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Mr. (or Ms.) vs Dr.

This is something I've never encountered before. Apparently in some parts of the world, notably in the UK, surgeons are referred to as "Mister" or "Ms." instead of "Doctor". Minnesotastan ran across a literary reference in which a surgeon was offended when called "Doctor." Commenter Phyllis says:
Yes. In the UK, surgeons used to be LESS THAN doctors (who were educated and gave out medicines and didn't get their hands dirty like those plebeian surgeons).

Even though they are more like the US now, where they are doctors PLUS extra training, it seems that the term has persisted.

Now I wonder about other countries. How do people refer to medical practitioners and surgeons where you come from? Link

(Image credit: Flickr userĀ  Salim Fadhley)

In New Zealand doctors are called Dr until they become specialists and then they become Mr/Ms. So your local GP (general practitioner) is Dr, but your endocrinologist or your orthopedic surgeon is Mr/Ms.
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I think it's consultant surgeons, who are as far as I'm aware are the most experienced doctors and are the head of surgical teams, that are called Mr or Ms. However, even speaking as someone who's lived in the UK all her life, it does seem an odd system to me, and a confusing one too.
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I've took this info for granted ever since I saw episode one of season two of Absolutely Fabulous ("Hospital"). The "b!tch nurse" says "Mr. Simpson will be along in a minute." after Eddie demands to see a doctor. Eddie even derides the "mister" so it must be counterintuitive even to some Brits.
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In France, we say Dr for any student passing a Doctorate (PhD) which corresponds to 7 years of studies completed by a thesis. Surgeons are Doctors with a specialty.
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In Mexico everyone has a title. Doctors are obviously doctor, but anyone with a college degree is Licenciado, accountants are Contador (accountant), and teachers, musicians, master craftsmen (plumbers, construction workers, mechanics, you name it) are all Maestro.
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Am currently a med student in Australia and its like that here too! The general public calls surgeons Dr, but within the medical profession itself they are referred to as Mr. Its sort of a reverse snobbery thing to set themselves apart from "normal" doctors.
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I'm in Australia - a few years ago I had a knee reconstruction, and during a consultation with the surgeon I referred to him as 'Dr Henderson' and his assisting surgeon leaned in and whispered 'It's MR Henderson'! Well, I'm sorry!
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