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Which Name Do You Practice by? Name Change / Marriage Question

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by adams30, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. adams30

    adams30 Illinois c/o 2017!!! 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2012

    I have been searching through some old forums and on the internet for advice but have not found anything too specific to my situation. I am getting married the summer between 1st and 2nd year of vet school and am having a dilemma with how to change my name.

    I want to take my husbands name for personal reasons, but a part of me wants to keep my maiden name to have on my diploma and maybe practice under.

    The issue I have is that my maiden name sounds VERY similar to my future husband's first name, so if I hyphenated my new last name it wound sound too much like "firstname-hislastname" and it would be long. The names just don't sound or look good together hyphenated.

    I also thought about making my maiden name a 2nd middle name instead and take his last name to be my new last name.

    I guess my question is, as a DVM could you practice under your maiden name if it's your middle name and have clients call you Dr. MaidenName and you sign documents as Firstname MiddleName MaidenName Hislastname, DVM. ?

    Sorry if that sounded confusing. Thank you.
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  3. katryn

    katryn UTCVM c/o 2014!!!! 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Personally, I felt that hyphonating or trying to keep my maiden name in some way was too complicated. So I will just be Dr. Marriedname. But I also was married before I started school. Don't think it would have mattered though, I still would have gone with his name.
  4. bbeventer

    bbeventer Illinois 2016 5+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    I don't have any advice for you, but I have wondered about this too, especially if someone is already published because then it doesn't affect just the practicing name but also the authored name. There should be a book about this.
    hopingtogetin3 likes this.
  5. adams30

    adams30 Illinois c/o 2017!!! 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2012
    thanks for the replies. I guess it is all a personal decision. I have not published so I have no trouble there.
  6. aystyr


    Jan 23, 2014
    My godmother practices under her maiden name and does all personal correspondence/etc. under her married name.

    On the other hand, my aunt who is a zoological nutritionist and has many publications under her belt got married recently and changed her work name to her married name anyway. In her case, being married and having her husbands name was that important (and convenient, since her maiden name is a mouthful).

    Just some examples for you. :)

    Personally, I sincerely doubt I will be married before I finish school and in that case I will have formed relationships and networking under my maiden name, if not be published, and therefore I will probably keep my maiden name for practice. Plus it's pretty unique (read: a mouthful) so I won't be mistaken for anyone else.

    But if you aren't yet published and you are taking your husband's name for personal reasons, why not use it for practice? Most circumstances for keeping a maiden name to practice under seem to be centered around already having an established business or publications under that name, which makes it a hassle to change it.

    Like you said, it seems like a very personal decision and I wish you best of luck.
  7. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    I'm pretty sure what I will do is hyphenate officially, but then go by my maiden name in my day to day life including how I refer to myself in practice.
  8. jjohnston

    jjohnston Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    Providence, RI
    I got married before graduating veterinary school, and I changed my last name to his for personal reasons. Since I hadn't published and was not already known professionally by my maiden name, I just went with my married name. It's on my diploma and what I practice under. I did have a few lab animal connections with my maiden name, but they knew I got married and now know me by that name. It really wasn't a big issue. It's totally a personal choice, but if you want to take his name and haven't graduated or published under your maiden name, why not just graduate and practice under your married name?
  9. that redhead

    that redhead Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Changed my last name, will be practicing under the new last name. I think you can introduce yourself to clients however you'd like :)
  10. TravelingRunner

    TravelingRunner iLurk

    Mar 8, 2013
    Thwarting Darwin
    FWIW, I was a journalist when I got married, and I had lots of bylines (articles published) with my maiden name. So I hyphenated my last name. It was rather unwieldy. Plus, I go by my middle name; if I hyphenated my last name still, my name would be similar to this: Jane Susan Jones-Smith*. My bachelor's degree looks like that, and it's just a bit much for daily use. I'll just be using the much-simpler version: Jane Susan Smith for my official documents, and Susan Smith for daily use. *Not my real name :)

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