Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 12, December 2011

Moving with the times Familiarity versus formality in Australian general practice

Romayne Moore Michael Yelland Shu-Kay Ng
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Forms of address between patients and general practitioners is an underexplored area which may influence productive dialogue within a consultation. This article aims to describe how Australian patients prefer to be addressed by their GP, how patients prefer to address their GP, and the factors influencing these preferences.
These findings allow GPs to feel confident in addressing their patients informally. They indicate the diversity of patient preferences for addressing their GP and the factors influencing these choices.
Ninety percent of patients prefer to be addressed by their first name. Thirty-five percent of patients prefer to call the GP by first name, 27% by title and last name, 21% by title only, and 10% by title and first name. A range of influencing factors was identified.

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