How to Address a Medical Doctor

Medical Doctor | MD

The rule is either ‘Dr.‘ before, or the post-nominal abbreviation for their degree after. Never both at the same time.

—-Envelope, official:  How to Address a Medical Doctor
—-—-(Full Name), MD
—-—-(Name of practice, hospital, or clinic)

—-Envelope, social:
—-—-Dr. (Full Name)
—-—___-—-See post below for a couple

——–—-Note: it is never Dr. (Full Name), MD

—-Letter salutation:  How to Address a Medical Doctor
—-—-Dear Dr. (Surname):

—-—-Dr. (Surname)

How to Address a Doctor and Spouse

These forms work for anyone with a doctorate as well as physicians such as dentist, chiropractor, military doctor, veterinarian, optometrist, osteopath or podiatrist.

Avoid: Dr. John and Ms. Kathleen Dexter
Avoid: Dr. Allyson and Mr. William Carley

#1) Same Surname

—-Envelope & Salutation:
——–Dr. and Mrs. John Dexter
——–—-Dear Dr. and Mrs. Dexter,

——–Dr. John Dexter and Ms. Kathleen Dexter
——–—-Dear Dr. and Ms. Dexter

——–Dr. Allyson Carley and Mr. William Carley
——–—-Dear Dr. Carley and Mr. Carley

#2) Different Surnames

—-Envelope & Salutation:
——–Dr. Roger Fry and Ms. Jane Taylor
——–—-Dear Dr. Fry and Ms. Taylor,

——–Dr. Lucy Khin and Mr. David Patel
——–—-Dear Dr. Khin and Mr. Patel

– Robert Hickey

—-See These Related Posts:
—-—-Couples: Private Citizens
—-—-Couples: Military
—-—-Couples: U.S. Officials
—-—-Couples: Same Sex

Forms of Address: How a conversation begins can have a huge impact on how the conversation - even the entire relationship - develops.

How to Address a Retired Physician?

My friend is a retired physician who no longer practices. His still Dr. (Name)?  Does he still put MD after his name?
——————————— Linda Whedbee

Dear Ms. Whedbee:
Physicians are addressed as Dr. … forever … in practice and when retired.

(Full Name), M.D. is the official form of his name. He used that when practicing and including his degree made his qualifications to offer a professional service clear. He might still use (Full Name), M.D. in a academic setting where everyone is using their academic post-nominals.

Dr. William Smith is the social form of his name. Now that he’s retired it’s the version to use most often.

—-Envelope:  How to Address a Medical Doctor
——–Dr. William Smith

—-Converation or salutation:
——–Dr. Smith

— Robert Hickey  How to Address a Medical Doctor

Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

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