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Practicing under maiden name vs married name

Discussion in 'Women in Healthcare' started by KBK64, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. KBK64


    Aug 12, 2016
    I got married at the age of 18 and have been known as Mrs. Hislastname my whole adult life legally and socially. I was so quick to change my name when I was in my newlywed stage that I never really put a lot of thought into it. I knew I wanted my future kids to have the same last name and wanted to take pride in being married. Now that its getting closer to graduation I am finding anxiety on what name to use. My parents went through many struggles and worked hard to make sure I was provided with the best education. When I went through rough times through school, they were there for me. My in-laws didn't raise me - they never showed up to my undergrad graduation and important milestones in my career (white coat ceremony etc.) My parents take a lot of pride in me being the first person in the family to graduate from college and I know it will be one of the happiest days of their life when I graduate. I can't help but feel uneasy not going by my maiden to honor my parents and my culture. I have had my in depth conversations with my husband and he is willing to support whichever decision I make.

    Ideally in a perfect world, I would like to go socially by Mrs. Hislastname and professionally as Dr. Maidenname. The only thing preventing me from making the plunge to going by Dr. Maidenname is 1)I like my married name - its unique, has a good flow to my name, my maiden name is dull, awkwardly rhymes with my first name and I honestly don't really like it, 2)all my networking so far has been under my married name, I'm concerned I've made it confusing and difficult..I wouldn't know where to begin. I want to get opinions on my two concerns.

    How would this work legally? Some personal experiences, did you change your last name? How did it work socially vs professionally?
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  3. It sounds like your beef is with your in-laws, not your name. Your parents will be proud and happy because it's still you, no matter what name you took. They will be telling everyone about their daughter the doctor! I understand your concern, but the most important part of that post is that you like your new name! And it is the one you networked under. This is a no brainer to me...go with your married name. (I didn't change mine, but I had always planned to keep it, long before med school.)
  4. ldiot

    ldiot 2+ Year Member

    Oct 7, 2015
    Miami, FL
    I don't really see what your in-laws have to do with any of this. You are married to your husband, not his parents.
  5. WhyNeedAName


    Apr 9, 2017
    Hi, I have a question that follows a bit into this question. Is it easier to get married in grad school so you can graduate and be Dr. Hislastname or is it easier to graduate with my last name, and soon enough, marry and have his last name. I have a long, awkward last name and I wanna marry someone so when I go out to practice, they don't have to struggle saying my last name.. However, if I can't find a suitable spouse (still single lol), then idk how the legal process for changing last names might be.
  6. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things 5+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Galt's Gulch
    Changing names is just paperwork. Timing a relationship to accomodate name changes is silly
  7. WhyNeedAName


    Apr 9, 2017
    Lol, thank you.
  8. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Generally I've seen physicians with long or difficult to pronounce names be called by a shortened version of their last name, their last initial (aka Dr. B) or even Dr. Firstname. Do you like your last name? If you dislike your name, changing it is more reasonable than doing it just because it's difficult for others to pronounce.
  9. 12glaucoma34

    12glaucoma34 Banned Banned Account on Hold

    Aug 1, 2017
    Most of your issue seems to be with the in-laws, not your husband. Just because he supports whatever decision you make doesn't mean it won't hurt him, at least a little because on some level he will feel as if you are rejecting him. As far as first person to graduate, I don't see what name you go by matters. Considering you will have to introduce yourself as Dr. ?????, I would go with Dr. Hislastname because it is unique and easy vs a dull/awkward name like Dr. Philomena Snuffleupagus.
  10. fluffysquirrel


    May 8, 2017
    I'm not changing my name for some of the reasons you mentioned- culture, parent's support, first to graduate college, etc. Physicians change their name all the time; go with what you feel is best for you and how you want others to identify you.
    CUatthefinishline likes this.
  11. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Having traveled this road (briefly), I can share that it really doesn't work out well in practice. For most people, professional and social spheres do mix, and it is confusing for people to try to maintain an "AKA." Pick one name, preferably the one you personally prefer. Your legal name = the name on your license = the name by which you are known professionally = the name by which you are known socially.

    There will be plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your gratitude to your parents. If you choose to have children, you can name them after your parents, for example. You can set up a scholarship that carries their name. Or you can honor them in ways that have nothing to do with names.
  12. PTPoeny

    PTPoeny Senior Member Physician PhD 10+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Where I did residency a good portion of the female attendings did exactly this. Legally their last name is "Maidenlastname Hislastname" with no hyphen and they tell paints to call them "Dr. Maidenname" while socially they use "Mrs. Hislastname". The hospital started giving pushback and wanting both last names on IDs and in their epic signature but there are so many people already should the same thing they gave in and let women keep doing this.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
    CUatthefinishline likes this.
  13. Faefly


    Jun 21, 2016
    Hyphen both names is the solution.

    My math professor did that!
  14. 3toedsloth

    3toedsloth SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved

    Sep 4, 2017
    If you ever get divorced, it will be very hard to switch back to your maiden name. You'll have even more professional connections in the future. My mom was a doc and struggled with that issue.
    I think it's very nice to honor your parents in that way. :)
    aafhem and CUatthefinishline like this.

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