If just received second doctoral degree, how does one sign their name at the end of an email or other correspondence. Would it just stay Dr. So and So or be Dr. Dr. So and So?

  • I know this might sound crazy to some but I've seen it so that's why I'm asking. – C W May 19 '17 at 19:44
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    This may be more dependent on local culture and etiquette than global academic norms. I believe in Germany, you would use "Dr. Dr." (or "DDr"), but in the US this would look silly. Either way it isn't a matter of ethics; getting it wrong wouldn't be unethical, just possibly embarrassing. – Nate Eldredge May 19 '17 at 20:26
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    I always wondered why anyone would get a second PhD. – dsfgsho May 19 '17 at 22:46
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    Sometimes when you do part of your PhD abroad, you can be awarded two PhDs. That's the only situation I believe this can be done. Otherwise the person is just crazy. See this awesome answer: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/17232/… – Shake Baby May 19 '17 at 22:59
  • @CW - Do you mean that you're asking because you think there might be a standard formula, and you're curious if someone's signature is reasonably close to that? – aparente001 May 20 '17 at 20:55

The usual form in Austria would be "DDr.", which you see quite often, especially on lawyer's plates. After that, it would be DDDr. (and probably so on).

Remark : He is at least DDDDDDr.: https://www.nachrichten.at/oberoesterreich/Das-ist-Doktor-Doktor-Doktor-Doktor-Doktor-Doktor-Norbert-Heinel;art4,843952

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  • That page says he writes Dr. mult., for the sake of conciseness, by the way. – sgf Sep 28 '19 at 12:13

Depending on the country and local department customs, signing Dr. So and So would be already ridiculous enough. But I don't know of any situation where signing Dr. Dr. So and So wouldn't come out as a show off. I particularly would think very poorly of someone signing their name in this way.

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    What is ridiculous about calling oneself "Dr. Biderman"? – Stella Biderman May 19 '17 at 20:06
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    @StellaBiderman It may sound cool to think of your name with a prefix "Dr." attached to it. But in real life, people just don't call you that (at least in most circles I'm aware), unless you are in medicine. Signing your name like that would imply that that's how you think people should be calling you, which sounds a bit show off. – Shake Baby May 19 '17 at 20:54
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    If I read "Dr. Dr. Name", I'd think it's a typo – marts May 19 '17 at 22:54
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    @user23658 I agree that in spoken word and outside the context of your field, asking to be called "Dr. XXX" is a bit attention seeking, but I see no issue with using that when, for example I register for something. To be fair, it is slightly annoying when I am not given the option and I have to choose "Mr. XXX". – o4tlulz May 20 '17 at 1:34
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    There are huge regional differences. For example, I had to fight my landlord to remove my Dr. title from my home door. In some countries (Germany or Austria) academic titles are hugely important and used in contexts that @ShakeBaby would consider ridiculous. – Maarten Buis May 20 '17 at 9:11

In Germany I have seen the title dres. (for doctores) used for multiple PhDs.

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    That seems silly, to say the least. One person isn't several doctors, even if they hold multiple PhDs. – sgf Sep 28 '19 at 12:11

For real life examples, search for "Kieferorthopäde" (that is, orthodontist) and "Dr. Dr." or for "Kieferorthopäde" and "DDr.". In Germany and Austria, orthodontists typically study both medicine and dentistry, and some of them do a doctorate in both disciplines. Germans seem to prefer "Dr. Dr.", whereas "DDr" occurs primarily in Austria.

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(Other countries may have other customs, but this has been my experience)

In most circumstances, no one bothers writing "Dr." as a prefix anyway! Informal situations in general tend to drop prefixes and suffixes, especially honorifics and degrees. I guarantee you that Paul McCartney doesn't make dinner reservations as "Sir Paul McCartney". Most people with doctorate degrees don't introduce themselves as "Doctor So-and-so", similarly to how people don't think of themselves as "Bob Bobrick Junior". In formal situations, this is obviously different, but writing a letter to my friend, I wouldn't sign as "The Honorable user45266" if I were a courtroom judge.

Assuming that one is in a situation where convention would dictate a person with a doctorate to sign with the title, a person with two such degrees should probably just sign as "Dr. So-and-so". If mentioning both degrees should happen to be importance, "So-and-so, Doctor of ________ and _______" should suffice.

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  • Indeed, in English-speaking countries, proper protocol is never to use any title for oneself. – Buzz Sep 28 '19 at 3:39
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    no one bothers writing "Dr." as a prefix anyway! ... Ph.D.s don't but of course others may: M.D. or D.D.S., etc. Long ago one of my colleagues (a Ph.D. of course) remarked that the only time he called himself "Dr. Friedman" is when he made a reservation at a restaurant. – GEdgar Sep 28 '19 at 8:32
  • So in which countries has this been your experience? UK? – sgf Sep 28 '19 at 12:12
  • I just wrote a letter of application responding to a academic job offer. It was addressed to "Prof. Bigname". How else would I sign it other than "Dr. Myname"? And, in that situation, if I had two doctorates (as a recent hire in our lab does... I know... I also think he's crazy)... well, I'd want to know how to properly sign with a title without specifying the disciplines (as I wouldn't do that either in my signature if I had a single degree). I also sign all the letters to utility providers, banks, credit houses, etc, with my title - they just treat me so much better. – penelope Oct 22 '19 at 11:02

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