Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Letters Manners in medicine

What’s in a name?

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 15 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a687

Rapid Response:

A patient by any other name...

As an anaesthetic registrar I introduce myself to up to ten patients
in a normal working day during the pre-operative consultation. By default
I address all patients who are substantially older than myself as "Mr" or
"Mrs". I find those who prefer to be addressed by their first name will
soon tell me so ("Call me Doris, dear, not Mrs Smith!"), while those of a
more traditional mindset feel they are being treated with dignity and

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 July 2008
Steve Benington
SpR Anaesthetics &ITU
North Manchester General Hospital