IMA wants doctor prefix only for Allopathy medicos

stethMembers say the term ‘Dr’misleads people as most think it means an allopathic practitioner; They want prefixes like vaidya, hakim and homeopath to be used by practitioners in Ayurveda, Unani medicine and Homeopathy

If the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has its way, then Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy practitioners will have to start prefixing vaidya, hakim and homeopath before their names instead of simply calling themselves doctor.

IMA members say this has to be done as just the term ‘Dr’ misleads the public, as most assume that it means an allopathic practitioner. “There should be some clarity about medical professionals as there are so many streams of medicine. Also the number of doctors has increased and so has quackery,” said Dr Jayesh Lele, secretary, IMA.

We have written to the Indian Medical Council (Ayurveda), National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA), Homeopathic Council of India and other smaller councils as well, regarding this,” said Lele.

In the past few years, disputes between allopathic practitioners and those practicing alternative fields of medicines like ayurveda, homeopathy etc have grown stronger. Doctors have time and again said that ayurveda or unani practitioners prescribing allopathic drugs is nothing but quackery.

A majority of ayurvedic doctors today prescribe allopathic medicines. People take them unsuspectingly as most of them are not even aware about the doctor’s qualification,” said Lele. “For people, a doctor is just a doctor. There is a very small population that is aware about the streams of medicines and one should cross check the qualifications of a medical professional before going to him,” he added.

IMA feels that if ayurveda, unani and homeopathy practitioners start using the appropriate abbreviations, it will only benefit the public. “As per the rules, anyone who practices ayurveda is a vaidya, a unani practitioner is a hakim and a homeopathy practitioner is a homeopath. So why not just follow the rules and simplify it for the masses?” said Lele.

The president of the Central Council of Homeopathy, Dr Ramjee Singh said that members will discuss the issue in their upcoming meeting on August 28. “They can demand anything. It is not necessary that we give in to their demands,” said Singh.

Dr K Kohli, director of Ayurveda, Government of Maharashtra, remained unavailable for comments.

A member of Central Council of India Medicine which governs Unani as well as Ayurveda practitioners, Dr Mushtaque Mukadam, said, “The abbreviation ‘Dr’ is a translation of vaidya or hakim. Why complicate the terms for people?” [Source]


  1. It will be better to remove ‘Dr’ from all medical practitioners including Allopaths. Simply say Sreekumar.M.B BHMS[Homoeopath]…Cyriac Mathew MBBS[Allopath] ete….The words in bracket are optional.That will solve issue…

  2. It is not only in India that Homoeopath, ayurveda or an Unani medical practitioner is called a Doctor. It is universally accepted. And the full forms of all medical courses including MBBS suggest that all are equally knowledgable except that their mode of treatment vary.
    it can also be changed in such a way that instead giving different names to Ayush practitioners, MBBS people can be prefixed as Allopaths and ayush people as Dr.s.

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