The prefix Dr. in English refers to both medical doctors, and PhD graduates. What are the correct titles for these in Chinese? I believe that 医生 is correct to use as a title for a medical doctor, but I don't know if it can be used for a PhD.

  • @JamesJiao, I looked at the links you posted. I unfortunately still don't know the special title, if any, that a PhD holder has in Chinese. I'm still at a pretty low level in Chinese, and I can't decipher the Chinese doctor page well enough to identify the relevant information.
    – juckele
    Nov 28, 2012 at 23:20
  • 1
    @juckele The link I gave you is the English doctor page with Chinese translations. I will post this as an answer. Nov 28, 2012 at 23:22
  • @JamesJiao, Ah, I see it now. I'm used to doing language swaps for certain noun translations, but I didn't realize wiktionary had translation sections, and when I originally searched "Chinese" on the page, it didn't produce a match because of the hidden div. Thanks.
    – juckele
    Nov 28, 2012 at 23:25
  • @juckele Oh I see. Fair enough. WT's layout isn't exactly easy to follow, but once you get used to it, it's actually an extremely useful tool. Nov 28, 2012 at 23:31

2 Answers 2


All the information is taken straight from Wiktionary's English entries and the Chinese/Mandarin translations thereof. You don't really need to know any Chinese to find the information:

Doctor (physician): 医生, 大夫.
Doctor (person with a doctorate): 博士
Doctor (vet): 兽医

Doctor of Philosophy: 哲学博士 

Graduate (from a university): 毕业生

博士 can be used as a title. For example you'd call me 焦博士 if I was an academic doctor (I wish).

毕业生 is usually used without a name attached; however, if you have to use it as a title (which is really unusual in either English or Chinese), then you can append the name of the person at the end of it: 毕业生James or 毕业生小焦.

  • Oh, yeah, transliterations was a typo + a sloppy auto correct, I already fixed that.
    – juckele
    Nov 28, 2012 at 23:27
  • Yep I noticed that and removed the part about it in my answer. Nov 28, 2012 at 23:30
  • Would it be correct/acceptable to call someone with a PhD 博士, or would this be like calling a Dr. Smith 'Mr. Smith' instead? Would you ever actually use 毕业生 as a title in casual conversation, or would this be equivalent to calling someone by an unusual title in English ('College Graduate Smith' is certainly something you could say, but it sounds weird)?
    – juckele
    Nov 28, 2012 at 23:32
  • @juckele See my updated answer and yes, 毕业生 is a very common word and I don't see why it can't be used in a casual conversation (as there is no close alternative that I know of). Nov 28, 2012 at 23:59
  • Just like to point out that PhD = "Doctor of Philosophy", and it doesn't have to do with 哲学. Dec 13, 2012 at 18:01

You would address Dr. Yang (PhD) as 杨博.

  • That sounds way too colloquial and personal. I would never call my professor that. Sep 23, 2013 at 1:20

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