How to Use Dr and PhD with a Name

In English, as in many other languages, professional titles have abbreviations. These are for writing convenience but people will sometimes annunciate them while speaking. Two of these, Dr and PhD, are very common references when talking about the specific name of a doctor.

Therefore, it means you’re referring to people and in this case, it’s a college-trained and licensed individual who practices things like medicine, psychology, science, mathematics or some other field of study. But, like with most other things in English grammar, there is a particular use of Dr and PhD.

Dr Doctor

To use “Dr” to indicate a doctor, most particularly in the fields of medicine and science, you will put it before a person’s name. You can indicate first and last name. But, if you want to be casual or informal, you can use Dr before only mentioning a first name.

Use only a last name after the “Dr to be formal or informal depending on the circumstances. This will often accompany a period (.) after the abbreviation of Dr.

Dr. Michael Yeadon

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny

Dr. Carrie is my physician.

Dr. Maloney has been a scientist for 35 years.

Doctor PhD

There are some people who receive doctorate degrees, the highest education one can receive in any given subject. While they are doctors, they aren’t medical, scientific or psychological doctors. For instance, they could have a doctorate in things like politics, journalism, economics or some other such thing.

Therefore, you say or write their name and follow it with PhD. to indicate Doctor of Philosophy. But, you can also use it to be superbly formal with a medical or scientific doctor. This means you can use both Dr and PhD in the same line. But, here, you will add a comma (,) after the last name.

Sarah Kimmons PhD

Dr. Shane Ammora, PhD

Mnemonic Device

To remember where to use Dr versus PhD, is that Dr will always come before a name and PhD will appear after. However, both can appear around the same name. Therefore, the following example is a visual for those who memorize best that way:



Whenever you want to write or mention the name of someone who’s a doctor, you’ll either use Dr or PhD to indicate their title. But, Dr comes before and PhD will be after.