But did you know that there are lots of different types of doctors? Some of them work at colleges and universities. Others work in the business world. Many of them don't know much at all about medicine, and most of them don't have stethoscopes! Who are these people?
When you think of a doctor that works in a clinic or a hospital, you're thinking of someone who had gone to medical school and received an M.D. degree, which is also known as a Doctor of Medicine degree. However, there are many other types of doctoral degrees.
When you go to a college or a university or a trade school, you can get many different types of degrees or certifications that will allow you to work in many different types of jobs. Different degrees have different requirements. One of the main differences between types of degrees is how long you have to go to school to earn the degree.
For example, most associate's degrees require two years of full-time college. Bachelor's degrees usually require four years of full-time college. Master's, doctorate and other advanced degrees can take anywhere from five to ten years or more to complete.
In any particular field of study, such as medicine, law, psychology, biology or philosophy, the highest possible degree is usually a doctorate. In most countries, a doctorate degree allows the holder to teach in their area of expertise. In fact, the word “doctorate" comes from the Latin word docere, which means “to teach." It also usually means they are called by the title “doctor."
If you want to teach philosophy at the college level, you will need to earn your doctorate in philosophy. This degree is called a Doctor of Philosophy or Ph.D. degree. You can also earn a Ph.D. in many other areas of study other than philosophy, but the degree is still called a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
People with a Ph.D. who teach in colleges and universities will often go by the title “doctor" or “professor." Some people with doctorate degrees aren't necessarily called “doctor," though. For example, lawyers have Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees, but they are usually not referred to as “doctors." It all depends upon what has become the custom within a particular profession.
So the next time you meet a “doctor," don't automatically assume that she's a medical doctor. She could be an expert in one of many different fields of study!