View Full Version : Do you call the docs you work with by their first names?


geenaRN
08-29-2007, 01:28 PM
Docs get to call us by our first names, but why is it not reciprocable? (Yes, I made that word up)

I've been at my current hospital for 7 years, but there are only a handful that I call by their first names. One or two have told me that I can; with the other few their first names just came out one day and since they didn't seem offended, I just kept at it.

I always call them "Dr. SoAndSo" if we're in earshot of patients or families.

There are some nurses I work with that call many doctors by their first names, but those are usually the nurses who have been there for decades working with these docs.

What do you do?

(Poll allows for multiple selections)

KimRN
09-01-2007, 03:19 PM
We tend to be a lot more casual about names in the ER. The doctors even introduce themselves to the patients by their first names. I tried it with a couple of doctors just to see what their reactions would be and....the world didn't end! LOL! Maybe it's easier for me because the older I get the younger the doctors seem to get.

MyOwnWoman
09-03-2007, 12:51 AM
We tend to be a lot more casual about names in the ER. The doctors even introduce themselves to the patients by their first names. I tried it with a couple of doctors just to see what their reactions would be and....the world didn't end! LOL! Maybe it's easier for me because the older I get the younger the doctors seem to get.

That's so true. It seems to me that ER nurses and ER docs are a tighter "family." You will see much more teasing and laughing going on between ER docs and nurses than you would likely see on on general floor. I personally feel comfortable calling all the docs I work with by their first name, but I never call them by their first name in front of patients.

unsinkablemb
09-03-2007, 10:59 PM
Like the ER, the OR has a family feel among most surgeons and the staff (nurses and techs). It seems like people (surgeons and nurses) who have worked together for a long time are on a first name basis. They know all about each other's marriages, kids, etc.

I find that I have a tendency to be more informal with the residents calling them by their first name or by their last name sans the title "Doctor."

jojodow
09-04-2007, 12:39 AM
In the Hospital, There were Several docs who wanted us to call them by first name. I had a hard time with that and started going more in the middle with them...like instead of calling her Jane...she was "Dr D".
Now that I'm in a clinic I haven't gotten to a point where I could call the MD by first name. We do address each other by initials when we leave post its for each other.

jen
09-05-2007, 07:30 PM
Are you kidding? I havenever worked in a place where nurses call the docs by their title... maybe thats because ive always worked in critical care? I dont know..but id feel truly bizarre using anything but first names with everyone...

KimRN
09-07-2007, 09:46 AM
Sometimes I worked with older docs, and just couldn't find it in me to call 'em by their first name so they became "Dr. T" or "Dr. B" - I'd really use their initial. It was informal but was more comfortable for me.

Of course I was younger then. Now it's, "Hey Doc!, get your butt over here!" Just kidding.... : D

Mother Jones, RN
09-18-2007, 08:56 PM
No, I never call a doctor by his first name. I'm too old fashioned to do something like that.


:pepsi::pepsi::pepsi::pepsi:

PixelRN
09-19-2007, 08:02 AM
Here are the "rules" on the unit where I used to work:

Call interns, residents, and fellows by their first names. (As a student I tried to call one of the residents Dr. so and so and he was like, "please. call me Eric."

Call attendings Dr. Unless you've known the attending for greater than 20 years, and then you call him or her by their first name.

Julie
09-19-2007, 08:31 AM
Many of you use the term 'attending', we don't have that in the UK. Can you describe who the person is and what they do?

Jess
09-19-2007, 11:24 AM
I'm a student nurse so I don't really interact with doctors that much, haha. So I didn't vote in the poll since none of the answers really suited me. However, when I am a nurse, would I call the docs by the first name? It really depends how well I know them I guess.

geenaRN
09-19-2007, 11:32 AM
The attending is out of school, out of internship and out of residency. They're a doc all on their own, with no one else looking over their shoulder.

PixelRN
09-19-2007, 11:38 AM
Attending - Sometimes also referred to as "The Big Cheese" or "The Head Honcho." Basically it's the top position a doctor can take in the hospital and still be involved with patient care.

At least that's the way it works in a teaching hospital. Community hospitals might be different.

Julie
09-19-2007, 01:32 PM
That is the person who in the UK is called a consultant. I wondered as much.

Thanks both of you :cheers::cheers::cheers:

neuronurse
09-24-2007, 05:28 PM
On my floor we call most of the docs by their first name with a couple of exceptions. The docs that we call by their first names are the ones that are specific to our unit (neurosurgeons and neurologists) Other docs I just don't know well enough to call them by their first name. The other exception is that when talking to another doctor and referencing another ex.: ::speaking to a physician:: "His attending is Dr. M, pager number 0000, but you could speak with his resident Dr. A who is on the floor now" This goes for family as well....
So basically we call the unit docs by their first name when talking with other nurses on the unit or to the doc him/herself, anybody else gets the full ubbangi

Polaris
10-01-2007, 12:41 AM
We call most of our docs by their first names. But this is the first hospital where I've done that. Previously, it was only the med students and residents that got called by their first names.

Nurse Ceejay
10-01-2007, 04:38 PM
Many of you use the term 'attending', we don't have that in the UK. Can you describe who the person is and what they do?

I work in a teaching hospital and in a specialty area so we call our head docs 'attending' or 'faculty'. Attending physicians practice on their specialty areas and can also supervise residents and medical students. They make the final decisions, as oppose to consultants, regarding the patient's care .

Marachne
10-01-2007, 07:27 PM
To follow-up on what Nurse CeeJay said, one way I think of it is that any note by a MS, intern or resident is usually signed by the attending.

Burnout Hag RN
10-12-2007, 03:51 PM
We also have code names we use for them when they aren't there: such as
Baby Doc
Not the doc
Old Doc
Horses As-
Shi_ Headhttp://www.nursingvoices.com/images/smilies/swordfight.gif

MyOwnWoman
10-13-2007, 01:20 AM
Julie, the "attending" is the patient's Primary Care Doctor; the doctor who is ultimately responsible for the patient. An "attending" is not an intern or a resident but a full fledged doctor who may be over a few interns or residents.

It kind of breaks down like a hierarchy:
1. The intern (the newbie)
2. The resident (the middle, still learning but not quite there yet)
3. "THE" doctor (attending) - the supreme being who knows all!:laugh:

I couldn't help sharing the sequence of events since my oldest daughter is a brand spanking new "attending."

Nps Save Lives
10-21-2007, 04:51 PM
I just call them all "doc". I'm sure that probably gets on their nerves as well. They probably think we don't know their names. I do but I don't know any of them on a personal basis well enough to call them by their given names.:pepsi:

adriennezurub
10-27-2007, 01:11 AM
Pompous assholes, mostly. And yes, that is their first name!:rock:

Really, it depends on the relationship you have with a particular doctor. Some get first name treatment, the others don't deserve me calling them by their first name. They get the 'sir' instead. And any nurse knows, sir does not mean 'Sir'!

Adrienne Zurub,RN,CNOR
'cardiacbitch'...so what!
Author, 'NOtes From the Mothership The Naked Invisibles'
http://adriennezurub.typepad.com

kate loving shenk
11-01-2007, 01:04 PM
Interesting--We all call the doctors "Dr So-And-So.":sleep:

How boring!!!

Scalpal Sal
03-26-2008, 04:25 PM
Like the ER, the OR has a family feel among most surgeons and the staff (nurses and techs). It seems like people (surgeons and nurses) who have worked together for a long time are on a first name basis. They know all about each other's marriages, kids, etc.




I agree Unsinkablemb. having worked with the same surgeons for years... it is natural to be on first name terms, especially as I have watched them "grow up" in the theatre.

Surgeons today tend to be younger as Consultants than when I trained. I think the first qualification required to become a "mister" was to be over 50, grumpy and have God like tendancies !!

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

shrinknp
07-17-2008, 06:10 PM
Why not? They call me by my first name. And, I am older than most of them.

shrinknp
07-17-2008, 06:12 PM
So happy to see someone that I know one here! (I am aka cdnurse on another link)

ianursing22
01-07-2013, 10:36 AM
some doctors in our setting prefer to be called by their first names

amygarside
01-20-2014, 12:21 PM
That would really depend. I would ask the doc what name they would want them to be called. And poof, there goes their names. hahaha

jasaka
01-07-2015, 04:01 PM
I have been nursing a long time and in the early days a definate NO. Since later years it is more common where I come from and there seems to be more autonomy

jasaka
02-03-2015, 05:03 PM
I think it depends how long you have worked with them. Some Doctors still see Nurses as minions.

Tammy
08-02-2016, 04:18 AM
I always respect physicians at the bedside and say Doctor such and such. Remember, we are a team. Only through mutual respect, collaboration and communication, can we deliver quality healthcare. As we are pushed to do more with less, we need each other. My docs in the ED have given a patient a urinal, a glass of water, and yes one even helped me put a patient on a bedpan. I in turn, make sure they have what they need to always move fast from emergency to emergency. Guys, let's stop the culture of us and them. We started a collaborative medical education project, because we realized, by working together as a team, we can help educate more, ultimately giving better care. We also realized, it takes all of us to survive in medicine these days, thus the need to come together as medical professionals, not doctors and nurses, not us and them, but we.

Thanks so much:)

CathytheRN
08-03-2016, 06:28 PM
I only call docs by their first name if I know them really well.