The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has officially launched its consultation on proposals to allow all RCVS-registered veterinary surgeons to use the courtesy title of doctor.
The proposals, originally raised by RCVS president Stuart Reid in July 2014, aim to:
- align the UK with international practice
- provide greater clarity for the profession
- offering reassurance to clients and the public that all veterinary surgeons registered with the RCVS (regardless of where they qualified) have veterinary degrees of an appropriate standard
The consultation, which officially opens today (January 6) for a period of six weeks, aims to gauge whether the public and the profession are in favour of the proposal or not.
Of the three main clinical degrees in the UK (medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine), only veterinary surgeons do not use the courtesy title Dr – unlike their international colleagues, whose use of the title is frequently tied to registration and professional standing, rather than academic attainment.
Prof Reid said: “This is an opportunity to provide, for those UK veterinary surgeons who wish it, the legitimate use of a title that offers a level of parity with fellow medical professionals.”
If agreed, the title would be optional, although the RCVS would regulate its use through its code of professional conduct.
- Background information and draft guidance is available at www.rcvs.org.uk/doctortitle