In Doctor Strange, the titular character, after the car accident, is adamant about others addressing him as "doctor", even though he knows he is no longer able to practice his medical specialty anymore (neurosurgery). This seems to indicate an undercurrent of insecurity about his identity post-accident.

Does Doctor Strange lose his medical license as a result of his hand injury or the related fallout? That is, is his inability to practice primarily practical in nature (he's afraid that his shaky hands will make him botch up an operation, so he decides not to try), or is he stripped of his professional identity in a more profound way?

Although I'm asking from the perspective of the MCU, I will accept an answer from the comics as long as it is not directly contradicted by anything in the MCU.

  • 19
    OOU he would not lose his license. Once you get licensed, you keep it barring things such as malpractice, acting outside of care, failure to keep up CEU's, etc. There are many surgeons that can no longer practice surgery, but still see/consult on patients, teach, etc.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 15:35
  • 1
    The Strange Wikia notes he had his license revoked in DS #381.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 15:37
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    @JohnP that's what I thought, there ia a lot of medical practice that doesn't require fine motor control. I usdd to know a psychiatrist who was 80 years old and borderline senile - but he could listen patiently and prescribe meds, after going through two or three prescription blanks due to his poor handwriting (even for a doctor). Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 15:38
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    @Valorum - Yes, there are quite a few reasons for a possible revocation, but they are all misconduct in nature, so I didn't list them. Failure to renew is somewhat covered by failure to gain CEU (Continuing Education Unit) points, as you have to have CEU's to renew.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 16:20
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    The doctorate is a degree, which is granted by a university, and can only be taken away by them. A medical license is granted by a medical association, and is required in order to Practice medicine. A license has to be renewed (usually annually), and one of the requirements to renew is Continuing Education (CE) credits, much like college credits. He likely wasn't continuing to study medicine in order to renew his license. If he failed to renew or had his license revoked by the medical association he could still be called 'Doctor' as he still has the degree, but couldn't practice officially. Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


Doctor Strange lost his licence to practice medicine some time during his time as the Sorcerer Supreme. He was, we assume, simply too pre-occupied to notice or care when it happened.

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Doctor Strange #382

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    That said, there's no evidence he's lost it in the MCU. In the film, during the attempt to save the Ancient One, he's present in surgery. The hospital would be at risk if he was present and not certified, whereas being still certified he could be referred to as a consulting expert if anyone questioned him being there. Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 16:59
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    Even if still licensed and certified, he could quite possibly (likely!) have lost operating privileges at that hospital due to his hand injury. The hospital would take a very dim view of him operating without permission; I don't know exactly what the legal implications could have been for the hospital in case of a malpractice suit, but it's definitely not normal activity. Commented Jun 6, 2018 at 17:13
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    @RossPresser: Every scene in the hospital post-accident was "definitely not normal activity." Where are the triage nurses? Why isn't anyone questioning all of the random undocumented medical treatments?
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 1:43
  • This isn't the MCU Commented Jun 11, 2018 at 13:51
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    @RossPresser: Not to mention I don't think the Ancient One or her estate is going to sue the hospital. But that would make a good sequel. Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 20:52

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