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Doctor Abbreviations

The abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms that come after a doctor's name can signify a number of different things. They might indicate the type of schooling or training they received so that they'd be qualified to specialize in a certain field; they could indicate professional associations to which they belong; or they could point out other kinds of education or designations that they have earned over the course of their career.

Medical and Dental Degrees

It's worth noting that while the doctor acronyms listed here do not have periods after each letter or set of letters, doing so can be perfectly acceptable under certain circumstances. For instance, there isn't a real difference between MD and M.D. when referring to a doctor of medicine. However, it wouldn't make sense to write G.Y.N. when referring to a gynecologist.

  • AuD - Doctor of Audiology
  • DC - Doctor of Chiropractic
  • DDS - Doctor of Dental Surgery, Doctor of Dental Science
  • DMD - Doctor of Dental Medicine, Doctor of Medical Dentistry
  • DO or OD - Doctor of Optometry, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
  • DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
  • DPT - Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • DScPT - Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy
  • DSN - Doctor of Science in Nursing
  • DVM - Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • ENT - Ear, nose and throat specialist
  • GP - General Practitioner
  • GYN - Gynecologist
  • MD - Doctor of Medicine
  • MS - Master of Surgery
  • OB/GYN - Obstetrician and Gynecologist
  • PharmD - Doctor of Pharmacy

Medical Associations

In addition to degrees, certificates and other certifications that doctors may receive, they may also have to belong to certain professional or medical associations in order to do their job.

  • FAAEM - Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine
  • FAAFP - Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians
  • FACS - Fellow of the American Medical Association
  • FFR - Fellow Faculty of Radiologists
  • FRCPSC - Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • MRCOG - Member Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • MRCS - Member Royal College of Surgeons

Other Degrees and Associations

While most people tend to associate doctors with the medical community, there are many other types of doctors and degrees that aren't necessarily related to medicine at all.

  • DD - Doctor of Divinity
  • DEd or EdD - Doctor of Education
  • DPA - Doctor of Public Administration
  • DPH - Doctor of Public Health
  • DPhil or PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
  • FFPHM - Fellow Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • JD - Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
  • PSYCH - Psychologist
  • ScD - Doctor of Science
  • SScD - Doctor of Social Science
  • ThD - Doctor of Theology

Just What the Doctor Ordered

As shown in the abbreviations above, the letters after a doctor's name can refer to the person's degree or to any related professional organizations in which the person has been accepted as a fellow or member, allowing them to practice their profession.

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