mustangsally65

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I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but here goes.

I have a preferred name that doesn't appear anywhere on my birth certificate/driver's license etc. My question is: when I'm a doctor, do I have to go by my legal name since that's the name on my MD? For instance, do I have to sign prescriptions with my full name, or could I use my preferred name?

This probably sounds kind of silly, but I've had this problem all my life. Whenever I sign anything at all, I use my legal name. But this creates a lot of confusion, and I hate that. :oops:
 

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I have no idea about the answer to your question (sorry :)) But I'm curious, have you considered changing your legal name to match your preferred name?
 

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mustangsally65 said:
I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but here goes.

I have a preferred name that doesn't appear anywhere on my birth certificate/driver's license etc. My question is: when I'm a doctor, do I have to go by my legal name since that's the name on my MD? For instance, do I have to sign prescriptions with my full name, or could I use my preferred name?

This probably sounds kind of silly, but I've had this problem all my life. Whenever I sign anything at all, I use my legal name. But this creates a lot of confusion, and I hate that. :oops:
Hi there,
Name on license has to match name on signature on scripts. Any method you use to make these two the same works no matter what name is on the degree on the wall.

njbmd :)
 

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njbmd said:
Hi there,
Name on license has to match name on signature on scripts. Any method you use to make these two the same works no matter what name is on the degree on the wall.

njbmd :)
Agree. Your medical license with the state in which you are working is what is important, and you need to use that name (not just on prescriptions, but probably in professional advertisements, office letterhead, etc). Your MD parchment itself, and what it says, is irrelevent.
I also agree with the prior poster who suggested that for a modest fee you can change your name legally to match that which you prefer, and then will have that on the license, MD etc.
 

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The route of legally changing your name seems like the best solution. That's what you want to be called anyway...why not make it official?
 
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mustangsally65

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I don't think I would consider legally changing my name. My first and middle names are sentimental because I was named after my two grandmothers, but was never called by either name because of the confusion that would have resulted. I've been called Sally my whole life, but it's not my legal name, it's just a nickname for my first name. All my grandparents are dead now so I wouldn't consider changing my name. :(

But I"m used to answering to my legal name because sometimes lately I don't tell people to call me Sally. I just go by my first name because that's what goes on my ID badges and that's what's on my driver's license, credit cards etc. But I definitely prefer to be called Sally.

The only reason I ask is that my doctor wants her patients to call her by her first name, and I kind of like that idea. But it wouldn't work if they called me my legal name, because I still am just not programmed to respond to that.

Do you know how many times in my life I've introduced myself to people as Sally (it's automatic, that's what I've been called for 24 years!) only to later have them call me by my first name or come to me and ask what my name was? Sometimes I get the feeling that they're implying that I don't know my own name. :rolleyes:

I do need to find a solution, though. :laugh:
 

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mustangsally65 said:
I don't think I would consider legally changing my name. My first and middle names are sentimental because I was named after my two grandmothers, but was never called by either name because of the confusion that would have resulted. I've been called Sally my whole life, but it's not my legal name, it's just a nickname for my first name. All my grandparents are dead now so I wouldn't consider changing my name. :(

But I"m used to answering to my legal name because sometimes lately I don't tell people to call me Sally. I just go by my first name because that's what goes on my ID badges and that's what's on my driver's license, credit cards etc. But I definitely prefer to be called Sally.

The only reason I ask is that my doctor wants her patients to call her by her first name, and I kind of like that idea. But it wouldn't work if they called me my legal name, because I still am just not programmed to respond to that.

Do you know how many times in my life I've introduced myself to people as Sally (it's automatic, that's what I've been called for 24 years!) only to later have them call me by my first name or come to me and ask what my name was? Sometimes I get the feeling that they're implying that I don't know my own name. :rolleyes:

I do need to find a solution, though. :laugh:
You could always have Sally made into a middle name and bump the other middle names back one. Then just use the first initial of the first name on cards, doorplate etc. Like F. Lee Bailey, G. Gordon Liddy, M. Knight Shyamalan. You could be M. Sally XXY ZZYGG, M.D. And then just tell everyone to call you Sally. Just a thought.
 
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You could always have Sally made into a middle name and bump the other middle names back one. Then just use the first initial of the first name on cards, doorplate etc. Like F. Lee Bailey, G. Gordon Liddy, M. Knight Shyamalan. You could be M. Sally XXY ZZYGG, M.D. And then just tell everyone to call you Sally. Just a thought.
With this amount of effort, why not just change AAA BBB CCC to Sally AAA BBB CCC?
 

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I can't imagine why you couldn't introduce yourself as your preferred name and sign as the other. I mean isn't that what you've done your entire life anyway. Plenty of people in my class have one name on their ID and introduce themselves as something else. Even my resident right now introduces himself with a nickname and signs the full name. No problem.
 

signomi

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That is what I did. For $150 I had my name changed to my name of choice. I bumped my first and middle names over to make them my new middle name. The result? People still screw up my name all the time. But it works out...when people call asking for Mr Signomi or Signomimi (example, not my real name!), I know they are trying to sell me something.

If it's worth the $150 to you, then go for it. But remember that changing your SS card, driver's license, certifications, college transcripts, scores, etc to reflect the new name can get expensive.
 

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mustangsally65 said:
I don't think I would consider legally changing my name. My first and middle names are sentimental because I was named after my two grandmothers, but was never called by either name because of the confusion that would have resulted. I've been called Sally my whole life, but it's not my legal name, it's just a nickname for my first name. All my grandparents are dead now so I wouldn't consider changing my name. :(

But I"m used to answering to my legal name because sometimes lately I don't tell people to call me Sally. I just go by my first name because that's what goes on my ID badges and that's what's on my driver's license, credit cards etc. But I definitely prefer to be called Sally.

The only reason I ask is that my doctor wants her patients to call her by her first name, and I kind of like that idea. But it wouldn't work if they called me my legal name, because I still am just not programmed to respond to that.

Do you know how many times in my life I've introduced myself to people as Sally (it's automatic, that's what I've been called for 24 years!) only to later have them call me by my first name or come to me and ask what my name was? Sometimes I get the feeling that they're implying that I don't know my own name. :rolleyes:

I do need to find a solution, though. :laugh:
You're creeping me out here, man. It's like we're the SAME PERSON. I am in a nearly identical situation.

The path from my first name to my preferred name is even a little more convoluted, because my preferred name is actually a nickname for my middle name. I'd never change my name legally though . . . I would feel like I was dishonoring my grandmothers or something.

I feel for you . . . I used to be in a facebook group called: "I always hated the first day of class because I go by something other than my first name."
 
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mustangsally65

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So another dumb question: could I sign my legal stuff as a physician with just my first initial and my last name? This would work out very well because my legal first name and my nickname both start with the letter S.

So I would sign it S. Lastname?

The reason I asked is that I figured patients would be confused if prescriptions and office documents came with my legal name when they called me Sally or Dr. Sally or whatever. But I suppose they'd get used to it just like everyone else always has.

I think the worst part for me is that no one has ever heard of Sally being a nickname for my first name. But my mom knew one person for a long time with the same first name/nickname combo, as well as my grandmother. So I know she didn't invent it or anything. My sister is named Elizabeth and she goes by Beth and no one ever has a problem with that.
 

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mustangsally65 said:
So another dumb question: could I sign my legal stuff as a physician with just my first initial and my last name? This would work out very well because my legal first name and my nickname both start with the letter S.

So I would sign it S. Lastname?

The reason I asked is that I figured patients would be confused if prescriptions and office documents came with my legal name when they called me Sally or Dr. Sally or whatever. But I suppose they'd get used to it just like everyone else always has.

I think the worst part for me is that no one has ever heard of Sally being a nickname for my first name. But my mom knew one person for a long time with the same first name/nickname combo, as well as my grandmother. So I know she didn't invent it or anything. My sister is named Elizabeth and she goes by Beth and no one ever has a problem with that.
No one is supposed to be able to read the signature on the prescription pad anyhow.
 

signomi

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My sister's name is Mary Ellen and she goes by Molly. The neighbor has the same name and goes by Melly. Go figure.
Don't make it into something bigger than it is. Keep your name, put your legal name on everything and just give people the nickname. People you see a lot are going to be fine with it.


I totally called her Smelly Melly when we were kids and you know it!
 

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mustangsally65 said:
So another dumb question: could I sign my legal stuff as a physician with just my first initial and my last name? This would work out very well because my legal first name and my nickname both start with the letter S.

So I would sign it S. Lastname?

The reason I asked is that I figured patients would be confused if prescriptions and office documents came with my legal name when they called me Sally or Dr. Sally or whatever. But I suppose they'd get used to it just like everyone else always has.

I think the worst part for me is that no one has ever heard of Sally being a nickname for my first name. But my mom knew one person for a long time with the same first name/nickname combo, as well as my grandmother. So I know she didn't invent it or anything. My sister is named Elizabeth and she goes by Beth and no one ever has a problem with that.
I've seen that many times before. No problem.
 

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Not to be mean but:

1. Why would you rather use a name other than your real name, you should be proud of your REAL name. (unless its something like c*ck or D*ck, cause it will suck to be called Dr. D*ck).

2. Get ACCEPTED to Medical School and finish it first, than worry about the name thing.
 

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MD2b20004 said:
Not to be mean but:

1. Why would you rather use a name other than your real name, you should be proud of your REAL name. (unless its something like c*ck or D*ck, cause it will suck to be called Dr. D*ck).

2. Get ACCEPTED to Medical School and finish it first, than worry about the name thing.
You forgot 3.

3) MD2b2004 is kind of an @$$.
 

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This sort of thing happens all the time with other cultures, especially Asian and Indian cultures. So the name you go by isn't what's technically on the script - people will get used to it :) If you're really concerned, use the S. Lastname idea. I think if you've adapted for this long without changing it, then you'll be ok. On the other hand, if it's something you've dreamt of changing for a long time - go for it. My best friend just changed her lastname to one she had picked out of thin air as a teenager because she liked the way it sounded! She had absolutely no connection to her legal lastname except that it was given her by her abusive adopted stepdad who left her, so she finally changed it. She couldn't be happier, and it was a surprisingly smooth transition, especially for a surname!
 

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Hi Sally -
I was assuming you were a Sarah - and I thought that most folks knew that Sally and Sadie are both nicknames for Sarah. Do you have a different first name?

I would just tell folks your real first name, but say "I go by Sally", and then sign everything S. Lastname - - most signatures are unreadable, anyway.

Good luck though - i know how important your name can be to you.

-CADreaming
 

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socuteMD said:
You forgot 3.

3) MD2b2004 is kind of an @$$.
4. you dont know me a$$hole, so if you have something to say about me pm me insteado of wasting thread space.
 

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MD2b20004 said:
4. you dont know me a$$hole, so if you have something to say about me pm me insteado of wasting thread space.
All I meant was that "Worry about getting ACCEPTED to med school first" is a pretty rude thing to say to someone who is clearly working her butt off to get to medical school, and probably wants it more than just about anyone else.

You are right, I don't know you, thank goodness!
 
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mustangsally65

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CADreaming06 said:
Hi Sally -
I was assuming you were a Sarah - and I thought that most folks knew that Sally and Sadie are both nicknames for Sarah. Do you have a different first name?

I would just tell folks your real first name, but say "I go by Sally", and then sign everything S. Lastname - - most signatures are unreadable, anyway.

Good luck though - i know how important your name can be to you.

-CADreaming
You're right, but I live in the south and I've only met ONE person that I can remember who knew that Sally was a nickname for Sarah. This person was my advisor and he was from Pennsylvania, and he said it was a northern thing, but the two people I know of who had the same name were from Wilmington, NC and Florida. :confused: Maybe it's just not used anymore so no one is aware of it. I always get confused looks when I try to explain.

It's true, it is important to be called by the right name. I answer to Sarah but I don't identify with that name: it's more of a distanced thing because people who know me don't call me that: like a previous poster mentioned, I always know if it's a telemarketer (or Army recruiter) calling when they ask for Sarah. :p
 
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mustangsally65

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socuteMD said:
All I meant was that "Worry about getting ACCEPTED to med school first" is a pretty rude thing to say to someone who is clearly working her butt off to get to medical school, and probably wants it more than just about anyone else.
Whoa, that's very nice of you to say. :oops: Do I really come off like that? :p
 

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Before college, I always went by my nickname "Sunny." In college, I started using my first name, Sondra. Now I have gotten used to both names. It also helps me remember where I know people from based on the name they call me. Sunny=hometown, Sondra=somewhere else. Anyway...When I met someone professionally, I use my real name. If I met someone that I want to know my nickname, I say..."Hi, I'm Sondra Smith, but everyone calls me Sunny." Maybe this is an option.
 

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mustangsally65 said:
You're right, but I live in the south and I've only met ONE person that I can remember who knew that Sally was a nickname for Sarah. This person was my advisor and he was from Pennsylvania, and he said it was a northern thing, but the two people I know of who had the same name were from Wilmington, NC and Florida. :confused: Maybe it's just not used anymore so no one is aware of it. I always get confused looks when I try to explain.

It's true, it is important to be called by the right name. I answer to Sarah but I don't identify with that name: it's more of a distanced thing because people who know me don't call me that: like a previous poster mentioned, I always know if it's a telemarketer (or Army recruiter) calling when they ask for Sarah. :p
yeah - i knew that Sarah = Sally because i am a Sarah and have been called Sally by a few people (mainly northerners actually - even though i'm also from the south). It hasn't stuck though. i really liked Sadie as a nickname but nicknames have to be given to you i think. The one i really hated though was "Sarie" - which a few people tried to use on me.
 

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MD2b20004 said:
Not to be mean but:


2. Get ACCEPTED to Medical School and finish it first, than worry about the name thing.

My thought would be that it's actually worth having a plan/idea or whatever of what you want to do about this situation early...Lots of different names entered on transcripts, board exams, prescriptions, etc might conceivably lead to some headaches later...