It’s Dr. Naito, NOT Dr. Stacey

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Some of you are in the habit of referring to physicians by their first names, tacking on “doctor” before the name. In all honesty, those of you who do this are quite honestly showing disrespect in doing so, even if it isn’t your intention.

Please bear in mind that we physicians must endure four years of medical school, anywhere from 3 to 7 years of residency training, and for some physicians, additional years spent in fellowships. In addition, we must keep up with continuing medical education (my yearly requirement is at least 50 hours), maintain licensure, and recertify every few years for our board certification credentials.

So when doctors bristle at you calling them, “Doctor Bob”, “Doctor Stacey”, or “Doctor Karen”, don’t be surprised. It’s not cute, it’s far too casual, and again, it’s downright disrespectful.

I do NOT like being referred to as Dr. Stacey at all. I worked very hard to become a physician, and I deserve to be referred to properly. In addition, I refer to other physicians as Dr. (last name) at all times, unless a colleague gives me permission to refer to him or her on a first name basis.

If you have an issue pronouncing a doctor’s last name, ask the doctor for assistance in pronunciation. Sometimes, the physician may suggest that you use the first letter of the last name as an abbreviated version. For example, I could be referred to as “Doctor N”, which I am fine with. I will not respond well to “Doctor Stacey” or “Stacey” by a patient.

In case you were wondering, Naito is pronounced like “night”, with a long “o” at the end.

Are there any medical doctors out there who would like to chime in on this one?

2 thoughts on “It’s Dr. Naito, NOT Dr. Stacey

  1. I don’t know about this one. My youngest son had a heart transplant so I’m always interacting with physicians. I can’t think of one who hasn’t told me to drop the “Dr.” almost immediately. Even the surgeon who did the actual transplant – who I interacted with only in the early days. Maybe this is because I never tried to refer to them as anything but Dr. until they told me not to. I’d say it’s the exception to be attached to the title but who knows. Curious what the actual physicians say.


    1. You say you don’t know about this one, but you should realize that I wrote this from the perspective of a board certified physician who has been practicing for 15 years, and who often has patients attempt to be “cute” and informal, and refer to me as Dr. Stacey, which I abhor. There are also patients who mistakenly assume after a 10 minute urgent care visit that I will somehow be comfortable with them referring to me by my first name, which is a big no-no in my book.

      I reserve the right as a physician who had to endure 4 years of medical school, 3 years residency, numerous years of specialized training in aesthetic medicine, recertification exams in my specialty, and 17 years of continuing medical education to maintain licensure and board certification, to insist that patients refer to me properly as Dr. Naito.

      Liked by 1 person

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