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AIBU to think my dental practice is sexist?

(69 Posts)
SconeRhymesWithPhone Mon 08-Dec-14 17:28:58

So I've been spending quite a bit of time at the dentist in the last few weeks due to ongoing drama with extraction. I've rung multiple times for emergency appointments myself, and have sat in reception for hours listening to the receptionists answer the phones.

There are 4 dentists in this practice: 2 male and 2 female. From their credentials displayed on the wall, they all seem to be equally qualified and experienced.

Yet, the two male dentists are always referred to as Mr X and Mr Y, but the two female dentists are always referred to by their first names. This is the case both when the patient initiates the conversation (e.g. I'm here for an appointment with ...) or when the receptionist initiates the conversation (e.g. I can fit you in today at three with "Denise"/Mr Y.

Why would this be? It really annoys me now I've realised it. AIBU to think they are just demonstrating casual sexism?

madsadbad Mon 08-Dec-14 17:31:23

Could it be that's how they have all individually asked to be addressed?

SconeRhymesWithPhone Mon 08-Dec-14 17:32:40

I wondered that: I hope so.

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Dec-14 17:32:52

I'm sure if they didn't like it, they'd say so.

I don't know why you're assuming sexism rather than personal choice.

Hatespiders Mon 08-Dec-14 17:34:28

We used to have an excellent Bulgarian dentist, a woman. But her surname was a bit difficult to pronounce and she actually asked everyone to call her Sylvia. We also had a Doctor Vaz at our GPs, another first name, for the same reason. Both of them had names which seemed to have lots of consonants but no vowels, if you see what I mean.

SconeRhymesWithPhone Mon 08-Dec-14 17:38:51

These two male first names are easy to pronounce, as are the female surnames. Don't think it can be that. Maybe it's just personal preference on their part, and obviously four is too small a sample size to draw conclusions, but I've been pondering for a while and thought I would gauge reactions here. Just for interest.

PlumpingUpPartridge Mon 08-Dec-14 17:39:53

Ask the receptionist next time. She will think you are a weirdo I'd so ask

SconeRhymesWithPhone Mon 08-Dec-14 17:42:34

I was really tempted to ask today. I'm in there so often now they all know me! That's worse though!

steff13 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:50:36

I think I'd be concerned that none of them are being referred to as "Dr.".... fsmile

I'd assume it's personal choice; surely if they didn't like it, they'd ask the receptionists to refer to them differently, which they would do, which would then trickle-down to the patients.

Hatespiders Mon 08-Dec-14 17:51:20

By the way, massive admiration from me at you going to the dentist a lot and not being terrified. I have to have sedation.

MaidOfStars Mon 08-Dec-14 17:52:44

Why would a dentist be called Dr (in the absence of any medical qual or PhD)?

steff13 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:56:35

Dentists in the US are doctors. Are they not in the UK?

bigbluestars Mon 08-Dec-14 17:58:48

No. Completely different degree course. Is dentistry considered a specialism of medicine in the US?

mangoespadrille Mon 08-Dec-14 17:59:06

We have three male, one female. All but one (male) dentist are referred to by first name, the other as Mr. I think it's just the preference of the particular dentist.

bigbluestars Mon 08-Dec-14 18:01:50

We have two dentists, male is referred to as Mr X, female is known by her first name.

SantyClaws Mon 08-Dec-14 18:04:47

I think US dentists do a medical degree first and then specialize in dentistry afterwards?

3bunnies Mon 08-Dec-14 18:06:21

Maybe they prefer not to be given a title which denotes their relationship to a man. I hated being Miss and didn't fancy being a Mrs either. Think all the years of study were worth it!

EduCated Mon 08-Dec-14 18:07:28

You could ask, in a light and ponderous way, next time you're there. Would be interesting to know if there is a reason (like personal preference)!

steff13 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:09:07

No. Completely different degree course. Is dentistry considered a specialism of medicine in the US?

I have no idea, actually. But per my googling, Great Britain is one of the only countries in the world whose dentists are not referred to as "Dr." and apparently this is due to the way your educational system is set up. Or so says I was thinking the OP was in the US, so I was assuming her dentist would be Dr. something or other.

My kids go to a pediatric dentist, and she goes by Dr. Jodi. Maybe you could try that, OP, Dr. + first name?

TittingAbout Mon 08-Dec-14 18:09:44

We have a male and a female dentist. Female is addresses by her first name, but so is the male.
However, he is about 12 newly qualified.

His predecessor was a Mr.

HappyAgainOneDay Mon 08-Dec-14 18:09:50

Not dentist related but I have the same thing at our local medical centre. Doctors are all Dr this or Dr that (including women doctors) but the nurses are Jill, Mary etc. When I make an appointment, I'm told that it's with Barbara or Jill. I ask for the surname and then refer to her as Nurse X from then including at my appointment. I think a title shows respect. I want to be Mrs Again not just Happy.

Our dentists (NHS) are all first names - men and women.

TittingAbout Mon 08-Dec-14 18:10:34


NewNamePlease Mon 08-Dec-14 18:15:37

Are the women younger? Younger dentist and even doctors around me seem to prefer being referred to by their first names.

JADS Mon 08-Dec-14 18:16:01

Dentists went through a phase of being allowed to be called Dr as a courtesy to bring them in line with other European dentists. The perceived wisdom was that it was too confusing for patients hmm and therefore most have reverted to Mr, Mrs or Miss.

Maybe the female dentists don't like miss or Mrs. Maybe the female dentists trade on their approachable nature. Maybe the male dentists prefer a formal approach. Are the female dentists younger than their male counterparts?

Bakeoffcakes Mon 08-Dec-14 18:18:30

I call my dentist Peter, because that's how he introduced himself and also how the staff address him.

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