How to address a married female doctor

Written by valerie david
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Addressing married women with professional titles, in public or in correspondence, can seem confusing. There are basic etiquette rules to follow and it's important to honour the doctor's professional title, regardless of her marital status. Learn how to address a married female doctor and properly show your respect.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Use the title "Doctor" when addressing a physician in a business or formal setting: "Good morning, Dr. Jones." Her marital status does not affect her title. If you know the doctor socially, addressing her by a first name in casual discussions or social settings is fine, but still be sure to use her professional title in the presence of patients and other staff.

  2. 2

    Honour her title at business or formal functions, whether the doctor is with her husband or not: "Good evening Dr. Jones, Mr. Jones." Again, if you are friends, it will be acceptable to use first names, but always be sure to use her professional title when introducing her to others at the function.

  3. 3

    Address correspondence to a married doctor who shares her husband's last name in one of two ways: Dr. Andrea Jones and Mr. William Jones; Dr. Andrea and Mr. William Jones. If both names do not fit on one line of the address, indent the second line and begin with "and". The person with a professional title is always listed first.

  4. 4

    Write both names on the envelope if they do not share a last name: Dr. Andrea Jones and Mr. William Smith. This also works if the doctor hyphenates her name: Dr. Andrea Jones-Smith and Mr. William Smith.

  5. 5

    Address correspondence to two married doctors who share the same last name in one of three ways: Dr. Andrea Jones and Dr. William Jones; Drs. Andrea and William Jones; The Doctors Jones. In the first choice, the names can be reversed. In the second choice, be sure that the man's first name appears next to his last name.

  6. 6

    Write both names on the envelope if the doctors do not share a last name: Dr. Andrea Jones and Dr. William Smith; Dr. Andrea Jones-Smith and Dr. William Smith.

  7. 7

    Address a wedding invitation to a married doctor as outlined in steps 3-6. For the inner envelope, choose between formal and informal options. For formal inner envelopes, use the same guidelines in steps 3-6, only drop the first names: Dr. Jones and Mr. Jones. For a more informal approach, use only first names on the inner envelope: Andrea and William. If they have children under 18 you wish to invite, add their names, in order by age, oldest first. Children 18 and over should be sent their own invitation.

Tips and warnings

  • Always respect the wishes of the individual. A doctor may prefer her children's friends and their parents to call her simply "Mrs. Jones" rather that "Dr. Jones." If she is more casual about her title, ask her what preference is when addressing written party or other social invitations. Make a note of individual preferences in your address book. When in doubt, follow the rules of etiquette and use her professional title.

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