Should Patients Call You by Your First Name?

Roxanne Nelson, RN, BSN


December 26, 2018

In This Article

What Is the Right Way to Address a Physician?

Editor's Note: This is an update to an article published on Medscape on December 9, 2015.

Many of society's conventions have changed; for example, "casual Fridays" have become "casual everyday" in many offices.

In a similar vein, some patients have begun addressing physicians by their first names rather than, for example, "Dr Smith." To some physicians, this is fine. Others have a problem with it.

The issue has become somewhat more complicated recently as many nonphysician clinicians—often wearing a white coat—are involved in treating patients. Retaining the title "Dr" helps patients recognize which type of clinician is providing care.


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