Friday, May 23, 2014

MiM Mail: Dr. and/or Mrs?

Hello MiM community!

I am a newly crowned fourth year medical student who will be applying for residency this upcoming match cycle. In addition to that, I will finally be marrying my college sweetheart this upcoming spring. 

While I can't wait to be a Mrs. I'm struggling with what to do with my name. Since I've been a little girl I've always dreamt of being Dr. MyName. Not only will I be the first doctor in my family, I am the first to even graduate college! Becoming Dr. MyName is a great source of pride for me.

That being said, I have every desire to be Mrs. HisName everywhere outside of the hospital. While he would prefer I take his name, my fiance is supportive of whichever decision I make. All future children will have his last name regardless of what mine is.

I don't know all the licensure regulations, but what options do I have to practice as Dr. MyName, but still be Mrs. HisName? 

How have you ladies gone about this decision?

-a new MS4

17 comments:

  1. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I'm about to graduate from medical school, so I'm not 100% sure, but I was told when I got married after 2nd year to figure out what name I was going to go by as for licensing purposes your name at graduation kind of determines everything and you can't really change it later.

    I kept my maiden name as I too wanted to be Dr. MyName. Though no one is calling me Dr anything right now, a lot of times, I'm called Mrs. HisName or things are addressed to The HisNames. So if you want to go to by Mrs. HisName outside of work, just introduce yourself as that.

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  2. I never changed my last name, but I still get called Mrs. Hisname lots of places. Most of us are Dr. Myname at work and get called Mrs. Hisname socially whether we legally changed our names or not.

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  3. My friend resolved this by changing her name from Dr. Firstname Middlename Herlastname to Dr. Firstname Hislastname Herlastname. No hyphen, no nothing. Her last name technically hasn't changed, while his last name replaced her middle name. So she feels she has the flexibility to be called Mrs. Hislastname when the situation fits (usually in a less official capacity) and Dr. Herlastname officially.

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  4. I took my maiden name back when I got divorced. One of my partners got married and took Hislastname. It is a true pain in the ass, but it is possible to change your name. It took a few months for all the official documents to go through so my business office could collect under Dr. Mylastname so I was Dr. Hislastname on paper for almost a year. I still keep my divorce decree close by although liscensing, journals, and all that has been slowly taken care of. The business office doens't like name changes (curse words get slung about semi-facetiously ha ha), but it's doable. I still get called Mrs. Hislastname by kids at school and parents who don't know me as my children go by Hislastname. So yes you can be Dr. Yourlastname at work and Mrs. Hislastname socially, if that works for both of you.

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  5. I don't really have an answer for you, but I can share what others have done. One of my classmates married another classmate 2 months or so before graduation, and took his name, though she changed her middle name to her maiden name (I think). They intentionally got married before graduation to allow her time to get all her diplomas and stuff in HisName, so she wouldn't have to deal with the headache as much after graduation (and would have someone do it for her, because our school is awesome and has someone to do that).

    One of my attendings took her husbands name professionally, and they ended up divorced, and she changed her name back to her maiden name, which caused some confusion among her (pediatric) patients.

    I don't have prospects for marriage yet, but I will probably keep my maiden name legally, and go by HisName socially. I have no issue taking his name, but it does seem more than a little trouble to get names changed on licensure and everything, and an even better headache if you end up divorced later (which hopefully doesn't happen, but as both of my parents have divorced twice, I think very practically in those terms).

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  6. Changing your name legally is a big hassle- now and for every medical job you apply to, or hospital you get privileges at, but it can be done. If you keep your last name, like I did, you well get called Dr YourLastName at work and by patients, but Mrs Hislastname a lot of the time outside of work (but not always). It is the path of least resistance :)

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  7. I got married 4 years after residency. I was well established as Dr. Myname, but when I got married I really wanted to take my husband's name for a number of reasons. For one thing, I wanted my kids to have the same last name as me, especially in this day and age where so many people aren't married. I didn't want people to think we weren't married because the kids had a different last name. Also, I'm fairly traditional and have always wanted to take my husband's name. Granted, my old name was a lot easier than my new name, but it was still worth it. My patients adjusted and the name change process was a lot easier than I thought it would be. 5 years later, I do still have a few patients who still call me by my old name as they can't remember my "new" name. That being said, I know people who go by their maiden name professionally and their married name socially and it works, too. I think it just gets a little confusing at times, but it works. Do whatever you feel comfortable doing!

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  8. I got married at the end of intern year and changed my name legally. Honestly, it was a few months of minor hassle, but really no big deal and has not been a work issue at all. Obviously, as a resident I didn't have a huge panel of years and years worth of patients, but really it only took a month or so for everyone to remember my new name. I did change my name to First MyLastName HisLasName, which I like for many reasons including the continuity with my med school diploma, but that's also been the custom in my family for several generations.
    Don't let the paperwork scare you if you really want to change your name - the biggest thing is waiting in line at the Social Security office and the DMV, after that it's just changing things online or making phone calls as you get things in the mail or come across them.

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    1. Ditto for me, except that I got married at the end of my 2nd year of residency. It really wasn't a big deal.

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  9. People will call you Mrs. Hisname socially whether you change your name or not, even if you never tell anyone to do it. Best of both worlds.

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  10. I never changed my name and didn't want to. As the others have said, I am called Mrs. Hislastname all the time. Sometimes people who know my through my husband call me Dr. Hislastname. Socially it doesn't really matter what your driver's license says.

    I think you can change your name on your driver's license and leave it the same on your medical license, at least in our state. If it's really important to you to be Mrs. Hislastname legally, you could go that route. People will call you by your "married" name no matter what you do (which drives me nuts, but that's another rant entirely).

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  11. I followed after my mother (not a doctor) and did. Myfirstname Mylastname (now my legal middle name) Hislastname. For publications Mylastname gets shortened to an initial, but it's okay.

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  12. Just as an FYI, I recently got married and wanted to change my middle name to my maiden name and take my husband's last name. At the social security office in Texas I was told I couldn't do this, and in order to change my middle name I would have to go through the courts, basically making two name changes. Not sure if the lady I spoke with is crazy or this is state specific.

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  13. I kept my last name and refuse to be referred to as Mrs. I find the title degrading and it has sickening sexist origins. Family were instructed from before the wedding to refer to me as Ms. MyLastName or Dr. MyLastName. I've returned to sender correspondence from my husband's family that refers to me as Mrs. HisLastName, or what's even more disgusting: Mrs. HisFirst HisLastName.

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  14. Got married 3rd year of residency, to a PhD. No last name changing. Both professional and published people. I'm not sure I could have married someone who thought it was paramount for me to take his name - just a big world-view divide there. Fortunately that wasn't an issue whatsoever. Neither of us could care less what is convenient for society. When we started trying to have a kid, we wanted a family name (and our individual last names are too unwieldy to mash together or hyphenate) so we made up a family name with three letters from his last name, three letters from my last name. Each of us took it as our legal middle name and once the baby came, it was given to him as a last name. So we can be the [new last name] family. We carry the baby's birth certificate for traveling and have never had an issue. (I also return to sender correspondences that come as Mrs HisFirst HisLast, as people are wont to do down here in the deep south. I hate it and, for crying out loud, no part of that is my name.)

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