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To think the hospital were wrong not to use this lady's correct title?

(226 Posts)
PumpkinPie2016 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:42:25

A friend of my husband has recently had a short stay in hospital (a few days). This last is well into her 80's now but worked her whole life as a doctor. She was the first female GP in our area and has an MBE and, as you can imagine, she worked incredibly hard for her qualification and during her career. As a result, she of course has the title Dr.

When my husband visited her in hospital, he noticed that her name on the board was down as Mrs X rather than Dr X. My husband pointed out to the nurse that Dr X had never married and so her title wasn't Mrs but Dr (he was very polite about it!). The nurse was adamant she would change it to Miss but not Dr and no matter what DH or the last herself said, the nurse would only change it to Miss. The following day, a different visitor pointed it out to a different staff member but again it was left as Miss.

Over the 4 day stay, the title varied from Mrs to Miss, back to Mrs then Miss and finally Ms. All of this lady's identification, labels from pharmacy medication, medical records etc have her title as Dr.

Now, I know that in the grand scheme of things it's not a huge deal and there are bigger things to worry about in the world, however, I can't help but think that it's hugely disrespectful to deliberately give someone an incorrect title? I also cannot fathom what the problem was with giving her the correct title?

So, can any hospital staff shed any light? And AIBU to think that they should have used her correct title.

mrscampbellblackagain Wed 06-Mar-19 19:44:31

I am not hospital staff but think they absolutely should have called her Dr.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 06-Mar-19 19:45:07

I can’t see how they can say calling her “Dr” is wrong?

MIA12 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:45:52

Yanbu. How strange.

Mabumssare Wed 06-Mar-19 19:45:58

My only thought is as she is no longer practicing then she would no longer need to use the title ?

theworldistoosmall Wed 06-Mar-19 19:45:58

Could it have been to save her being asked by other patients for medical advice?

confusedandemployed Wed 06-Mar-19 19:46:01

I would find this very disrespectful.

Dungeondragon15 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:46:25

I can't think of any good reason for not calling her "Dr", particularly as she is elderly. It's not very respectful or nice of them to decide on what her name is.

reallyanotherone Wed 06-Mar-19 19:48:21

Possibly because Dr is a courtesy title and technically only applies when you practice medicine.

Still, i don’t think it’s too much to ask for a retired dr to be addressed as such. I work withe the elderly and we would always do so.

Gibble1 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:48:49

We always call Drs Dr, regardless of them having retired or not. Often gives us something to chat with them about too.
Rude not use correct title IMO.
And I personally HATE being called Ms. I was a Miss until I got married 18 years ago and now I’m a Mrs. Grr!

SlB09 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:49:00

Nurse here, I would always go with patient preference in this instance (assuming capacity).

GustavoRocks Wed 06-Mar-19 19:49:37

I wonder if it was to avoid confusion amongst staff. Maybe it was to allow them to distinguish the patient from the medical staff.
Although logical, it does seem disrespectful!

Roffle2019 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:49:49

Medical doctors only have the Dr title as a courtesy; once they stop practising, they lose the title.

PumpkinPie2016 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:51:14

She had her own room so no risk of her being asked advice.

Glad it's not just me!

She had retired but even so, she still retains the title in the same way that someone with a PhD retains theirs.

It's very odd!

AlwaysColdHands Wed 06-Mar-19 19:54:31

If that’s her chosen title, it should be used. Bet they wouldn’t remove a Rev.

I’ve read of recognition of an annoying trend for women with ‘Dr’ titles (either medical or academic) to have these ignored, with a tendency for people to use their first names or Mrs/Miss instead. It’s not on in my view angry but then we don’t know whether a man in her situation would have had the same experience or not....

daisypond Wed 06-Mar-19 19:56:04

I think it's rather odd to call someone by a title that is used for their work - and I'd think the same if it had been a professor or lord or whatever. And equally odd for someone to insist on being called it. But if the patient wanted to be called that, then that's how it should be perhaps. People with PhDs surely don't really call themselves doctor either - that's naff and would be laughed at. I know loads of people with PhDs and no one would dream of it.

howrudeforme Wed 06-Mar-19 19:57:05

If her chosen title then should use. But really you he important thing is to call her by correct first and surname?

MeAgainAgain Wed 06-Mar-19 19:58:01

My parents both go by dr they are retired

Had no idea that it gets cancelled when you retire

That's interesting

I have a feeling this wasn't the reason this happened at the hosp though

I think it was down to bias- ageism and sexism.

I'll ask my dad if he was called Dr when he had his hip done recently

PumpkinPie2016 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:58:09

Always that's awful - not heard of that angry as you say, not sure if a man would have been given Mr though.

It just irks me that she (like so many others) worked so bloody hard for many years and served so many people and yet someone decides that they don't deserve to have that recognised angry

AdultHumanCat Wed 06-Mar-19 19:59:32

I understood that the title 'Dr' is to do with whether you have a PhD... Or doctorate. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are a medical doctor. I don't think it's a courtesy title at all....

MeAgainAgain Wed 06-Mar-19 20:00:15

Medical doctors in UK are pretty much always Dr x for everything aren't they?

With both parents doctors I know quite a few!

None of them switched back when they retired, after 40 years out whatever as Dr x.

Mind you, the post always came to dr and Mrs when I was a child. Stuff for mum only was Dr.

PumpkinPie2016 Wed 06-Mar-19 20:00:47

Really daisy? I have found the opposite - every one I know ( a fair few) who have PhD or are medical doctors use the title Dr.

It was fine for them to call her by her firstname in conversation, but they clearly had a problem with using her correct title.

MeAgainAgain Wed 06-Mar-19 20:01:36

OP relative was a medical doctor though so that's what's being talked about

Agree a lot of PhD don't use it outside professionsl circs

ShePutTheHamsterWhere Wed 06-Mar-19 20:01:53

Perhaps because it's a practising title?
Or maybe because it may get confusing asking Dr X to have a look at Dr Y?

AlwaysColdHands Wed 06-Mar-19 20:02:54


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