The states scrutinizing the 'doctor' title

Some states are grappling with which medical professionals should be allowed to use the "doctor" title with patients.

Two states — California and Georgia — have banned the use of "doctor" for advanced practitioners who earned a doctorate degree.

Georgia was the most recent state to institute the ban, citing transparency for patients. California, meanwhile, fined a nurse who called herself doctor, which sparked a lawsuit from others wanting to use the title after earning DNP degrees.

Two other states — Indiana and Florida — have introduced bills that would ban the "doctor" title, but the bills have been vetoed or not yet made it through the legislative process.

Most states allow clinicians with a doctorate degree to identify themselves as a doctor as long as they immediately clarify what their role and qualifications are.

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