What’s In a Name? — “Doctor”

The word “doctor” comes from the Latin doceō, docēre, which literally means “to teach.”1 It was historically used to refer to an experienced person who was considered an authority on a subject, thereby being qualified to teach it.2 In the twelfth century, the first Western-style universities were formed and the word “doctor” became a title given to a person who held the highest degree of the university.3

As a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), I believe it is my duty to both treat and educate my patients. It is my intent that by teaching you about the human body and the rationale behind treatments, you will feel more comfortable and be more equipped to manage your health to achieve better results. Unfortunately, this practice seems to be disappearing from health care, as many doctors are feeling the pressure to shorten office visits in order to see more patients.

I encourage you to ask me questions during your office visit. Communication is a vital part of the doctor-patient relationship, and by explaining the “why” and “how,” I can make sure that we share health goals and work together to achieve them. That, to me, is what it means to be a doctor.

R.A. Glasgow, D.C.


1. Cicero MT. Tulli Ciceronis Orationes et epistolae selectae: Select orations and letters of Cicero. 14th ed. Norwood, MA: Berwick and Smith Co,; 1905.

2.Lawler J. Which Was the First Doctor, M.D. or Ph. D.? Stack Exchange. Published February 2012. Accessed October 29 2016.

3.Harper Douglas. Doctor (n.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Published 2001-20016. Accessed October 29 2016.