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Familiarity breeds contempt


Has 26 years experience.

I have noticed something aggravating/interesting lately and would appreciate your input. My goal is completing an FNP program. I am currently in a position where I float between several primary care offices all owned by one large company. They employ MD's, DO's, NP's, & PA's. Some NP's are addressed by their first names while others are not. I noticed that the NP's addressed by their first name have higher instances of being questioned and/or disrespected by their MA's and techs. They even tell jokes and make comments around them that they would never attempt with the docs. While I understand that NP's are NOT physicians I do believe that in a PCP environment equal respect is due from support staff. Have you encountered this and how would you handle it ? Most are called nurse ________ which doesn't seem sufficient but is certainly preferable to Stephanie. NP Smith maybe ? What are your thoughts. All opinions appreciated.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Hmm - I'm very well respected in my large practice and nope I'm called traumarus. Most people butcher my last name. I've never been treated disrespectfully.

Doubt it would be tolerated in my practice.

As long as they are not called 'doofus' to their face, it probably does not matter. As for the respect, it is up to the individual to command respect for themselves.

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

I have never heard any NP or PA go by anything other than their first name, ever. I imagine I will use my first name as well, since everyone does.

However, even when I was staff nursing I never liked it. I always thought it was presumptuous that strangers got to call me by my first name without my permission. I was raised differently. It is always Mr/Ms/Mrs until invited otherwise. That is just good manners IMO. So while I would prefer that people I do not know intimately not call me by my first name, since that is the norm for my profession, I'm not going to be the only one to be Ms. Thinker. Linear it will be, though I will secretly resent it, lol.

Right. I was raised to never call an adult my age or older by his/her first name unless they requested me to do so...and even then I really can't bring myself to do it with people who are much older than I.

When I walk into a room I always address patients by Mr.... or Ms.... or Mrs (if I know for sure she's married) so it can seem a little awkward that I introduce myself with my first name. But. There is not really a good alternative, is there?

I have seen plenty of NPs and PAs be addressed as, "Doctor Bob" or "Doc Susan" over the years. Of course we correct people and remind them that we are nurse practitioners or physician assistants and NOT physicians but when pts persist in calling us this it seems rude to correct them at every single appt. How do y'all handle that one?

People I work with call me by my first name but they are aware I collect custom knives and guns. :lol2:


Specializes in Family NP, OB Nursing. Has 15 years experience.

The other NP I work with and I both use our first name, but then the entire office is on a first name basis. The MAs, RNs, office manager and yes, even the docs go by their first names with each other. With patients yes we use Dr. for the MDs and we NPs still just use our first names, but it doesn't seem to be an issue.

Sometimes it's all I can do to keep my patients from calling me Dr. NPinWCH...


Specializes in Peds Urology,primary care, hem/onc.

We are all on a first name basis in my office, MDs, RNs, NPs, MA's etc. Now when I refer to the MD's to a patient I use Dr. out of respect (Dr. SoandSo will be in) and I have heard them refer to me as "Ms. RNsrgr8t". When I introduce myself to patients I just use my first name only because I get tired of saying anything longer over and over. I am greatly respected by patients and my coworkers and never thought much about it. The MD's I work with are very big on everyone calling them by their first names. I had never called any MD by their first name prior to my current job so it took some getting used to. A lot of our longstanding patients will end up calling them by their first names too. Always call patients (or their parents since I work in peds) by Mr or Mrs and their last names.