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Someone in my profession is referring to themselves as Dr. so and so (ABD). It is my understanding that they are not a Dr. since they have not completed the dissertation process. Doesn't it seem fraudulent to refer to yourself as Dr. without completing a doctoral program?

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    Yeah, it's obviously misleading, since "the thesis" is not a trifling matter. But there are (in the U.S., as far as I know) no clear "legal" rules about such references (in contrast to precise laws in Germany, apparently). – paul garrett Aug 24 '15 at 21:27
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    Yeah, if you haven't done your dissertation, you don't have a doctorate, so you aren't a doctor. They might not get called on it, but it's not appropriate. Lots of people who are ABD never end up finishing, so it is not simply a technicality. – Morgan Rodgers Aug 24 '15 at 21:35
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    Just an FYI (ABD) means All But Dissertation. – The Hiary Aug 24 '15 at 21:59
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    Looks like a dupe of four other questions today... – keshlam Aug 24 '15 at 22:28
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    Have some fun with this. You can call him Dr ABD forevermore. – aparente001 Aug 25 '15 at 2:08
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Yep, can't do that. Either you do or you don't have the "Dr." and if you're ABD, you don't.

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