SIR – Titles do matter, but not perhaps in the way one might think (Letters, September 14).
I spent five years to become medically qualified and call myself “Doctor”. I then spent another five as a junior surgeon before reverting to “Mr”, an archaic practice reflecting the old division between physicians and barbers. When attending meetings abroad, I was always addressed as “Doctor”, and quite often awarded an MD.
Somewhat more pernicious is the rise of the use of the title “Professor”. In this country, this used to mean someone with a research degree, a head of an academic department, or a holder of a personal chair. There are now a number of individuals who use the prefix as a consequence of having given a lecture once. The public are led to believe that such an individual must be better than a mere “Mr”. They need to remember that if you need surgery, or indeed any kind of job done, go to a craftsman, not a thinker. David Nunn FRCS
West Malling, Kent
SIR – I recall an old-school don in Oxford in the Sixties asking a guest in the senior common room if he was “Mr” or “just plain Doctor”. DW Harding
Gullane, East Lothian