Name change for female medical students getting married

Discussion in 'Spouses and Partners' started by medlock, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. medlock

    medlock New Member

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    Both my fiancee and myself are medical students and are getting married in 2 months. Both my grandfather and father were doctors and I, as the next generation of doctors in the family hoped to retain my last name in my profession. However, my future husband wants me to change my name. I also don't like the fact that our kids will have his last name and I won't be able to share in the name of our family. Is there a way for me to retain my name professionally as a doctor, but also have my husbands name?

    Any suggestions? What do most females med students getting married do?
     
  2. addicted2hope

    addicted2hope Member
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    How about both names?? Like for example, Pamela Anderson Lee (back when she was married to Tommy Lee... now she is back to being just Pamela Anderson).

    In any case, you definitely need to have a nice little talk with your fiancee about this issue before getting married!! :p
     
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  3. musm2008

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    I dropped my middle name and put my maiden name in it's place (no hyphen). That way I legally have both names, but I can use only my married name if I want or I can use my full name.
     
  4. lessismoe

    lessismoe Momma to Ronan
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    I just got married, and I decided that I wasn't going to change my name at all. Luckily, my husband's cultural background supports this, as Vietnamese women traditionally retain their maiden name.

    Socially, I wouldn't mind if someone called me "Mrs. HisName". However, I am very connected to my family and my family history, and I would feel like I was somehow letting go of it a little bit by not retaining my maiden name. I guess I'm just too fond of it. We're still in discussions about what the kids' names will be, but we have the luxury of time there.

    My mother actually did the same thing that musm2008 described.
     
  5. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    What my old PI did, and I plan on doing something similar, was to just add her husband's name on to hers but without a hyphen. So to her patients, she's Dr. Hername, but socially she has the same name as her husband.

    She got married after she started her practice and didn't want to confuse her patients.
     
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  6. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    So here's my plan, in the (seemingly) unlikely event that I ever get married: pre-publication, I change my name, if it's a big deal to him. Post-publication or post-established practice: I stay Dr. Samoa.
     
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  7. flighterdoc

    flighterdoc Rocket Scientist
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    I think Isserson suggests picking one and using it for everything professional - there are problems with licensing etc with numerous names.

    So, professionally you're Dr. Smith, and at Home you're Mrs. Jones.
     
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  8. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Yeah, I should amend my statement to: post-licensure, no change.
     
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  9. bruinrab

    bruinrab Senior Member
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    Ugh, this is going to be fun for me. Culturally, I'm supposed to keep my last name. According to my boyfriend's culture, the wife takes the husband's first name as her middle name and also takes his last name. Neither of us is too willing to budge, so my legal name will probably end up being "My1stname His1stname Myname Hisname". Or "My1stname His1stname Hisname Myname". But definitely not "My1stname Myname His1stname Hisname". That would just be too weird. :p
     
  10. lotanna

    lotanna Child of God
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    My cuz is a doc and so is her husband. when she got married, she hyphenated her name cause she didnt want to go thru with name change, so legally she can now use her maiden or her married name. Her husband's last name is X, hers is Y so she goes by Dr X-Y so his name is still 1st even though its hyphenated
     
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  11. bruinrab

    bruinrab Senior Member
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    I would do that, except my last name is four syllables and his is five. I've noticed that hyphenated names get too long after five syllables, so there's no way in hell I'm inflicting a nine syllable monster on my poor patients.

    Besides, we both have Indo-Pak names. They get so mangled enough on their own, I'd hate to see what happens when people try to attack both of them at once -- judging by the mistakes that patients have made with both of our dads, I'd probably turn into Dr. Needs-uh-money--Kar-and-ya-wallet. :laugh:
     
  12. docjolly

    docjolly On Cloud Nine, Once Again
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    does anyone know if there are any other cultures where a woman is allowed to completely keep her own maiden name?

    also, is it possible for a married woman to keep her last name and not have it hyphenated or changed?

    i am the last remaining female in my family who possesses my father's last name, and I honestly would like to keep it..it may sound silly, but I am having difficulty accepting the fact that i will either have to change/hyphenate my maiden name..
     
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  13. bruinrab

    bruinrab Senior Member
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    Muslim women are supposed to keep their birth name. But lots of them change it when they get married anyway. :p
     
  14. beriberi

    beriberi Senior Member
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    To docjolly: it is legal and the easiest paperwork if a woman does nothing at all. I married as an MS2 and kept my last name. In this day and age, I could not come up with a good reason to do anything different.

    We would have blended our last names (which we have had some progressive friends do, but beriberi and kwashikor have no good blend. If you do that, both partners have to fill out all of the legal documentation of a name change.

    Also, if you don't legally change your name to the hyphenated version, you should not use it professionally, that is fraudulent. Whatever name is on you medical license (and it sure as heck ought to be your legal name) should be the name that your patients call you by.

    If you don't change your name, that does not mean that your children will have your husband's last name. It could be anything and is something you should decide together.

    In traditional Scandinavian culture, children took their father's firstname as a last name (i.e. nelson and nelsdotter). Their children took their father's firstname as a last name. That means that a tradition family of four would have four different last names: nelson, jansdotter, adamson and adamsdotter.

    As someone above said, this should be worked out now. (Also, if you have already taken a Step of the USMLE, I hear it is a hassle to take another under a different name.)
     
  15. Meggs

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    Hispanic culture. It's perfectly acceptable and extremely common, specially now that women are more independent.

    In case you decide to add your husband's name, it will be adding the prespositon "of" to it, like this:
    Maria Perez Martinez marries to Jose Garcia Reyes. She could go like Maria Perez de Garcia. Or Maria Perez de Garcia Reyes. ("de" is spanish for "of").

    Or she could just go by Maria Perez Martinez, and add nothing to her name.

    Legally and proffesionally they just keep their maiden name, and socially they add the husband's last name.
     
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  16. Kalel

    Kalel Membership Revoked
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    don't change your last name. you should keep your maiden name as your professional name for licensure purposes, it's a huge hassle to authenticate who you are for state licensing boards when you passed usmle's/graduated/did residencies under different names. plus 50%+ of medical marriages end in divorce.
     
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  17. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Which also means that 50% stay married, which is not much different than the rest of the population.
     
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  18. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    I hate (ABSOLUTELY HATE) hyphenated names. This hatred comes from childhood due to a lady who's name was "Dr. hername-hisname". "Dr. Hisname" would upset her, as would "Mrs. hername-hisname" and especially "Mrs. hisname". (She had a PhD in teaching or english or something stupid like that). To me, it came across as "I don't care what the tradition is, I wear the pants in this family, and you WILL address me as Doctor!".

    Now, you should also know that I don't like my last name... Nothing phallic or anything to it, its just a weird German name with 3 syllables where the last two are the same. Thus, I don't really want to force this name onto someone else due to tradition.

    What I thought was cool was the first time I ran into a married medical couple where they both had kept their own names (I don't know about documents or anything, but I called them by Dr Herlastname and Dr Hislastname). It just seemed more equal and wasn't using the hyphen thing to point out the fact that she had to be different. I also liked the fact that it prevented the "Who's on first" routine that could happen when both people work at the same hospital... "Dr Jones, Dr Jones wants to see you." or "First see Dr. Jones for your eye exam, then go over to the lab and Dr. Jones will take care of you."

    Did that make any sense? I guess what I was trying to say was keep the name. Seems normal in medicine to me.
     
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  19. Samoa

    Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

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    Professionally AND socially, or just professionally?
     
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  20. Mr Reddly

    Mr Reddly Snowglobe!
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    Don't know, but I'm pretty sure both. I always saw them at the hospital or just outside, but I NEVER heard anyone call her by his name. (if Samoa's question is for me :p)
     
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  21. Wifty

    Wifty Eccentrically Silly
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    First - WE make up the current culture and can remake that culture by making new choices. :)

    When I married, after much thought, I made my maiden name my middle name so that it is still in there.

    HOWEVER, even after 5 years of marriage, I am still not used to being called by his last name. I was very attached to my maiden name since there were only 43 left in all the USA.

    I took his name mostly because I wanted to be known as a family when we had a little one and he wouldn't take my last name (for some very good reasons).

    We DID think about him taking my name or us both dropping out last names and chosing a whole new one. We are both of scottish roots and so we would have chosen a clan name in our past that made us happy and would still identify us as being scottish.

    If I was the one that was going to be a doctor, I would have kept my name because it is an identity thing and if you aren't happy taking another name.....its going to be a little gnat gnawing on you forever.

    Good luck!!! Make a choice that is right for you - and for your future family. For all that I am still sad about not keeping my name, now that we have a baby, I would really hate for the 3 of us to have different names and for people to not put us together as a family.

    With smiles,
    Wifty
     
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  22. lyragrl

    lyragrl Mold-a-rama fan
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    I'm in the same situation as the OP in that my father and grandfather are both physicians. So now I use my first name, then my husband's last name, then my last name. At work, I plan to go by Dr. MyMaidenLastName, but socially I now go by My first Name + His Last Name + My Last Name. (No hyphens.) It's kinda goofy, but my husband and I both like it.
     
  23. gaslady

    gaslady Senior Member
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    That's a great way to do it. I changed my middle name to my maiden name and took his last name. We were married before graduation so I didn't feel that it was a problem professionally to change it. Plus, I was never particularly fond of my middle name. The main reason was that I felt it was important for us to have the same name because we were becoming a family. It was important for him as well, although he would have been fine with me hyphenating it. I chose not to because I find hyphenated names too cumbersome. I found out that I didn't need to file any extra forms in order to take my maiden name as my middle name. You just change it when you change your last name and it's legal through usage.

    By the way, it's not a big deal to take different Steps under different names. I just sent them a change of name form that I downloaded from their website and a copy of my marriage license and everything is under one name now.

    In parts of Canada it is tradition for a women to keep her maiden name, however in social situations she will often be called Mrs. hislastname.
     
  24. Vincristine

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    Interestingly enough, I grew up with enough men (mostly men, yes, not too many professional women in my life) calling me "Dr. Raven", but then I got a mixed message from society when I got engaged. My mom used her maiden name as her middle name alot (and when by all three), but I wasn't big on that. Plus, it just didn't flow in my case. Fortunately, my husband had no problems with me not changing my name (he said he wouldn't want to change his either), and his family was fine with it as well. However, I was determined not to be one of women who's insulted when she's called Mrs. Husband's-name even if legally that's not her name. (I had enough of this when I was trying to address wedding invitations.) I'll be Dr. Raven in 12 months, and while I don't plan to ever really use "Mrs. Husband's-name", I have no problems being addressed as such. While I'd like our kids to have a name smiliar to mine, we've not completely worked out that plan. I am okay if they just have his name especially since I'm not not big of hypenated names.
     
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  25. gwyn779

    gwyn779 stargazer
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    I got married between 2nd and 3rd year of med school and thought a long time about what to do with my name. I hate hyphenated names because even if it's not 9 syllables wrong, what happens when 2 people with hyphenated names want to get married? Even more confusion. I most likely would have just kept my maiden name, except it's pronounced "rank." Honestly, I just don't really like Dr. Rank. Also, since it's spelled differently, it gets mispronounced all the time, which gets annoying when no one can pronounce my first name either (it's long and weird). My husband on the other hand has a nice, normal last name. But at the same time, I didn't want to get rid of my maiden name, since it's a part of my identity. I also didn't want to get rid of my middle name because I like it and it was my grandmother's name (obvious sentimental value). I ended up merely adding his name to my own, so now I have 4 names: Firstname Middlename Maidenname Hisname. I'll go by Dr. Hisname, but any sort of official documentation, like my license, will have both on it. I'll have to think about what we're going to do when we have children.

    As far as changing during med school goes, it's really not that hard. Obviously, women change their name fairly often, so people are used to it. Also, I got married after I took Step 1, but it really wasn't hard to change it for Step 2. You just send in a form which is very easy to find and download. Really, it's the same thing you have to do with pretty much anyone else: credit cards, banks, etc. It's moderately easier if you send in the form before you actually register for the next Step, but not necessary. I did both at the same time.

    It's also reasonably common for a woman to use her maiden name professionally and her husband's name socially. Personally, however, I do not want to be called Mrs. Hisname. That's his mother. Until I'm a doctor, it's Ms. Hisname if necessary but I almost always go my first name, even w/ patients since I'm still a student. Once I'm a doctor, it's Dr. Hisname and I admit I'll probably be somewhat picky because medical school is too much hell to go through without any recognition.

    I have also heard of both people picking a new name and then both legally changing their name. As a side note, I have also heard of homosexual couples doing the same thing, or legally hyphenating their names.

    In the end, do whatever you want, because it will be acceptable in American society.
     
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  26. beriberi

    beriberi Senior Member
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    I did not change my name (already posted about that). One side benefit (and not a reason to choose one way or the other) is that when we move everything new will be in Hisname. Since my last name is very unique, it would be easy for patients to find me (especially the ones I don't want to) if utilities, etc were in my name. Also, his name is unique enough that it wouldn't be too hard to track me down if I went by Dr. Hisname. Instead, I don't have to worry about unlisting my phone number, etc.
     
  27. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    I like the idea of merging names :)
     
  28. gschl1234

    gschl1234 Senior Member
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    Howard Dean's wife uses her maiden name professionally and uses her husband's name socially. She says she uses her maiden name professionally since they both work in the same practice and it would be too confusing to have 2 Deans. My parents-in-law have friends where the wife hyphenated her last name and all their kids have the hyphenated name: maiden-husband last name.
     
  29. I have some persian and spanish friends, and it is rather interesting...

    in spain, the women never takes on her husband's last name, and the children have two last names...their first last name, is the last name of their mother's, and the second last name is the last name of their fathers...

    for example....if john smith, married jane doe,

    then their child julia would be named julia doe-smith...

    I kind of like that...in the persian friends that I ahve...the women retains their family name...their like, we are NOT our husbands property...so we shouldnt change our last name..but the children take on the last name of the father..

    I personally like the spanish system :thumbup:
     
  30. pathdr2b

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    Why can't he change HIS name to YOUR family name? I'm engaged and I guess now I see how lucky I am that my fiance' would change his last name to my maiden name. Because I'm an only child, I thought about doing this to carry on my family name.
     
  31. mudbug

    mudbug Senior Member
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    She said that they're both med students--he probably has all the same reasons for wanting to keep his name that she has for wanting to keep hers.
     
  32. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    Well I'm going to have some fun.

    Cohen-Smith = Smohen

    Williams-Fiorelli = Willarelli

    Liu-McMahon = McLiu

    Feldman-Tanaka = Tanaman

    heh... just some ideas. None of these are my real last name.
     
  33. Ol'Girl

    Ol'Girl Member
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    So let me get this straight... if you get married, take your maiden name as your middle name, you can still get licensed as Dr. [middlename], or must you then be licensed as Dr. [hislastname]? Keeping your maiden name professionally and his name socially seems like a grand idea.... except what happens legally???
     
  34. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    What do you mean, legally? If you don't legally change your name, but let people call you by your husband's name, nothing neccessarily happens legally, right? It's not like the last-name police are going to pull you over :D
     
  35. Ol'Girl

    Ol'Girl Member
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    Hehehe :laugh: My question actually regards if I DO change my name *legally* (as it is very important to my husband that i legally take his name somehow, while it is important that I keep my name at least professionally). I don't have a middle name, but my last name is 13 letters long, so hyphenating would be a nightmare.

    If i legally change my name to MyName MyLast HisLast, can i be licensed as Dr. MyLast, or must i be licensed as Dr. HisLast?

    'Seems highly unlikely...
     
  36. gwyn779

    gwyn779 stargazer
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    I think the idea of using your maiden name prof. and your husband's name socially is that you don't legally change it, but you just use your husband's name in social situations.
     
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  37. gioia

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    Legally, If you use a name it should be listed on your SS card.

    However, you can use whatever name you want, anywhere you want and the only time you will have trouble is if you get caught doing something suspicious or illegal. Hopefully, we are an honest lot...

    The following is what I did (and I've been married forever and have a son who is keenly aware of names and wants to be a part of it all):

    I changed my name legally to maiden name-married name, last year. This 'legal' name change business only occurs ONE way (at least in my state) and that is on your SS card. Changing your name on a marriage license is not legally binding.

    Now I am Mrs. His name with the family and around town and my son does not feel alienated. I will be Ms. Maiden name when I graduate. That is my professional name.

    Many women enjoy the autonomy provided in that situation and the familial need for name-bonding is preserved.

    The SS office said that, as long as both of your names appear on that card, you are free to choose the one you prefer.

    Hope that helps!

    :luck:
     
  38. Keberson

    Keberson Senior Member
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    Don't take the name if you don't want to!
     
  39. ChE_Babe

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    I just went through this, because I got married about 11 months ago and just changed my name recently.

    First of all...I waited to change my name until I finished my undergrad this May, so that I would have one degree in my maiden name. Plus, one of my professors kept telling another newly married classmate and I about how when he got married his wife failed all of her classes TWICE because her records were all messed up -- and then it took several months to straighten out completely!

    Second...I did exactly what gwyn779 did and just added his last name to the end (Firstname Middlename Maidenname Hisname). I did this because I couldn't give up my first name because I am the fouth generation with this first name so it has great sentimental value. I couldn't give up my middle name either, because as a fourth generation I didn't use my first name as a child -- we kept us all straight by calling me by my middle name, so this became my name that I still use. I was sentimentally attached to my last name and my aunt had to resort to using hers professionally when clients became a danger (granted she's a parole officer, but I figured I would hang to it just in case). My husband has an extremely ethnic last name that he really wanted me to share, so I added that.

    So I use my second and fourth names (Middlename Hisname), of the four that appear on my social security card. It's actually pretty cool because I am now the ONLY person in the world with my name (because of his unique last name), even if you only count the two I use (MiddleName Hisname). I'm not sure yet if I will get hassled in the long haul about not putting my legal first name on things and instead using my legal middle name, I'll have to wait and see.

    I'm going to go by Dr. Hisname. We hope to end up in a small town and think that this will be easier and help people connect our family to one another (once we have kids).
     
  40. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    I go to school with two guys who hyphenated along with their wives.

    A teacher from my high school took his wife's last name.

    I went to school with a girl named Stuart-Koch and a guy named Laeird-Koch. They joked about getting married and going by all 4 names. But they could never agree on the order!

    :)
     
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  41. kem

    kem Senior Member
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    I'm planning to keep my name. I'm the first woman in my family to graduate college, the first person in my family to go to professional school, and my last name will die out if my sister and I both change it.

    It drives me crazy when people hear I want to keep my name and they say "But how will people know you're a family"? My kids will know their parents love them, and that to me is what a family is, not just a name. And, the guy I'm with now thinks it would be cool if the future kids have my name... he may be a keeper! ;)

    I guess I think women should keep their name if they want to, change it if they want to, but not feel pressured either way.

    :) kem
     
  42. akimbo

    akimbo Senior Member
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    *Love* this thread. This is a hot topic in our house, as we're getting married in the fall. I want to keep my last name, as I love my last name, identify with my last name and am lazy. Also, my father was Dr. MyLastName, so the name has sentimental value. Also, his mother and I have nearly the same first name, and there's something creepy about that.

    He and his family want me to change to their last name, supposedly because of the children and tradition and blah blah blah. However, a drunkle (drunk uncle) let it slip that want they really want is a doctor with the family last name.

    Now that just seems like cheating to me. If they want a Dr. HisLastName so badly, why don't they raise one?! Cheaters! My parents put all this work into raising a late-blooming overacheiver and his family gets the doctor? Uh-uh. NO way.

    :p
     
  43. Ol'Girl

    Ol'Girl Member
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    Now THAT'S an interesting dilemma. Have you decided what you will do?
     
  44. akimbo

    akimbo Senior Member
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    Ohhhh. Good idea!

    I feel bad about posting this now. I may delete.
     
  45. dchristismi

    dchristismi Gin and Tonic
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    What a timely thread...

    I have a unique Italian maiden name. My husband has the most common name in the book. I couldn't stand to lose it; he was greatly upset that I didn't like (read: hated) his name. I still cringe, and I honestly don't catch it called across the room, even though we've been married almost 5 years. I'm legally hyphenated, but I'll be Dr. Maidenname, no question.

    I've actually been debating recently if I just want to get rid of his name altogether and go back to just my maiden without the hypen. I think he'd really be upset, but what do you do when you can't stand it? Geez, that sounds awful. But being raised in a colorful, ethnic family, and suddenly merging with someone who can't screen their phone calls by mispronounciation is a bit of a shock.

    In another 8 months or so, I'll finally be able to tell the telemarketers who ask for "Mrs Smith" that there's no one here by that name!

    Ah... what to do?
     
  46. akimbo

    akimbo Senior Member
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    :laugh:

    I love your attitude!
     
  47. Ol'Girl

    Ol'Girl Member
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    Oh, how funny. That's my excuse for wanting to keep my name, too -- the ability to screen telemarketers! I actually even had my SS# stolen, and what kept the identity thief from getting very far is that she couldn't spell my last name properly. Then why would I want to change to very common last name?

    I think I've decided to hyphenate, even if it means having 26 letters to my name. I don't hate his name by any means, but it's the only compromise I can come up with. I can still be Dr. Maidenname, and he'll be happy even though his name will likely be cut off on most forms.

    Perhaps you can still figure out the telemarketers by those who ask for Mrs. Hisname, instead of your whole hyphenated version?
     
  48. Jennifer V

    Jennifer V Junior Member
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    My husband and I both loved our last names, so we decided to hyphen. We are now Mr and Ms hisname-myname. It sounded the best with my name on the end, but some of the old timers had a hard time with it. I don't really care what my kids end up doing someday, they can change it again if they want. It makes us happy now and that's all that matters. :)
     
  49. Xandie

    Xandie OB/GYN Resident
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    My husband and I also both love our last names, and they're both ethnically significant for us (he's Hungarian, I'm Jewish), but they rhyme!!! So I'm just losing mine.
     
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  50. gioia

    10+ Year Member

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    Legally, I think the best is to have both names and use your maiden name as your professional name. It is legal protection for your family in the unwanted event that you need it (bank accts. are sep. etc.).

    I am Mrs. His-Name to everyone in the neighborhood and Ms. My-name at work. You avoid phone and legal hassles. Had a colleague rec. that choice from her own practice exp.
    :luck:
     

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