Thursday, January 21, 2010

quicko: "doctor" who?

My American friend and I have been talking and we can't work out how you become a doctor in Australia, but from what we can tell, it's a heck of a lot easier than it is in America. We've both encountered a handful "doctors" who we just don't think went through the same, grueling study-for-a-bazillion-years-then-do-the-torture-known-as-residency-etc-etc-etc before getting their white coats. Australians have convoluted ways of explaining it, but take it from us: they are not all really doctors just because they say they are.* What they are, we do not know, but we think they might be nurses. Possibly of a glorified variety. Or possibly with a community college associate honors online degree.**

*This is not to say that all of them aren't. There are some that go through the rigorous rigmarole they're supposed to. This is in no way directed at that appropriate sort of doctor. Kudos to those who make it; we are very grateful. It's those sketchy I've-done-something-medical-and-they-gave-me-a-title ones we're concerned about.

**Call me old-fashioned, but I think medicine is one of those subjects you just can't grasp (ha. ha. ha.) online.


Anonymous said...

Like the doctors that recommend something in an infomercial for some miracle cure. ~Gina

Garry with 2 Rs said...


To become a doctor you go to medical school. This will either be an undergrad or post-grad course, depending on what uni you do it through. Either way it takes, as you point out, a biziilion years to do, assuming you pass the entrance test. Then you have placements and residencies and all manner of other quals to earn before you're a doctor

As for those without such qualifications, usually they're a doctor because they've got a PhD. Infomercials will often have their products endorsed by "Dr. So-and-so" without letting on that so-and-so has her doctorate in French literature.

KIM said...

I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's the undergrad or post-grad course thing that's getting us ... it's very cut and dry in America, you have to do a bachelor's in pre-med, then a masters+PhD in medicine, then residency, etc.

No complaints on the PhD doctors; they're a completely different kettle of fish. As for the infomercials, I think Gina was suggesting the utterly bogus actors ... which, actually, I haven't noticed quite as many of here.