Nagpur: The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has made it clear that the candidates getting the Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm D) from recognized universities will be authorized to use the ‘Dr’ prefix.Pharm D degree holders can use ‘Dr’ prefix: PCINagpur: The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has made it clear that the candidates getting the Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm D) from recognized universities will be authorized to use the ‘Dr’ prefix.
In a letter issued to director of board of examination and evaluation of Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University, the registrar-cum-secretary of PCI Archana Mudgal has informed that the university should use ‘Dr’ prefix before the names of the candidates while awarding the degree certificates to those who clear Pharm D course.
“PCI has taken a decision of prefixing ‘Dr’ before the name of candidate who are awarded Pharm D degree. All the universities and examining authorities approved by the PCI are requested to use this prefix while awarding degree certificates,” reads the letter.
Pharm D course was started in India in 2008. In Maharashtra, it was launched in 2012. The first batch of the six-year course passed in 2018. The second batch is scheduled to get the degree in 2019 convocations. As universities in the state were not issuing degrees with ‘Dr’ prefix till now, members of Doctor of Pharmacy Association of Maharashtra had approached the PCI for a clarification.
It is not clear when the PCI originally decided on the Dr prefix. In 2012, the council had issued a circular that Pharm D candidates can use Dr before their names.“We have been pursuing this issue from the last two years. When university authorities told us that they don’t have written directives from the PCI regarding the ‘Dr’ prefix, we wrote to PCI. On May 24, the PCI issued a letter in this regard,” said Vinayak Bhagwat Ghayal, president of Doctor of Pharmacy Association, Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Registered Pharmacist Association (MRPA) has welcomed this move. “Pharm D degree course is vast and equivalent to all six-year-long public health related course like MBBS, The candidates holding this degree must be allowed to use ‘Dr.’ prefix. In foreign countries, Pharm D degree holders are called doctors as well,” said Kailash Tandle, MRPA president.
According to Pharm D degree holders, using Dr prefix will be helpful for them in many ways. “There are several pharma related courses right from diploma (D Pharm) to PG degree (M Pharm) in India. But the Pharm D is the biggest as it includes five years of study and one year of internship or residency. The ‘Dr’ prefix will differentiate us from the other pharma degree holders. We will get our due recognition in the job market,” said Aniket Bhosale, a Pharma D student.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
* In India, a person who has completed the doctoral academic research when awarded with a PhD is entitled to be addressed as ‘Doctor’ and use prefix Dr to his name
* MBBs general practitioners are usually addressed as doctors and they also use Dr prefix
* Practitioners of AYUSH systems of medicine and are also referred as doctors even though they have their own appropriate terms for alternative medicines like Vaidya (Ayurveda), Hakim (unani) and Homoeopath
* Sometimes, Universities facilitate individuals recognizing their contribution in many field such as literature, science, sports, music, cinema, social service etc with doctorate degrees. They can also add prefix Dr
* Now, after confirmation by Pharmacy Council of India, every student who has passed the examinations for the Pharm D (Doctor of Pharmacy) will be granted a certificate with a Dr prefix