ASL sign for DOCTOR

Definition: A qualified practitioner of medicine; a physician.

Same sign for PHYSICIAN.

Learner Tip: Do NOT use this sign for Dr. as in the honorific. Use a different sign (fs-DR). See the video below.

Meaning: written abbreviation for Doctor.

This ASL sign refers to the honorific name as in Dr. Last-Name. Not everyone with a PhD degree is a physician! It refers to people who have doctorate degrees.


Get more with the Patron Plus subscription plan. Already a subscriber? Login. Or, sign up to unlock the premium content and more features, including ad-free.

ASL written for DOCTOR

ASL digit written and contributed by Todd Hicks in the ASLwrite community, 2017.

ASL written for DOCTOR var

Variation of written ASL digit for "DOCTOR". [Adrean Clark, 2018]

Minimal Pairs

Handshape: NURSE, PSYCHIATRIST. Location: KNOW.

Deaf ASL-signing Doctors across North America

Dr. Hartley Bressler, Toronto, Ontario.

Dr. Jessica (nee-Dunkey) Nertomb, the first Deaf Metis doctor in Canada. Now in B.C., Canada.

Dr. Justine Durno of Scotland-born U.K. gave a panel speech in BSL (British Sign Langauge) via interpreter at the United Nations Assembly in New York City in March 2020 about accessibility in STEM and medical fields. She was also invited by Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite of Iraq to write a chapter in a book called "Women and Girls in Science."

Dr. Megan Jack, Winnipeg.

Dr. Michael Mckee, USA.

ASL-signing Codas

Dr. IV Mirus, an ER doctor at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Search Tips and Pointers

Filter word: Enter a keyword in the search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word.

For best result, enter a parial word to see variations of the word.

Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list.

For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Practice your alphabetical index skill or eye-sharpening. :)

Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request (only if a single link doesn't show in the result).

Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the way down to the next search box is highly recommended.

Grammar: ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For searching signed words in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.

Variation: Some ASL signs have regional (and generational) variations across North America. Some common variations are included as much as possible, but for specifically local variations, interact with your local community to learn their local variations.

Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences. Some entries have sentence examples.

Contextual meaning: Some ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.

ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily language interactions and conversations with Deaf/Ameslan people (or ASLians).