Yes I AM a Doctor!

doctor-bag2It appears to be a lifelong curse for me to have to deal with people who never seem to take the fact that I am a bona fide medical doctor seriously. Most recently, I was challenged by a hater who didn’t bother to check facts and find out WHY I had “board-certified physician” on my main Instagram profile. All she saw was B.A. in Exercise Science and stupidly assumed that I had no other credentials. I purposely left out all my medical certifications and titles because I had to include my fitness background, writing and modeling descriptions in a limited number of characters.

She attacked me by posting a challenging comment on MY Instagram post, so I wrote to her clarifying my background and then blocked her because her comment was rather scathing. She returned through a different IG profile and BLASTED me, hurling profanity at me via another public comment. So I threw all her filthy words back to her and blocked her again. I REFUSE to be bullied by haters, especially those who don’t bother to do some research before hurling false accusations and insults against people they don’t even know.

Even those who know me through social circles will exclaim, “Oh wow, you mean you’re a DOCTOR doctor? That’s amazing!”, as if my medical training and career are somehow not supposed to be taken seriously by those near and dear to me. I want to yell, “YES, I am a doctor! Why didn’t you believe me the first time I told you? Why do I have to somehow prove it to you?” What irks me is that I don’t see these people doubting the abilities of their friends who work in any other industry, be it certified public accounting, law enforcement, or any other respected profession. I honestly resent the insinuation that my credentials somehow don’t count because I don’t wear a white coat all the time (by the way, I can’t STAND wearing those polyester nightmares) or flaunt my professional title like a badge.

For those of you who question what my credentials are, I will be very clear. Several years after I obtained my Bachelor’s degree, I completed four years of medical school which culminated in a medical diploma. After that, I completed my internship year (which was also my first year of family practice residency training) and became licensed as a physician. Two more years of residency training in family practice followed, then I sat for my specialty boards and became board-certified in family practice. Eight years later I had to sit for board recertification, and that process will repeat itself every eight years until I retire from medicine.

I am not a nurse or a physician’s assistant (though those professions are highly respectable, and attract some of the smartest and most compassionate people on the planet). What I AM is:

Physician…ahem, a.k.a. Medical Doctor.

I may not be conservative or conventional, but I expect the same amount of respect as a physician who chooses to fit the mold and wear conservative attire and a white coat. My patients refer to me as Dr. Naito, not as Dr. Stacey or Stacey. I have worked VERY hard to become a physician, and I also recognize how hard my colleagues work as well. That is why when I am around other physicians, I err on the side of caution and refer to them as DOCTOR and not by their first names unless they specifically ask me to refer to them on a first name basis.

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