Is your 'doctor' a physician?
Physician titles are MD (medical doctor) or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine). All physicians complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and at least three years of a formal residency training program. They must pass at least three high-stakes standardized examinations to be licensed to practice medicine. There are NO online medical schools.
VIDEO: Can NPs pass the same exams as physicians?
Nurse practitioner 'doctors'
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are usually registered nurses who go on to earn a master's degree in nursing (MSN) or a DNP (doctorate in nursing practice). Many of these programs are online. Some offer 100% acceptance rates - anyone who applies is accepted. Others promote accelerated training, allowing nurses to graduate in as little as 15 months, while others let nurses work full-time while they attend school. Some programs are now allowing non-nurses with a bachelor's degree in ANY subject to become a nurse practitioner in as little as two years.
There is nothing to stop a nurse with a doctorate degree from calling themselves a doctor, even though 85% of all DNP degrees are non-clinical, providing education on subjects like research and leadership, rather than increasing clinical skills.
Physician assistant 'doctors'
Physician assistants (PAs) usually attend four years of college and then earn a master's degree in physician assistant studies. There are some online PA programs.
There is now a doctorate for physician assistants, called the 'doctorate of medical science' degree, allowing PAs to also call themselves 'doctor.'
In addition, physician assistants are seeking a name change to no longer be called by this title. They now are seeking to be simply called 'PA' or 'physician associate.'