What do titles like Professor and Doctor mean?

Full Professorship is the highest academic ranking in a university. In Australia, the ranking below Full Professor is Associate Professor (A/Prof or Reader) and the ones below that are Senior Lecturer and Lecturer.

Doctor is a different title that confusingly, has different meanings depending on the circumstances. In university circles (academia), “Doctor” refers to the completion of a Doctor of Philosophy (or PhD). A PhD is the highest academic degree conferred by a university. A PhD requires a minimum of 3 years of full-time research. Universities also offer a range of shorter degree courses such as MD, MPhil, and Masters.

Unlike a university PhD doctorate, in Medicine, the title Doctor refers to the completion of an undergraduate medical degree (e.g. MBBS). This is what most members of the public understand “Doctor” to mean.

Prof Homer is a Doctor of Medicine (MBBS with Honours) and also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Fertility (PhD). During his PhD, Prof Homer studied intricate molecular networks in eggs. His work led to the discovery and understanding of key elements in eggs that underpin egg quality. This landmark work was published in some of the world’s most prestigious journals, such as Genes & Development and Science. There are extremely few medical Infertility Sub-specialists who also hold a university PhD.