One thing I am still getting used to, though, is when patients call me by my first name. There seems to be a void in this area of etiquette: How does one address one’s physician? It is almost always an older patient who will use my first name, in a friendly, offhand way. And, I have observed, these patients are usually men. It might seem natural if I have had a long-term relationship with these people, caring for them over the years, but often these patients seem to make a decision at the outset to be on a first-name basis with me. I wonder about these people. Are they trying to be chummy? Is it a power thing, making them feel less vulnerable while they sit half naked on the exam table? Do they just call everyone by their first names?
From: "Cases - Etiquette of How to Address Someone in the Exam Room - NYTimes.com."
Look out for more on the Redefining Patienthood project before this year closes: http://myhealthinnovation.com/blog/archive/2009/11/redefining-patienthood.>