Why I Quit Being a Doctor

The more accurate title for this blog post would be why I quit being a “Dr.”

On Twitter, I removed the title from the name heading my profile. I’d been trying it out for a few months just because. I’d been told more than a few times to use it to establish “credibility.”

I’ve never really felt comfortable with it outside of specific settings. If you’re my patient, my student, or my colleague in a professional setting then it seemed to fit the environment. Outside of that, I NEVER introduce myself in person as such. The way I see it, if it isn’t on your birth certificate, it’s not your first name.

However, being a double minority, I was also told that it was important to use the title because I could never tell whom I was influencing.  A little Black girl or younger Black woman may envision what would be possible for her if she were aware of my own path.  See, female oral and maxillofacial surgeons are a serious minority.  Add Black to that and the number severely diminishes. I doubt there are more than a hundred in the country.

The dilemma is that I’m very clear that what I do has little to do with who I am. Sure, you may be able to guess a few things about my character, but my profession doesn’t tell you anything about my heart.

On social media, I talk about personal development and spirituality and all things related. Like my personal relationships, it’s where I’m most myself. Just Emelia.

If people want to know a little bit more about my background, they can get that on my website, blog, or any bio associated with my social media profiles and the articles that I write.

Being a doctor is an integral part of my story and how it unfolds, but it’s not the central thing. I’m an observer. I’m a writer. I’m concerned about people’s health, but I’m far more concerned with their spirits.

That’s what I want my conversations to lead with.

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6 thoughts on “Why I Quit Being a Doctor

  1. There is a lot to be said for education and titles. But when it comes to what helps us connect and feel the essence of who we are as people as human beings. We have to be comfortable with who we are beyond the constructs of our environment.

    I noticed you switched your profile a number of times and when you included the Dr designation. It impressed me from the point of view that I Know you must have worked hard to achieve that designation.

    I am reality more impressed by your empathy, wisdom and spirit as an individual. And no amount of titles will change that perception.

  2. Excellent points, Emelia! I remember once on Twitter, I thanked you and used “Dr.” in how I addressed you. You immediately responded back with surprise on why I used “Dr.” in my response. I wasn’t sure what to do, as Dr. was clearly in your Twitter name. Now, I know the rest of the story… as they say.

    I agree with Kenny that education helps a lot, but it is, ultimately, about the human connection.



    • That’s the weird part about titles. We start to wonder how to address someone “correctly” and whether or not they’ll take offense. It’s a fact, but for me, it’s not a cue. However, I know quite a few people who act like their first name has been legally changed to Dr.

      Like you and Kenny, I agree that everything comes down to connection and at the level of spirit, there are no individual distinctions.

  3. Love the post Emelia. That’s the problem with titles though, isn’t it? In certain settings they clearly define who we are and what we do, yet in other settings they cause an unneccesary boundary or demarcation between the “us” and the “them”, making it sometimes difficult to connect on deeper levels.


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