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More support for Dr. Jill Biden

To the editor:

Recently I read a letter in the Lake Placid News and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise titled, “In support of Dr. Jill Biden.” The writer is Julia Handler, a fourth-grade student at North Country School, who quoted an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal of Dec. 11: “Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.” Julia is obviously intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken.

The opinion piece by Joseph Epstein says that “Jill Biden should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic.” He refers to her as “Kiddo”! Such bias, such arrogance, is far more than just impolite. Mr. Epstein appears to be of the outmoded, out-of-touch opinion that females should not aspire to anything more than a secretarial job.

Obviously this male has never looked seriously about what a Ph.D. degree is and how one acquires this. To be awarded a Ph.D. the candidate, male or female, spends at least five years of study and research, and produces a book-size thesis detailing research results and applications. The candidate is required to have “contributed to the body of knowledge in her field with independent, new insightful research”. Defending the thesis, proving the verity of the research and its benefits, is an arduous task. This is serious work, not comedy, not fraud. It is at least comparable to a medical student working for an M.D.

My family includes two females who have earned Ph.D. degrees, one in research psychology and one in computer and systems engineering. The places where they work use the honorific of “Dr.” in referring to them. There is also a granddaughter who is in her fifth year of work on a Phd in biology. The family is extremely proud of the accomplishments of these women.

Dr. Jill Biden has earned her degree and is entitled to be called “Dr.” and we honor her with the title. As Julia Handler wrote “Why do you care?” “Why are you even talking about this?” Mr. Epstein, mind your own business and leave the educated, forward-thinking females to improve the world.

Virginia Hood

Lake Placid