Ben Shapiro Ridiculed by Doctors for Complaining About Jill Biden's Use of 'Dr.'

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro has been mocked on Twitter by academics after suggesting "only people with Ph.D.s in hard sciences and medical doctors" should refer to themselves as "doctor."

Shapiro was briefly one of the top trending topics on Twitter early Tuesday morning after he waded in on the controversy surrounding an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal regarding first lady-elect Jill Biden's use of the "Dr." title in her name,

Essayist Joseph Epstein argued that Biden's use of "Dr." before her name "sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic" because she does not hold a medical degree.

Biden received a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware in 2007. Epstein was also criticized for referring to Biden as "kiddo" in the piece.

Shapiro agreed with the sentiment expressed in the article in a number of tweets on Monday, as well as on his radio show.

"Only people with Ph.D.'s in hard sciences and medical doctors should be called 'doctor.' This has been my consistent position for over a decade," he tweeted.

"If you're at a dinner and somebody introduces himself as 'Dr. Smith,' you'd be rather upset to learn that he had a doctorate in musicology if you were to suffer a stroke at the table.

"Furthermore, to compare a doctorate in education (or law, for that matter) to a medical degree is the height of absurdity. Having watched my wife do the latter, it simply isn't comparable."

Social media users, including academics and people who hold doctorates in subjects such as history or philosophy, hit back at Shapiro over his remarks

"Dr. Jill Biden earned a doctorate in education and has every right to be called doctor. In fact, anyone with a PhD, DDS, MD, DO, or Ed.D has the right to be called doctor," tweeted former resident physician turned social media personality Eugene Gu.

"Ben Shapiro never earned any of those degrees. He may have gone to Harvard Law, but his only title is Clown."

Dr. Jill Biden earned a doctorate in education and has every right to be called doctor. In fact, anyone with a PhD, DDS, MD, DO, or Ed.D has the right to be called doctor. Ben Shapiro never earned any of those degrees. He may have gone to Harvard Law, but his only title is Clown.

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 15, 2020

Dylan MacKay, an assistant professor of nutritional biochemist wrote: I'd be upset about the stroke Ben, not someone's honorific, I have a PhD in Human Nutritional Sciences and let me tell you I can dial an ambulance as well as any physician I know"

I’d probably be nearly as upset knowing that Ben Shapiro was going to be sitting at a dinner table with me

— Jason Kindrachuk, PhD (@KindrachukJason) December 15, 2020

Academic Cait Mcdonald said: "today i defended my second doctorate, so now you have to call me kiddo-kiddo."

today i defended my second doctorate, so now you have to call me kiddo-kiddo. pic.twitter.com/Y4CNqPl0an

— cait mcdonald, or, black lives matter (@latelycait) December 14, 2020

Journalist John Maguire posted: "my list of ideal dinner party sit-besides [who want to talk about work]."

my list of ideal dinner party sit-besides [who want to talk about work]

1) doctor of musicology
2) doctor of anything
equal 2nd) medical doctor
nowhere) ben shapiro pic.twitter.com/8emH2R8ghO

— John Maguire (@JMaguireCritic) December 14, 2020
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8">

"This is such a lovely self own," wrote actor Sean Gunn, quoting a tweet from Shapiro.

"When someone introduces themselves as a doctor, it never occurs to me that there's more than one type of doctor."

Author Joe Kassabian tweeted: "Ben Shapiro's entire brand is inventing situations that have never happened and then getting mad about them."

Ben Shapiro's entire brand is inventing situations that have never happened and then getting mad about them. pic.twitter.com/ZNA5KkYwNR

— Joe Kassabian (@jkass99) December 14, 2020

Journalist Abraham Gutman added: "Ben Shapiro is right. The only person who should ever give you medical treatment is whomever you are having dinner with and preferably it's someone super qualified to be called a 'Dr.' like a chemist or a physicist. This dude is a genius. We are not worthy."

Ben Shapiro is right. The only person who should ever give you medical treatment is whomever you are having dinner with and preferably it's someone super qualified to be called a "Dr." like a chemist or a physicist. This dude is a genius. We are not worthy. pic.twitter.com/KbG38LlTtQ

— Abraham Gutman 🔥 (@abgutman) December 15, 2020

Biden also appeared to hit out at the op-ed shortly after it was published. She tweeted: "Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished."

"What patronizing, sexist, elitist drivel," tweeted Kate Bedingfield, the president-elect's communications director. "Dr. B earned a doctorate in education, so we call her Doctor. The title Mr. Epstein has earned here is perhaps not fit for mixed company."

Former first lady Michelle Obama also defended Biden on social media.

"For eight years, I saw Dr. Jill Biden do what a lot of professional women do—successfully manage more than one responsibility at a time, from her teaching duties to her official obligations in the White House to her roles as a mother, wife, and friend," Obama wrote on Instagram.

"And right now, we're all seeing what also happens to so many professional women, whether their titles are Dr., Ms., Mrs., or even First Lady: All too often, our accomplishments are met with skepticism, even derision. We're doubted by those who choose the weakness of ridicule over the strength of respect. And yet somehow, their words can stick—after decades of work, we're forced to prove ourselves all over again."

Shapiro has been contacted for comment.

Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro speaks onstage at Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California Michael S. Schwartz/Getty