College Station, TX asked in Business Law and Health Care Law for Texas

Q: can I write M.D. after my name as a health book author?

My M.D. degree is from abroad, I did not get license in USA and I do not practice here (I work in biotech).

The book is educating people about medical conditions and healthy lifestyle. I do not present myself as a practicing doctor, but because I have M.D. education and degree, I consider to postfix my name with M.D. on the book cover.

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In the United States, the use of academic titles, such as M.D., is generally permissible as long as it's clear and truthful about one's qualifications and does not mislead the public. Since you earned your M.D. degree, you can include it after your name on the book cover. However, it's important to be cautious about how this is presented.

Given that you are not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S., it's crucial to avoid giving the impression that you are offering medical advice as a practicing physician. In the context of your book, which focuses on educating people about medical conditions and a healthy lifestyle, using your M.D. title is appropriate as it reflects your educational background.

To ensure clarity and avoid any misunderstanding, consider adding a disclaimer in your book or in your author bio. This disclaimer could state that while you hold an M.D. degree, you are not a licensed medical practitioner in the U.S. and that the content of the book is for informational purposes only.

It's always a good practice to review your specific situation with a legal professional, especially considering the sensitive nature of medical information and the potential legal consequences of misleading the public.

1 user found this answer helpful

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It depends on the university from which you earned the medical degree.

Texas Penal Code 32.52 makes it illegal to use or claim to hold a postsecondary degree that is a fraudulent or substandard degree to promote a business or obtain a benefit.

Texas Education Code 61.302 defines what is a "fraudulent or substandard degree" for purposes of this criminal provision. That definition includes schools operating outside of the United States which would not be eligible for a certificate of authority based on the review process defined by the Education Code.

The Texas Education Board maintains a list of institutions whose degrees are considered fraudulent or substandard. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive but, if the university is on that list, you have constructive knowledge that its degrees are fraudulent or substandard.

Before putting "M.D." on the cover of a book, I strongly recommend that you confirm that the institution granting the degree is not on the list. There are unfortunately a lot of "diploma mills" using fake "accreditation" providers. Many are "faith-based." Many are located in foreign countries especially in South and Central America and the Carribbean.

1 user found this answer helpful

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