A doctor is considered one of the most prestigious and respected careers, whether the person is a medical or dental doctor, or a doctor in one of the sciences. There are a number of different abbreviations after a doctor's name, and while it's unlikely that you will know them all, some are better known than others. This guide will help you determine whether you're getting the care and information that you seek from the appropriate professional.
The abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms that come after a doctor's name can signify a number of different things. They might indicate the type of schooling or training they received so that they'd be qualified to specialize in a certain field; they could indicate professional associations to which they belong; or they could point out other kinds of education or designations that they have earned over the course of their career.
It's worth noting that while the doctor acronyms listed here do not have periods after each letter or set of letters, doing so can be perfectly acceptable under certain circumstances. For instance, there isn't a real difference between MD and M.D. when referring to a doctor of medicine. However, it wouldn't make sense to write G.Y.N. when referring to a gynecologist.
In addition to degrees, certificates and other certifications that doctors may receive, they may also have to belong to certain professional or medical associations in order to do their job.
While most people tend to associate doctors with the medical community, there are many other types of doctors and degrees that aren't necessarily related to medicine at all.
As shown in the abbreviations above, the letters after a doctor's name can refer to the person's degree or to any related professional organizations in which the person has been accepted as a fellow or member, allowing them to practice their profession.