and all other Italian universities followed that model. During the 20th century Italian universities introduced more advanced research degrees, such as the Ph.D., and now that it is part of the E.U. Bologna Process, a new 3-year first degree, or “laurea breve o triennale” (equivalent to a B.A. of other countries), has been introduced. The old-style "laurea" is now known as "laurea specialistica o magistrale" (master or specialistic degree, equivalent of a master's degree). For historical reasons, even to this day, the title of "dottore/dottoressa" (abbrev. both as dott/dott.ssa or as dr./dr.ssa [29] ) is awarded even to those who have attended a "laurea breve o triennale". Upper levels of degree are anyway shown in the title, as those who obtain a master's degree can be referred as "dottore/dottoressa magistrale" (masterly doctor) while those who achieve the relatively new program of "dottorato di ricerca" (research doctorate, equivalent of a Ph.D.), carry the title of "dottore/dottoressa di ricerca" (research doctor), which can be abbreviated as "Dott. Ric." or "Ph.D." [30]

[edit] The Philippines

In the Philippines, titles and names of occupations usually follow Spanish naming conventions which utilise gender-specific terms. "Doktór" is the masculine form, which retains the abbreviation Dr.; the feminine form is "Doktóra", and is abbreviated usually as "Dra."; others, however, some being Anglophones who wish to sound modern and Westernised (or were raised in an almost exclusively English-speaking family environment), or some who advocate gender equality, would dispense with the distinction altogether. There does exist in Filipino an equivalent, gender-neutral term for the professional that carries the more general notion of "healer", traditional (for example, an albuláryo) or otherwise: manggagámot.

[edit] Portugal

In Portugal, up to recent times after the completion of an undergraduate degree - except in architecture and engineering - a person was referred to as doutor (Dr.) - male or doutora (Dra.) - female. The architects and engineers were referred by their professional titles: arquitecto (Arq.) and engenheiro (Eng.).
Nowadays Portugal is a signatory to the Bologna process and according to the current legislation the title of doctor (doutor, doutora) is reserved for graduate holders of an academic doctorate.[31] Physicians, graduates in medicine, are usually referred to by the title Dr. (doutor) even if they have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
However, custom gives the legislation little strength and all graduates keep their titles, and those with a doctorate are referred as Professor Doutor.

[edit] Spain

The social standing of Doctors in Spain is evidenced by the fact that only Ph.D. holders, Grandees and Dukes can take seat and cover their heads in the presence of the King.[32]
Ph.D. Degrees are regulated by Royal Decree (R.D. 1393/2007),[33] Real Decreto (in Spanish). They are granted by the University on behalf of the King, and its Diploma has the force of a public document. The Ministry of Science keeps a National Registry of Ph.D.s called TESEO.[34] Any person who uses the Spanish title of "Doctor" (or "Dr.") without being included in this Government database can be prosecuted for fraud.
Unlike other countries, Spain registers a comparatively small number of Doctor degree holders. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), less than 5% of M.Sc. degree holders are admitted to Ph.D. programs[citation needed]. This reinforces the prestige that Doctors enjoy in Spain's society.

[edit] Thailand

The usage of Doctor (ดอกเตอร์) or Dr (ดร.) has been borrowed from English. It can be seen as a title in academic circles and in the mass media. In contrast to other academic titles (Professor, Associate Professor and Assistance Professor), the use of Doctor as a title has not been recognized by the Royal Institute of Thailand. Therefore, this title, in theory, cannot be used officially. For example, in court of justice where strictly formal Thai language is used, Dr cannot be mentioned as a person's title.

[edit] United States

In the United States, the title Doctor is commonly used professionally by those who have earned a doctorate-level degree, though those with earned Phds are educationally qualified for the title.[35][36][37][38] In addition, those who have been granted honorary doctorates are entitled to do so, especially in academic settings. The title is also commonly used socially by those holding a doctoral-level degree.[39] There is a division between Letitia Baldridge and Miss Manners on its social usage by those who are not physicians.[40] Baldridge sees this usage as acceptable; Miss Manners writes that "only people of the medical profession correctly use the title of doctor socially," but supports those who wish to use it in social contexts in the spirit of addressing people according to their wishes.[40][41]
The American College of Clinicians and at least one state[42] recommends that health care professionals, including physicians, in the clinical setting use identification with an appropriate badge or name tag, as patients encounter a number of different practitioners. For example, all health care professionals should identify themselves and their profession when first meeting a patient.[43][44]
Attorneys in the United States rarely use any title, but some common ones include "Esquire" ("Esq."), "Attorney," or "attorney-at-law." As the academic degree held by U.S. attorneys is the Juris Doctor, a professional doctorate,[45] some J.D. holders in the United States do use the honorific "Dr." in professional[19] and academic situations.[46]

[edit] Abbreviation

In British English it is not necessary to indicate an abbreviation with a full stop (period) after the abbreviation, when the last letter of the abbreviation is the same as the unabbreviated word,[47] while the opposite holds true in North American English. This means that while the abbreviation of Doctor is usually written as "Dr" in most of the Commonwealth, it is usually written as "Dr." in North America.[48]
Similarly, conventions regarding the punctuation of degree abbreviations vary. In the United Kingdom, it is increasingly common to omit punctuations from abbreviations that are not truncations: while the usual abbreviation of "Esquire" is "Esq.", the usual abbreviation for "Doctor of Philosophy" is "PhD". It is not incorrect to use the fully punctuated "Ph.D.", though if this pattern is used, it should be used consistently; practice in particular situations may vary, and it is always more elegant to be consistent with local patterns of usage than to deviate from them.

[edit] Honorary doctorates

An honorary doctorate is a doctoral degree awarded for service to the institution or the wider community. This service does not need to be academic in nature. Often, the same set of degrees is used for higher doctorates, but they are distinguished as being honoris causa: in comprehensive lists, the lettering used to indicate the possession of a higher doctorate is often adjusted to indicate this, for example, "Hon. Sc.D.", as opposed to the earned research doctorate "Sc.D.". The degrees of Doctor of the University (D.Univ.) and Doctor of Humane Letters (D.H.L.), however, are only awarded as an honorary degree.

[edit] Other uses of "Doctor"


Parkour (sometimes abbreviated PK) is a method of movement focused on moving around obstacles with speed and efficiency. Originally developed in France, the main purpose of the discipline is to teach participants how to move through their environment by vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping. Traceurs (parkour practitioners) train to be able to identify and utilize alternate or the more efficient paths. Parkour can be practiced anywhere, but areas dense with obstacles offer many different training opportunities.


Two primary characteristics of parkour are efficiency and speed. Traceurs take the most direct path through an obstacle as rapidly as that route can be traversed safely. Developing one's level of spatial awareness is often used to aid development in these areas. Also, efficiency involves avoiding injuries, both short and long term. This idea embodying parkour's unofficial motto is être et durer ("to be and to last").
Traceurs say that parkour also influences one's thought processes by enhancing self-confidence and critical-thinking skills that allow one to overcome everyday physical and mental obstacles.[1][2][3] A study by Neuropsychiatrie de l'Enfance et de l'Adolescence (Neuropsychiatry of Childhood and Adolescence) in France reflects that traceurs seek more excitement and leadership situations than do gymnastic practitioners.[4]


The first terms used to describe this form of training were "l'art du déplacement" and "le parcours".[5] The term "parkour" (French pronunciation: [paʁˈkuʁ]) was coined by Hubert Koundé. It derives from "parcours du combattant", the classic obstacle course method of military training proposed by Georges Hébert.[6][7][8]
A practitioner of parkour is called a "traceur" [tʁasœʁ], with the feminine form being "traceuse" [tʁasøz]. They are substantives derived from the French verb "tracer", which normally means "trace",[9] or "trail" (as in "he escaped without a trace").[10]

Historical precedents

In the film Jump London, Sébastien Foucan states that "Le Parkour has always existed, free running has always been there, the thing is that no one gave it a name, we didn’t put it in the box. It is an ancient art [...] The Neanderthals, to hunt, or to chase, or to move around, they had to practice the free run." The latter was also an inspiration for the famous on-foot chase scenes of Hong Kong stuntman, martial artist and actor Jackie Chan.[11] In Eastern martial arts such as Ninjutsu and Qing Gong, movements similar to those of Parkour have been taught for centuries and with a similar aim. In Jump London, Foucan does acknowledge the influence of martial arts movies on the development of Parkour: "We also climbed onto the roof of our school. We pretended we were Ninja warriors".

A "traceur" performing a "passe muraille"

[edit] Hébert's legacy

Before World War I, former naval officer Georges Hébert travelled throughout the world. During a visit to Africa, he was impressed by the physical development and skills of indigenous tribes that he met:[12] He noted, "their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, and resistant but yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature." [12]
On May 8, 1902, Saint-Pierre, Martinique, where Hébert was stationed, suffered from a volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée. Hébert coordinated the escape and rescue of some 700 people. This experience had a profound effect on him, and reinforced his belief that athletic skill must be combined with courage and altruism. He eventually developed this ethos into his motto "être fort pour être utile" (" be strong to be useful").[12] Inspired by indigenous tribes, Hébert became a physical education tutor at the college of Reims in France. He began to define the principles of his own system of physical education and to create various apparatuses and exercises to teach his "méthode naturelle"[12] which he defined as: "Methodical, progressive and continuous action, from childhood to adulthood, that has as its objective: assuring integrated physical development; increasing organic resistances; emphasizing aptitudes across all genres of natural exercise and indispensable utilities (walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, equilibrium (balancing), throwing, lifting, defending and swimming); developing one's energy and all other facets of action or virility such that all assets, both physical and virile, are mastered; one dominant moral idea: altruism."[13]
Hébert set up a "méthode naturelle" session consisting of ten fundamental groups: walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, balancing, throwing, lifting, self-defense, swimming, which are part of three main forces:[13]
  • Energetic or virile sense: energy, willpower, courage, coolness, and firmness
  • Moral sense: benevolence, assistance, honor, and honesty
  • Physical sense: muscles and breath
During World War I and World War II, Hébert's teaching continued to expand, becoming the standard system of French military education and training. Thus, Hébert was one of the proponents of "parcours", an obstacle course, developed by a Swiss architect,[14] which is standard in the military training and led to the development of civilian fitness trails and confidence courses.[12] Also, French soldiers and firefighters developed their obstacle courses known as "parcours du combattant" and parcours SP".[15]

[edit] Belle family

David Belle, parkour founder, at The New Yorker Festival
Raymond Belle was born in Vietnam, at the time part of French Indochina. His father died during the First Indochina War and Raymond was separated from his mother during the division of Vietnam in 1954. He was taken by the French Army in Da Lat and received a military education and training that shaped his character.[16] After the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, Raymond was repatriated to France and completed his military education in 1958. At age 19, his dedication to fitness helped him serve in Paris's regiment of "sapeurs-pompiers" (the French fire service).[16]
David participated in activities such as martial arts and gymnastics and sought to apply his athletic prowess for some practical purpose. He trained extremely hard mostly to try to win the approval of his father (Raymond).[15] At age 17, David left school seeking freedom and action. He continued to develop his strength and dexterity in order to be useful in life, as Raymond had advised him.[15]

[edit] Development in Lisses

After moving to Lisses commune, David Belle continued his journey with others who would later form the group the Yamakasi.[15] Sébastien Foucan noted in Jump London "From then on we developed and really the whole town was there for us; there for parkour. You just have to look, you just have to think, like children." This, as he describes, is "the vision of parkour."
In 1997, Yann Hnautra, Charles Perriere, Chau Belle, David Belle, Laurent Piemontesi, Sébastien Foucan, Guylain Perriere, Malik Diouf and Williams Belle created the group Yamakasi,[17] whose name comes from the Lingala language of Congo, and means "strong spirit, strong body, strong man, endurance". After the musical show Notre Dame de Paris, Belle and Foucan split up due to money and disagreements over the definition of "l'art du déplacement",[18] The film Yamakasi (2001), and the French documentary Génération Yamakasi were created without Belle and Foucan.[citation needed]

[edit] Philosophy and theories

According to Williams Belle, the philosophies and theories behind parkour are an integral aspect of the art, one that many non-practitioners have never been exposed to. Belle trains people because he wants "it to be alive" and for "people to use it".[3] Châu Belle explains it is a "type of freedom" or "kind of expression"; that parkour is "only a state of mind" rather than a set of actions, and that it is about overcoming and adapting to mental and emotional obstacles as well as physical barriers.[3]
A newer convention of parkour philosophy has been the idea of "human reclamation".[19] Andy (Animus of Parkour North America) clarifies it as "a means of reclaiming what it means to be a human being. It teaches us to move using the natural methods that we should have learned from infancy. It teaches us to touch the world and interact with it, instead of being sheltered by it."[19]"It is as much as a part of truly learning the physical art as well as being able to master the movements, it gives you the ability to overcome your fears and pains and reapply this to life as you must be able to control your mind in order to master the art of parkour."[20]
A point has been made about the similarities between the martial arts philosophy of Bruce Lee and Parkour.[21] In an interview with The New Yorker, David Belle acknowledges the influence of Lee's thinking: "There’s a quote by Bruce Lee that’s my motto: ‘There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. A man must constantly exceed his level.’ If you’re not better than you were the day before, then what are you doing—what’s the point?".[22]

[edit] Non-rivalry

A campaign was started on 1 May 2007 by Parkour.NET portal[23] to preserve parkour's philosophy against sport competition and rivalry.[24] In the words of Erwan LeCorre: "Competition pushes people to fight against others for the satisfaction of a crowd and/or the benefits of a few business people by changing its mindset. Parkour is unique and cannot be a competitive sport unless it ignores its altruistic core of self development. If parkour becomes a sport, it will be hard to seriously teach and spread parkour as a non-competitive activity. And a new sport will be spread that may be called parkour, but that won't hold its philosophical essence anymore."[23] According to LeCorre, those who truly practice Parkour have the same mind aspect of each other, therefore it brings people to work together rather than compete, it allows them to be united internationally and forget the social and economical problems which separated them globally, ultimately leading one giant community working and growing together.

[edit] Free running

Free running is a form of urban acrobatics in which participants, known as free runners, use the city and rural landscape to perform movements through its structures. The term free running was coined during the filming of Jump London, as a way to present parkour to the English-speaking world. Parkour's emphasis on efficiency distinguishes it from the similar practice of free running, which places more emphasis on freedom of movement and creativity.
The man who coined the phrase, Sébastien Foucan, defines free running as a discipline for self development, of following your own way[citation needed]. His dissatisfaction with the limited creativity and self-expression in Parkour was the motivation for Sebastian Foucan to develop a similar but also very different art of movement that became known as free running.[25] He notes "Understand that this form of art has been created by few soldiers in Vietnam to escape or reach: and this is the spirit we'd like parkour to keep. You have to make the difference between what is useful and what is not in emergency situations. Then you'll know what is parkour and what is not. So if you do acrobatics things on the street with no other goal than showing off, please don't say it's parkour. Acrobatics existed a long time ago before parkour."[6]
When questions are raised between the differences of parkour and free running, the Yamakasi group deny the differences and say: "parkour, l'art du deplacement, free running, the art of movement... they are all the same thing. They are all movement and they all came from the same place, the same nine guys originally. The only thing that differs is each individual's way of moving". [26]

[edit] Military training

After the attention that parkour received following the film Casino Royale, militaries from different countries began looking for ways to incorporate parkour into training. The British Royal Marines hired parkour athletes to train their members.[27] Colorado Parkour began a project to introduce parkour into the U.S. military[28] and parkour is slowly being introduced into the United States Marine Corps.[29]

[edit] Criticism

Parkour is not widely practiced in dedicated public facilities such as skateparks. Although efforts are being made to create places for it, most Traceurs do not like the idea as it is contradictory to the philosophy of freedom. [30] Traceurs practice parkour in urban areas such as gyms, parks, playgrounds, offices, and abandoned structures. Concerns have been raised regarding trespassing, damage of property,[31] and the practice in inappropriate places.[32] However, most traceurs will take care of their training spots and will remove themselves quickly and quietly from a public place if asked.[33][34] The Magpie Youth Centre free running club in Glen Parva, Leicester has raised 40,000 Euros to build a free running park/training utility on the park opposite the youth center.
Concerns have been raised by law enforcement and fire and rescue teams of the risk in jumping off high buildings.[35] They argue that practitioners are needlessly risking damage to both themselves and rooftops by practicing at height, with police forces calling for practitioners to stay off the rooftops. [36][37][38] Some figures within the parkour community agree that this sort of behaviour is not to be encouraged.[37][39][40][41]
American traceur Mark Toorock says that injuries are rare "because participants rely not on what they can't control – wheels or the icy surfaces of snowboarding and skiing – but their own hands and feet," but Lanier Johnson, executive director of the American Sports Medicine Institute, notes that many of the injuries are not reported.[42] Even when injuries do occur, many members in the parkour community encourage pursuing the most scientifically sound method to recovery and future prevention. [43]
Comedian Daniel Tosh made fun of the discipline on one episode of his show, Tosh.0, calling it "Nothing more than extreme walking."

[edit] Movements

There are fewer pre-defined movements in parkour than in gymnastics, as there is no list of "moves". Each obstacle a traceur faces presents a unique challenge, committed Tracuers tend to shy away from defining movement. The ability to overcome the challenge depends on multiple factors, for example, on body type, speed, angle of approach, the physical make-up of the obstacle. Parkour is about training the body and mind to react to those obstacles appropriately with a technique that is effective. Often that technique cannot and need not be classified and given a name. In many cases effective parkour techniques depend on fast redistribution of body weight and the use of momentum to perform seemingly difficult or impossible body maneuvers at great speed. Absorption and redistribution of energy is also an important factor, such as body rolls when landing which reduce impact forces on the legs and spine, allowing a traceur to jump from greater heights than those often considered sensible in other forms of acrobatics and gymnastics.
According to David Belle, the practice is to move in such a way that will help you gain the most ground as if escaping or chasing something. Also, if you go from A to B, you need to be able to get back from B to A,[44] but not necessarily with the same movements or "passements". Despite this, there are many basic versatile and effective techniques that are emphasized for beginners. Most important are good jumping and landing techniques. The roll, used to limit impact after a drop and to carry one's momentum onward, is often stressed as the most important technique to learn.





Basic movements

Some movements defined in parkour are:[45]
Synonym Description
French French pronouncation English
Atterrissage [ateʁisaʒ] Landing Bending the knees when toes make contact with ground (never land flat footed; always land on toes and ball of your foot, or whole footed).
réception [ʁesɛpsjɔ̃]
Équilibre [ekilibʁ] Balance Walking along the crest of an obstacle; literally "balance."
Équilibre de chat
Cat Crawl Quadrupedal movement along the crest of an obstacle.
Franchissement [fʁɑ̃ʃismɑ̃]Z Underbar Jumping or swinging through a gap between obstacles; literally "to cross" or "to break through."
Lâché [laʃe] Lache Hanging drop; lâcher literally meaning "to let go." To hang or swing (on a bar, on a wall, on a branch) and let go, dropping to the ground or to hang from another object. This can refer to almost all hanging/swinging type movements.
Passe muraille [pas myʁaj] Pop vault, wall hop, Wallpass, wallrun Overcoming a tall structure, usually by use of a step off the wall to transform forward momentum into upward momentum, then using the arms to climb onto and over the object.

Dyno (shortened from "Dynamic[clarification needed]", opposite to "Static") This movement comes from climbing terminology, and encompasses leaping from a position similar to an armjump, then grabbing an obstacle usually higher than the initial starting place, often used for an overhang. This movement is used when a simpler movement is not possible.
Passement [pasmɑ̃] Vault, Pass To move over an object with one's hand(s) on an object to ease the movement.
Demitour [dəmi tuʁ] Turn vault A vault or dropping movement involving a 180° turn; literally "half turn." This move is often used to place yourself hanging from an object in order to shorten a drop or prepare for a jump.
Turn Down
Speed vault To overcome an obstacle by jumping side-ways first, then placing one hand on the obstacle to self-right your body and continue running.

Thief To overcome an obstacle by using a one-handed vault, then using the other hand at the end of the vault to push oneself forwards in order to finish the move.
Lazy vault
Saut de chat [sod ʃa] Cat pass/jump, (king) kong vault, monkey vault The saut de chat involves diving forward over an obstacle so that the body becomes horizontal, pushing off with the hands and tucking the legs, such that the body is brought back to a vertical position, ready to land.
Passement assis Dash vault This vault involves using the hands to move oneself forwards at the end of the vault. One uses both hands to overcome an obstacle by jumping feet first over the obstacle and pushing off with the hands at the end. Visually, this might seem similar to the saut de chat, but reversed. Allegedly David Belle has questioned the effectiveness of this movement.
Saut de chat inversé Reverse vault A vault involving a 180° rotation such that the traceur's back faces forward as they pass the obstacle. The purpose of the rotation is ease of technique in the case of otherwise awkward body position or loss of momentum prior to the vault.

Kash vault This vault is a combination of two vaults; the kong vault and the dash vault. After pushing off with the hands in a kong vault, the body continues past vertical over the object until the feet are leading the body. The kash vault is then finished by pushing off the object at the end, as in a dash vault.
Planche [plɑ̃ʃ] Muscle-up To get from a hanging position (wall, rail, branch, arm jump, etc.) into a position where your upper body is above the obstacle, supported by the arms. This then allows for you to climb up onto the obstacle and continue.
Roulade [ʁulad] Roll A forward roll where the hands, arms and diagonal of the back contact the ground, often called breakfall. Used primarily to transfer the momentum/energy from jumps and to minimize impact, preventing a painful landing. It is similar to the basic kaiten or ukemi and it was taken from martial arts such as judo, ninjutsu, jujutsu, hapkido and aikido.
Saut de bras [sodbra] Arm jump To land on the side of an obstacle in a hanging/crouched position, the hands gripping the top edge, holding the body, ready to perform a muscle up.
cat leap
cat grab
Saut de fond [sodfɔ̃] Drop Literally 'jump to the ground' / 'jump to the floor'. To jump down, or drop down from something.
Saut de détente [sodə detɑ̃t] Gap jump, running jump To jump from one place/object to another, over a gap/distance. This technique is most often followed with a roll.
Saut de précision [so d presiziɔ̃] Precision Static or moving jump from one object to a precise spot on another object. This term can refer to any form of jumping however. Often abbreviated to "pre"
précision [presiziɔ̃]
Saut de mur
Wall Jump To step off a wall in order to overcome another obstacle or gain height to grab something
Saut de rotation
Rotary jump Similar to a kong vault, the person dives and then rotates their lower body around the obstacle. Used for shorter to medium obstacles. For people that have trouble with kong vaults.
Rotary vault

Side vault A vault where the person is parallel to the obstacle and places one hand on the obstacle. When performing the vault, the person's back should be facing down.