Dear Reader,

It is 3 am.

You sit at your kitchen table, head in hands.

Your cat watches you uneasily.

Why, she thinks, is the non-cat up at this hour? Why does it make that sobbing choking sound, as if a half-chewed cat biscuit has got lodged in its hideously hairless gullet? Why is it not feeding me?

Ah, dear Reader. I know the secrets of your heart, even if your cat does not.

The question that wakes you up in the middle of the night is this:

But Will I Be Defrocked?

I am here to reassure you, dear Reader, that there will be no de-doctoring ceremony. The Queen will remain unmoved by your transition from third-sector to the Real World. You are not obliged to return your chequebooks, or ask your bank to reissue them to a mere ‘Ms’. In my local garage, for instance, they still know my vehicle as Dr Ada’s Beetle; and only the other day I impressed upon a salesman the fact that despite not being a ‘real doctor’, as he put it, I was entitled to be treated with extra respect, by virtue of being a Time Lord.

Finally, I point to my own example again as the way forward, as one on the very brink of successfully parlaying her doctorate in Runic Studies into solid entrepreneurial cash by the simple means of removing the Dr from the start of her name, and adding ‘PhD’ to the end.

Dr Ada Lamb, PhD

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