using first names

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  • #30794
    amykamyk
    Participant

    A topic caught my eye in the Physicians forum about patients using doctors’ first names, and I must admit this one’s been awkward for me as a patient. I was brought up to use titles, esp. for people older than me. But at this point I’ve got doctors I’ve seen for years, some of whom aren’t much older than me — my primary care guy was a resident when I was in grad school. They address me by my first name, which is fine. At what point, though, do I stop waiting for them to invite me to use their first names? Do you ever say to longtime patients, “Please, call me __________”? It really doesn’t seem to be a done thing anymore, one of the casualties of…er, casualness.

    amy

    #30795
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    I call my internist Dr. (he’s younger than me) and he calls me Dr. and that seems fine to me – I don’t see any reason to use first names since it’s a professional relationship. I remember when one of my elderly mother’s doctors sometimes called her by her first name she was offended.

    #30796
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    This is just my own preference but I would never ask any patient (not even a very long term one) to call me by my first name. Maybe that’s old fashioned but I feel like professional relationships need to be kept professional. I call my own physicians “Dr..” and most of them call me “Dr…” (the ones that know I am a doctor) as well. I do have one MD who asked me to call him by his first name and I just can’t do it…seems to weird to me.

    #30797
    maggie52maggie52
    Participant

    Same for me momsurg- I have never ever once asked a pt to call me by my first name; and 90% of the time when a colleague or my own MD asks me to use their first name I laugh and say- ” Thanks but i doubt I’ll be using it!”….so with my colleagues it becomes a standing joke – I say hello dr. D., and he makes fun of me…

    #30798
    amykamyk
    Participant

    So hang on — are you saying you call patients by first name, but you wouldn’t want them calling you by first name? Or do you call them Mr/Mrs/Dr/Prof etc.?

    I do have a dentist who calls me Mrs., and actually I find it kind of awkward. She’s my age, and her hygienists, who’ve been in the practice much longer than she has, are on a first-name basis with me (they’re maybe 15 years older than me).

    amy

    #30799
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    For me it really depends on the patient what I will call them. If they are a physician seeing me as a patient I always call them “Dr…”. I always start with Ms./Mrs./Mr. at the first visit but usually am told to use their first name. If not, I then continue using the more formal name. I have met very few people who want to called Mr… while waking up from anesthesia…although if they do I am more than happy to do so. I usually like to use whatever is the most comfortable to the other person. I tell all of my own physicians (especially those who do not know I am a doctor…) to use my first name…I hate being called Mrs…

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