Trust me, I’m a doctor.

Last Friday I was asked to give a short presentation at the induction event for the new intake of research students. As usual, I started with a self-deprecating joke about a PhD. That’s when it struck me that I do have quite a collection of such jokes.


  • “I would like to thank my family and friends outside academia for continually resisting the urge to tell me to “get a proper job”.” (Andrew Chadwick, Internet Politics, 2006: xiii, Acknowledgements)
  • A professorial room (photographed in 2007)


  • “Not the kind with access to drugs” (The Big Bang Theory S04E19)


  • RT @aimsinpeng At a tech startup talk. This is what they say about working w academics […] (25 March 2015)


  • RT @ianvisits The British Library, full of wise clever people who read a lot — but need to be warned about steps. A lot. (21 February 2014)


  • “The only people who will ever read your thesis (besides you) will be your supervisor, the examiners and your mum. And she will just say she read it.” (Australian Open Access Support Group, 10 April 2013) * Compiler’s note: The version that we shared had a one additional detail – that the examiners will read it on the train to Egham!
  • “It’s amazing how many super villains have advanced degrees.” (The Big Bang Theory S02E02)
  • “Dr. Acula” (Scrubs S05E06)


  • RT @Lollardfish Me: Mom, are you proud of me?
    Her: Your sister is dating a doctor.
    Me: I’m a doctor.
    Her: You have a PhD in history. Don’t brag, David. (7 October 2017)

  • “Bart, don’t make fun of grad students. They just made a terrible life choice.” (The Simpsons)

  • “[Dr] actually means something here.” (Friends S10E13)

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