Monday, October 27, 2008

Seriously, I wanna know...

Did you change your name after you got married? Do you use one surname professionally and one name socially? Do you hypehenate? How about your children's last names?

28 comments:

  1. I took my husband's name when we married. I'm getting my PhD, not MD, so there are no licensing issues to worry about. We got married at the end of undergrad, so I didn't have any publications at that point to worry about either.

    I don't like hyphenating (personal preference) and I think it's so much easier if a family all have the same name, so I chose to change my last name. My husband's take on it was that he didn't care either way what I did but that he had no desire to change his name. I've known a few women to try using one name socially and the other professionally but they've all given up after a few years because it was just too confusing.

    I have caught some flack for my decision. Some of the older-generation feminists in my academic department seem almost offended that I chose to change names, like I was willingly giving my husband ownership over me. However, I don't see why using my husband's last name has to mean that I'm giving up my old identity. I'm the same person, just with an easier to spell last name.

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  2. I Changed my name.

    I got married before I started med school so it was not an issue.

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  3. not straight away... my son was born before we were married and it was easier to continue using the same name.
    When I change job, I began to use my married name and have ever since on pretty much everything apart from the 2 big ones- licence and passport. Means I need to show my marriage certificate when I need to get ID'ed.
    Everything else was easy to change but they are my last 2 forms of true photo ID.
    A

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  4. My husband's dad was the first doctor in his family. Unfortunately he died when my husband was in high school. When I took my husbands name, my mother in law was so pleased and proud that there was another "Dr. XXX" in the family.

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  5. I didn't change my name when I got married (after residency). I was the first doctor (for that matter college grad) in my family. No children (though I wanted some, not in the cards), but would have given them their father's last name had we had any.

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  6. I kept my maiden name. I got married right before graduating med school but after my diploma was printed up, so it would have been a lot of hassle to make the change. Not to mention all the licensing stuff that would have had to be changed. That said, if I were in love with my husband's last name, I probably would have made the change anyway.

    Our daughter has my husband's last name. I figure that's what's traditionally done and I don't want things to be confusing for her... and I know it's a pain for kids with hyphens.

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  7. I got married just as I was graduating from med school, so it was easy to start residency with my "new" name. I've never regretted the change.
    A

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  8. I changed my name when I got married because hyphenating seemed unwieldy and I wanted my future kids to have the same last name as both their parents. I am not finished medical school yet so I didn't have to worry about licensing but it turned out to be a much larger pain in the neck to switch everything over. And all my publications are under my previous name. I like my new name but it has turned out to be kind of irritating.

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  9. I got married the week after graduating med school, and I took my husband's name. I've never regretted it, even though my diploma has my maiden name on it.

    Strangely, my mother was the only person who had a problem with me changing my name, and it was the only thing we fought about related to the wedding. I'm still not sure why; I suspect she was a little irrationally concerned that I'd like my in-laws more than my own family (I love both).

    Otherwise, it's been great; no confusing explanations, no questions from our son, no identity crisis on my part, no lack of respect from my colleagues.

    And my married name has only 4 letters, so all those millions of signatures don't take long!

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  10. I kept my name when I married the first year of medical school(1974), partly because my sister, a lawyer, was finding it difficult to re-establish herself in her maiden name after her divorce. Also, my husband and I went through medical school and an internal medicine residency together. It saved a lot of paging confusion.
    My children have their father's name. I like having my own professional identity and I think it helped the kids (now adults) see me as my own person. They all have my name as a middle name. I asked them if it bothered them growing up and they said no. I don't make a big deal if people call me Mrs. My Husband, though--often the kids would correct people.

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  11. My husband and I got married during my last year of residency, and at that point, I already had oodles of official stuff in my maiden name, so it seemed too burdensome to make a change. At that point, I also had no desire since I thought of keeping my own name as a feminist issue. A friend later pointed out that I was either keeping one man's name(my father's name, which I did not choose) versus taking another man's name (my husband's, which I could choose). Though I also feel like I have made my maiden name "my own", I have given more thought to her argument and considered changing my name. I like my husband a lot more than my dad (is that bad to admit?), and it would be nice to have the same last name as my kids, to whom we gave my husband's last name with no hyphens, etc.

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  12. I got married during my second year of med school and changed my name. It was more of a pain than I would have expected but I have no regrets - I figure it will save a lot of confusion and hassle down the road. I have two publications in my maiden name, but since I'm not going into research that is not a big deal to me. I have no identity problems and am proud to carry my husband's name. :)

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  13. I kept my name. And though I often say it was for professional reasons, that is a load of crap. My name is awesome, and I have known since I was 4 that I would keep it (my mother was a feminist, and she passed this on to me).

    It's the principle more than anything else, since the fact is that there are 1,000,000 my names in pubmed, but I would have been the only SE[husband's last name] had I changed my name.

    The kids get his name if there are any.

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  14. I got married right before starting med school and did not change my last name. I had always planned on keeping my maiden name, since my mom did as well. I never felt any less connected to her because we didn't have the same last name.

    DH and I briefly considered both hyphenating our names, but that would have been a bit long and unwieldy, and required that both of us go through the bureaucratic maze of name-changing!

    Our daughter has my husband's last name and shares my middle name (which is also her aunt's first name, so a nice connection to the women in the family). Our current thought is that if we have another baby, he or she will have my last name.

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  15. Kept my first (!) and last name. Both kids have my last name as their middle name. Though it was the feminist in me that motivated me to keep my own name, my intent was also to honor my father (his memory) by continuing to use his name.

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  16. My husband and I have been together since the beginning of college. When we started discussing marriage, I told him I'd change my name if we sealed the deal before I started med school. . . which is what we did.

    I think it's much simpler and more cohesive for kids/whole family to have the same last name (we have two girls now). Plus, my maiden name is unusual and would have been constantly misunderstood/ misspelled; I rarely have that problem with my married name.

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  17. My husband and I have been together since the beginning of college. When we started discussing marriage, I told him I'd change my name if we sealed the deal before I started med school. . . which is what we did.

    I think it's much simpler and more cohesive for kids/whole family to have the same last name (we have two girls now). Plus, my maiden name is unusual and would have been constantly misunderstood/ misspelled; I rarely have that problem with my married name.

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  18. We got married at the end of residency. I initially kept my last name (for the first year), but then eventually changed it legally (after our son was born). However, I still practice under my maiden name - never changed my license or anything else. I spoke w/ the legal dept at my job at the time, and they couldn't find any law or prescedent (?sp) saying I HAD to practice under my changed name. So I'm still Dr. Maiden Name which is what I worked to become originally. But I'm Mrs. Married Name, which is perfect for me.

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  19. My husband and I did pretty much what -h did. Neither of us changed our names nor did we do the hyphenate thing.

    I kept my last name because I like it. It's unusual. Even though it's often mispronounced and misspelled and a thousand people have make the same wry comment about it, I wanted to keep it.

    One of our children has my last name, one has husband's last name. Each has the middle name of the other parent. Fortunately our surnames do go nicely together either way. Don't know what we would do if they weren't euphonious.

    With two surnames, we don't feel less connected or related to each other. Anyone who would think that might be the case should see our kids. Husband and I each have a clone in one of our children.

    We've had some questions or comments over the years about different names, but for the most part I've discovered that if we don't treat it as a big, unusual thing, others don't either.

    There have been exceptions to the acceptance thing. A certain relative of his can't stop making disapproving comments. But she is sort of an ultraconservative/religious nut, and family members tend to tune her out anyway. ;-) So we do, too.

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  20. I hyphenated mine -- hubby's was already hyphenated because his parents joined theirs together and gave that to all the kids. So I took the second half of his last name.

    When he became a U.S. cititzen, he dropped the first half and added mine instead so now we both have the same hyphenated name. :)

    At work I often informally go by my original last name since it's simpler, but I sign everything with both.

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  21. I kept my maiden name, for everything exept driver's license and after 33 years of marriage I still think it was the right thing to do. Our daughters have husband's name. One changed her name when she married, the other one didn't.

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  22. Thanks for all of the great comments! Like the mommy doctor, I kept my maiden name for professional purposes - I have kind of an unusual last name. Got married after residency so I was already established as Dr Maiden Name. Will answer to anything, though. Both kids have married name as their last name.
    BTW - having two different surnames in our households helps us screen telemarketers - not a #1 reason to keep or change the name, but it's made life interesting.

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  23. kept my own name professionally, and legally, but really don't care what people call me. my children have my husband's last name. younger One has my name as middle name, older one has middle name of a dear friend who died on sept. 11.

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  24. I kept mine. I grew up in a province of Canada where women simply don't change their names. I did a master's degree, a few publications and medical school with my maiden name. Socially, I call myself Mrs. Marriedname, but legally I'm still Dr. Maidenname. The kid has my husband's name. My name is too long to reasonably hyphenate with anything.

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  25. I took Husband's name when we got married. I was already a resident, and had a full license at the time. I introduced myself with my new name once I'd returned from the honeymoon.

    My department chair, upon hearing I'd changed my name, asked me why. "I'm just an old fashioned gal," I replied.

    "And optimistic," he said. "Over half of marriages don't make it. Are you sure yours will?"

    Lots of support there, huh?

    In the end, I didn't even consider keeping my maiden name, but I wish I'd made it my middle name officially. Never even crossed my mind at the time.

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  26. I kept my name.. always planned to. A few other reasons also made sense; my husband is also a physician, plus I'm Muslim (converted) and traditionally women keep their last names.

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  27. I kept my maiden name primarily to honor my family, who was extremely supportive emotionally and financially during the stress of medical school and residency. In addition, I didn't care for my in-laws drooling at the idea that they now had a "Dr. Marriedname" in the family and their constant preening as though they had something to do with all the hard work involved.

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  28. I kept my maiden name. Both my husband and I are Asian and hospitalists at the same hospital. The nurses already have a hard enough time trying to tell all us Asian women doctors apart. I think changing my name now would cause utter chaos.

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