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gostudy

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When is it ok to call someone Dr. or refer to them by their first name. I know in a hospital setting it's pretty much standard that everyone refers to residents and attendings as Drs. (even the Drs. themselves). But in a more casual setting, when is it ok if ever to refer to residents and/or attendings by their first names?
 

JonnyG

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I'm sure some other med students are confused by this. When is it ok to call someone Dr. or refer to them by their first name. I know in a hospital setting it's pretty much standard that everyone refers to residents and attendings as Drs. (even the Drs. themselves). But in a more casual setting, when is it ok if ever to refer to residents and/or attendings by their first names?

Unless they tell you otherwise I would stick to Dr. They aren't your colleagues yet.
 

AmoryBlaine

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Generally for M3 residents are called by first names, a resident would have to a be a pretty big tool to make you call them "Dr." I usually call them "Dr" anyway when I'm just kidding around.

Attendings are almost always Dr but recently I've had a few exceptions.
 
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Tired

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Generally for M3 residents are called by first names, a resident would have to a be a pretty big tool to make you call them "Dr." I usually call them "Dr" anyway when I'm just kidding around.

As a word of warning to those who haven't hit MS3 yet: Yes, "a resident would have to be a pretty big tool to make you call them 'Dr.'", but call them "Doctor" anyway until they tell you not to. This may shock and amaze, but there are more than a few residents who are "pretty big tool".
 

bigdan

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Agreed.

Just as a case for politeness and respect, I go with Dr. X until specifically told to do otherwise. If they don't request I change, I don't.

And big ditto to the amount of residents that are pretty big tools. You'll be able to tell who was always picked last in dodgeball within seconds of meeting them.

dc
 

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Yeah, i made this mistake once. It was a senior resident who everyone called by her first name (to her face and when discussing her). it was a very collegial atmosphere and i never heard anyone call her Dr. _______. I could tell i had stepped in sh1t though the first time i followed suit. i learned my lesson!
 

AmoryBlaine

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Yeah, i made this mistake once. It was a senior resident who everyone called by her first name (to her face and when discussing her). it was a very collegial atmosphere and i never heard anyone call her Dr. _______. I could tell i had stepped in sh1t though the first time i followed suit. i learned my lesson!

Wow. I guess I'll stand corrected. I've just never had an experience like that. I think that for a resident to make a medical student call her "Dr" is pretty ridiculous. You could turn around and be like, "well then call me Student Doctor Blaine."
 

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This is really awkward. The worst is when you talk to a resident via email and they sign it "Bob Smith" and then you go and talk to them with other residents/attendings you know and they're all calling him "Bob" and you're either awkward by being the only one calling him Dr. Smith or uppity by calling him Bob.


I try not to say their name. :laugh:
 

albaniandoc

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In our land (nurses) we call everyone by doctor, unless told otherwise. In ER at our hospital everyone is called by their first name, docs included. Our ER docs are very nice guys and gals. One of the heart surgeons I work with wants to be called doc all the time, unless we are in a social setting like dinners or sailing.
Our anesthesia guys are very nice as well and don't mind being called one way or the other. It was weird for me initially to call them by their first name but they don't like to be called doctor.
I guess it depends on the atmosphere you are in. A lot of places go by first name like in ORs but maybe teaching institutions might have to be formal and call everyone doc.
My advice would be call them Dr. unless told otherwise or unless you meet them outside of the hospital for socializing.
 

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Agreed.

Just as a case for politeness and respect, I go with Dr. X until specifically told to do otherwise. If they don't request I change, I don't.

Agree with this -- it works this way in every profession's work settings. Inevitably, they will tell you to use their name.
 

GuzzyRon

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Wow. I think that for a resident to make a medical student call her "Dr" is pretty ridiculous.

Why is it ridiculous? :rolleyes: There is nothing ridiculous about making people call you what you are or what you've earned. Even attendings call themselves "doctors". Just because you're on your way to earning the degree doesn't make you equal to those who have already earned it.


You could turn around and be like, "well then call me Student Doctor Blaine."

"Student doctor" is not a recognized title - ANYWHERE. You'll embarrass yourself if you make people call you by that title.
 
D

deleted109597

"Student doctor" is not a recognized title - ANYWHERE. You'll embarrass yourself if you make people call you by that title.

If you make people, sure. But you'll embarrass yourself if you make them call you "doctor" once you attain it as well. But we are often introduced as such by the attendings, and it has become second nature to me.

"Hello, I'm Mc.Ninja, one of the student doctors working the ED today, tell me what's going on."
 
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Usually, medical students and residents are on a first name basis amongst eachother. Attendings refer to residents by their first name, unless in the presence of ancillary staff. Attendings are always Dr. It can be a strange dynamic at times such as below:

(Attending and resident in the OR)
Attending: "John, make a 3 inch incision along here."
Resident: "Yes sir."
Attending: "Nurse, blade to Dr. Doe."
 

ddmo

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"Student doctor" is not a recognized title - ANYWHERE. You'll embarrass yourself if you make people call you by that title.

Umm, maybe anywhere you have been. Attendings and residents use that all the time to refer to medical students here in the midwest. It's not something a student should refer to themselves as when talking to residents or other students, but it is commonly used when talking to patients. I've found that many patients understand "Student Doctor" more than medical student, especially for the female students. The female students always get the, "ohh my granddaughter is medical student too, in nursing."
 

gostudy

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Ok I got one for you guys. What if you email an attending an he emails you back and signs his first name at the end of the message:

Hi gostudy,

You are welcome to join me in clinic anytime.

Regards,
Joe
 

Ashers

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Umm, maybe anywhere you have been. Attendings and residents use that all the time to refer to medical students here in the midwest. It's not something a student should refer to themselves as when talking to residents or other students, but it is commonly used when talking to patients. I've found that many patients understand "Student Doctor" more than medical student, especially for the female students. The female students always get the, "ohh my granddaughter is medical student too, in nursing."

I agree. I'm just an M2, but was following a resident and he refered to me as Student Doctor Ashers. I had never actually heard the term used before. Other doctors I've shadowed have said "medical student." One time I had someone go off on how her daughter was a medical student aka radiation tech, and she kept asking me if I knew her, and telling me how hard radiation tech school/medical school was -- she'd use the terms interchangably.
 

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Ok I got one for you guys. What if you email an attending an he emails you back and signs his first name at the end of the message:

Hi gostudy,

You are welcome to join me in clinic anytime.

Regards,
Joe

In my case it means part or all of the following:

1. I usually sign emails with my first name (0ldbear) and when in a hurry, such as in most emails like this, I forget the complex hierarchy of expected signatures.

2. I'm not pretentious enough to suppose that in casual conversation with students I must be called "doctor." I consider "Student doctors" to be colleagues and don't mind using first names outside of the formal patient-care setting.

3. At my age, I can barely remember what my name is. It's easier to remember my first name.

Regards

Oldbear...

whoops, I mean Dr. Professor
 

NYyanx28

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At my summer job at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC, I was on a complete first name basis with all of the residents... and I was a mere college student.
 

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As someone who's rotated through quite a few midwestern hospitals, I've never heard anyone use "Student Doctor" as a true title. Only as a "this is our student doctor, John Doe". When I introduce my medical students, I address them as Ms./Mr. so-and-so if I need to refer to them in fromt of a patient.

And while it's true that there are some total jerk residents out there that demand to be called "Dr." by students, I think it is totally reasonable as a student to expect to call a resident by his/her first name once you work with them. I think *most* residents are the same way. As a resident, I have even encountered other residents trying to pull the "I'm DR. So-and-so" when talking to other residents....which is completely ridiculous.

In the hospitals I work at, the floor RNs and OR staff who know me also call me by my first name, unless they are "old school" and call me doctor because they do that with every MD, or unless they don't know me and presumably don't know if I am resident vs. fellow vs. attending.
 

smq123

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Why is it ridiculous? :rolleyes: There is nothing ridiculous about making people call you what you are or what you've earned. Even attendings call themselves "doctors". Just because you're on your way to earning the degree doesn't make you equal to those who have already earned it.

True, but it doesn't mean that you should consider yourself their servant either. It's just considered bad form and really arrogant to insist that people call you doctor.

"Student doctor" is not a recognized title - ANYWHERE. You'll embarrass yourself if you make people call you by that title.

I haven't heard it used much in the NE, but other parts of the country may use it. I can see why - as others have said, without the word 'doctor' in front of your name, people tend to call you "nurse" if you're a girl. Plus, some patients will willingly give their medical history to a "student DOCTOR" but clam up around a "medical student."
 

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As someone who's rotated through quite a few midwestern hospitals, I've never heard anyone use "Student Doctor" as a true title. Only as a "this is our student doctor, John Doe". When I introduce my medical students, I address them as Ms./Mr. so-and-so if I need to refer to them in fromt of a patient.

This whole "Student Doctor" title was news to me too. I have been introduced by my first name, as "Doctor", and once even as "Young Doctor", but never "Student Doctor". Honestly, no matter how hard I try with some attendings and residents, some of them seem reluctant to just introduce me by my first name. Never understood that.
 

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I usually get introduced (and have taken to introducing myself) with my first name and "one of the junior medical students assigned to your case" or something along those lines. Attendings and professors are always Dr. whatever to me until told otherwise, which to date has only happened once.
 
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I'm gonna insist that even my friends and family call me DR. cfdavid.:smuggrin:
 

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this reminds me of that seinfeld episode where that conductor wanted everyone to call him maestro. In my shadowing experiences, I stick with Dr., and usually the residents will look at my funny and tell me to call them by their first name (i'm in college) and the attendings won't say anything. But even when the residents give me permission to call them by their first name, when I'm in front of a patient, I'll still call them doctor.

Lol, I think some doctors need to be more careful. more than once while I was shadowing, the doctor would introduce me to the patient as a student doctor (I'm in college). I guess they say that so the patient will be confortable with my presence. I think that I'll stay on a first name basis (when I'm a doctor) too with everyone, unless I'm in front of a patient.
 

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just to chime in, residents by their first names, attendings by "Dr." maybe it's just where i am, but i'm 80% thru my 3rd year and this has never been an issue. i bet it depends on where you are, so ask your 3rd/4th-years at your school to see what's best.
 

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I will add my experience here too.

As for residents...none that I have worked with where I live have every gone by anything other than their first name. Perhaps things are more laid back here.

For attendings I have always used doctor...I think there are several that would be fine with first names but really, if I don't think I would be comfortable having a beer and shooting the ***t with them then I don't know if I want to be that familiar.

As for student doctor it is used regularly here...actually I have been identified as doctor by several of the residents and attendings when they introduce me to patients. Once again may be particular to the geographic area but it does make a difference, and all of the nurses call us doctor to. Go figure, sometimes I do feel like I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express but it seems to be the way people do it.
 

Tired

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Lol, I think some doctors need to be more careful. more than once while I was shadowing, the doctor would introduce me to the patient as a student doctor (I'm in college). I guess they say that so the patient will be confortable with my presence. I think that I'll stay on a first name basis (when I'm a doctor) too with everyone, unless I'm in front of a patient.

And when you're in med school, you will encounter the interminable attendings who insist on introducing you as "Doctor", because it "makes the patient more comfortable".

In four years, I have still never found a satisfactory way to deal with this. I will never contradict at attending in front of a patient, but I will sometimes work in "med student" after they have left the room. One thing I do always do, though, is after being introduced as "Doctor", I will shake hands with the patient and say, "<insert first name here>". It kind of lets me be on a little more personal level with the patient, and I can feel like I'm not being deceptive.
 

AmoryBlaine

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Why is it ridiculous? :rolleyes: There is nothing ridiculous about making people call you what you are or what you've earned. Even attendings call themselves "doctors". Just because you're on your way to earning the degree doesn't make you equal to those who have already earned it.

"Student doctor" is not a recognized title - ANYWHERE. You'll embarrass yourself if you make people call you by that title.

It's not ridiculous to want to be called by a hard-earned title. It IS ridiculous for a resident to be sufficiently impressed with themselves as to have to make medical students call them "Dr."

The student doctor thing was faecetious, just making the point that if formality is demanded in one direction, it can be demanded in the other.

My favorite are the attendings that insist on being called "Dr" and then give the medical students patronizing nicknames.
 

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At my medical school we were specifically instructed to introduce ourselves as either:
1) John Doe, Medical Student
or
2) Student Doctor Doe / Student Doctor, John Doe (either as a title or descriptor).

There is something ironic about debating the existence of the term/title student doctor on the "student doctor network."
 

logos

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At my medical school we were specifically instructed to introduce ourselves as either:
1) John Doe, Medical Student
or
2) Student Doctor Doe / Student Doctor, John Doe (either as a title or descriptor).

There is something ironic about debating the existence of the term/title student doctor on the "student doctor network."

We were told specifically not to do #1 and to do #2. Apparently in the past they had some problem with confusing physical therapy students for medical students :confused:
 
D

deleted109597

We were told specifically not to do #1 and to do #2. Apparently in the past they had some problem with confusing physical therapy students for medical students :confused:
Then what do you do?

Just say, hi, I'm logos?
 

Tired

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My favorite are the attendings that insist on being called "Dr" and then give the medical students patronizing nicknames.

Worst nickname I had as an MS3 (from the finest surgeon I have ever met): Bob the Jolly Green Giant.

Worst part is my name isn't Bob.
 

Tired

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We were told specifically not to do #1 and to do #2. Apparently in the past they had some problem with confusing physical therapy students for medical students :confused:

And they cared?

At one of our hospitals, students don't even get individual ID tags ("too expensive"), and we are instead issued name badges with the hospital logo and the word "STUDENT" in big bold letters, nothing else. Every "student" in house gets them, including nursing students, PT students, and phlebotomists-in-training. At the end of every rotation, we have to return it or pay a fine.

So degrading.
 
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