koma

Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2002
105
0
Visit site
Status
What does a med student supposed to call residents - Dr. X or just by 1st name? (I mean in a situation when you contact the resident for the 1st time via email or by phone). I prefer 1st name (just because they will probably call me by my first name) but I am not sure what is most appropriate (ie if they're 50, it could be misunderstood).

Also - I have similar problem with secretaries - I hate calling them by their first names - is that appropriate? Or should you use Ms. X? They all sign their emails "first name, last name", so its hard to gauge their preference. Of course their dr. bosses always call them by their first name, and they call their boss Dr. X (usually).
 

KidDr

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 16, 2004
320
1
someplace warm
Status
Attending Physician
koma said:
What does a med student supposed to call residents - Dr. X or just by 1st name? (I mean in a situation when you contact the resident for the 1st time via email or by phone). I prefer 1st name (just because they will probably call me by my first name) but I am not sure what is most appropriate (ie if they're 50, it could be misunderstood).

Also - I have similar problem with secretaries - I hate calling them by their first names - is that appropriate? Or should you use Ms. X? They all sign their emails "first name, last name", so its hard to gauge their preference. Of course their dr. bosses always call them by their first name, and they call their boss Dr. X (usually).
when in doubt always start with being more formal (Dr. so-and-so, Ms/Mr. so-and-so). if they sign their e-mail using their first name when they reply back to you, then you can just use their first name from then on. in 90% of cases this will be overkill (especially with residents--I don't know any resident who expects or even wants to be called "doctor" by med students), but you're more likely to offend someone by being too informal than by being too formal.
 

loveumms

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2005
664
92
PA
Status
Attending Physician
If your resident wants you to call them doctor then they have real issues.

Most of the secretaries I call by first name but, there are some that you just know are more formal and prefer Ms/Mrs/Mr
 
About the Ads

velo

bottom of the food chain
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 3, 2004
5,573
9
37
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I start out with a Dr. X for residents just to be on the safe side and they invariably respond, "just call me [first name]"....its a good litmus test too, if they don't have you call them by their 1st name they're almost certainly a dick.

secretaries I start out with first name, seems to work fine
 

pillowhead

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2002
1,029
4
Visit site
Status
koma said:
What does a med student supposed to call residents - Dr. X or just by 1st name? (I mean in a situation when you contact the resident for the 1st time via email or by phone). I prefer 1st name (just because they will probably call me by my first name) but I am not sure what is most appropriate (ie if they're 50, it could be misunderstood).

Also - I have similar problem with secretaries - I hate calling them by their first names - is that appropriate? Or should you use Ms. X? They all sign their emails "first name, last name", so its hard to gauge their preference. Of course their dr. bosses always call them by their first name, and they call their boss Dr. X (usually).
Part of it depends on the rotation. On my surgery and ob/gyn rotations, there were definitely upper level residents who wanted to be called Dr. X by the medical students. If someone called them by their first name, they still responded, but still, you could tell they preferred Dr. from the M3s.

No intern gets called Dr. by the med students.

As far as secretaries, I almost always call them Ms. or Mr. (yes, our internal medicine coordinator is male and he is awesome) in e-mails at first and then just take it from there. Most go by the first name.
 

Hurricane

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 14, 2005
977
4
The Metroplex
blue-hurricane.livejournal.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm an intern, and I don't care one way or the other. I'm in an ER setting now, where people are always rotating in and out on different shifts, and the staff calls all of the residents "Dr X" then the med students pick that up if they're not formally introduced. Then sometimes I don't have time to say "you don't have to call me Dr." But as a med student, I called most residents by their first name.

As for secretaries, nurses, techs, and other staff, just call them whatever everyone else does.
 

DOtobe

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2000
2,000
3
41
Pittsburgh, PA
www.myspace.com
Status
Attending Physician
First name for both. As everyone else said, a resident that tells you to call him or her "doctor" is likely an ass.

One of the new interns told all of the nurses/MAs in our clinic to call her "Dr fill in the blank" because her last name is difficult to say. I think any resident who makes any office staff/student/etc. call them doctor needs to get off their high horse. "Oh, I bow down to you, almighty doctor..." :rolleyes:

(end rant, that just really pissed me off when one of the nurses in clinic told me that)
 

DrFeelgoodMD

below is a TRUE avatar...
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2005
114
0
34
USA
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I always address the residents or secretaries by their first name....i mean we expect the patients to use Dr. or Mr./Mrs. when speaking to the residents or secretaries, but in our department it is common practice for everyone to address those lower than attendings by their first name.

J
 

Igor

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2005
51
1
Our rule for teams was first except the attending.

Exception: If 2 people had the same name, the one with more training was called Dr. to avoid confusion. 1st names only if 2 people have the same last name.

I was once on a team with 3 guys (MS3, resident, attending) with the same first name (??!!) so everyone went by last names - but that's just one of those odd occurences.

When it doubt, be formal with secretaties. They usually introduce themselves first, so call them whatever they call themselves. If you're really stumped, use their whole name "Mr. John Doe." and they'll let you know how they prefer to be addressed.
 

Dr JPH

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2000
5,910
36
www.pcom.edu
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I always call attendings by "Dr.", even the ones I am close with. The only acception are 3 attendings at school whom I call "Dr. (first name)" rather than their last name (per their request). Thats as "informal" as I get with attendings...even the ones who have told me "It's Mike, you know that!". Ok. "Dr. Mike!" :)

When it comes to residents and interns I always start with "Dr.", and 90%+ of the time you will be told to call them by their first name. A few upper year residents prefer the "Dr." and thats more than fine, they have put their time in. I have yet to meet an intern who wants to be called "Dr." by students.

The only exception to this rule IMO is when you are addressing them in front of a group of other students/interns/residents/attendings. In cases such as morning report or noon conference for example. If I have a question and I am asking my intern (who on the floor is always "Dan") I use the "Dr." title as a show of respect in front of my fellow students/interns/residents. I do this even with certain residents whom I have known long before they were physicians.

As far as secretaries go it depends on age. I'm 25 so there are few people who are younger than me. Older females I almost always address as "Miss (first name)" and older men I use "Mr. (last name)". Again, unless corrected specifically by them. People my own age and younger I usually call by their first name or "Ms/Mr (last name)" initially but quickly develop enough rapport to take it informal.

Wow...thats a lot of stuff I just typed! I guess it just comes natural after awhile...you get a feel for people.

Most importantly...know how to pronounce the last name of the attendings on service.
 

ddmo

BMF
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2003
1,027
5
Visit site
Status
I had an intern introduce himself/herself to me as Dr. XXXX the other day, just shook my head and laughed about it later. Three weeks ago you were in my same spot, now you want me to call you Dr., ass-hat alert.
 
About the Ads