Physician Dr. Anne Marie Valinoti, writing in the New York Times, explored the subject of exam room etiquette between doctor and patient, and specifically how they address each other.
“Since my early career, I have always been addressed as ‘Dr. Valinoti’. Freshly minted MDs, some as young as 25, get a title of respect – while seasoned nurses in the hospital are just Betty, Kaye or Nancy.
“I remembered the absurdity of this situation when, as a young intern, I was addressing critical care nurses with decades of experience by their first names, while they deferentially called me ‘Doctor.’ These were women who had started their careers when I was still playing with Barbie dolls, yet where were their professional titles?
“Like most things in medical training, I got used to it, and it became second nature.
“One thing I am still getting used to, though, is when patients call me by my first name. There seems to be a void in this area of etiquette: How does one address one’s physician? Continue reading “What do you call your doctor?”