How to Address a Physician Who Lost His License?
I am involved in a case where the person on the other side is a physician who lost his license, with good reason, in every state in the US where he ever held one. Should this person still be addressed and referred to as Dr. Last Name? (i.e. Dr. Smith)
Various judges and attorneys have weighed in on this subject. A definitive answer from you would be much appreciated.
—-—-—-– S.B. in Chico
Dear S.B., How to Address an Osteopath
I say he continues to be addressed as Dr. (Name). But it is not an only-one-answer situation.
—-#1) He becomes Mr.: By custom, U.S. elected officials are addressed as the Honorable (Full Name), unless they are removed from office or leave in disgrace. There is no protocol police force out there to enforce it, but that’s the custom. So, if you think of it that way address as ‘Dr.’ would have to go away.
—-#2) He stays Dr.: The honorific ‘Dr.’ is not issued by the local medical society. The locality issues licenses to practice in their jurisdiction. Retired physicians who no longer maintain their license are still addressed as ‘Dr. (name)’. So, addressing as ‘Dr.’ is not limited to having a current license.
—-#3) He stays Dr.: One is a Doctor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is separate from having a particular job, like chief of staff at a hospital or chairman of the department of surgery. Those are offices one might be forced out of, but one remains a Dr.
—-#4) He stays Dr.: Doctors, ambassadors an military personnel all have been granted a rank. When one has a rank one is addressed by rank in both professional and social situations. E.g., a physician is addressed Dr. (name) while seeing patients (present as a licensed medical professional) at the hospital. On weekends, when he is washing his car in his driveway (not present as a doctor) he’s ALSO addressed as ‘Dr. (name)’.
– Robert Hickey How to Address a Chiropractor How to Address an Optometrist How to Address an Osteopath