I recently heard a statistic that in the UK 5% of people hold higher academic qualifications than their doctor (a similar statistic probably holds in the US). This made me think. How exactly do people decide which qualifications rank higher than others? It seems obvious that a PhD for example is higher than a BSc or BA and that something starting with an M is probably in between, but how do you rank them in less obvious cases. Is a medical doctor's degree actually called a doctorate, since it appears that of the different degrees that allow one to practice medicine, a lot of them don't have any D's in the lettering.