December 2011


Moving with the times

Familiarity versus formality in Australian general practice

Volume 40, No.12, December 2011 Pages 1004-1007

Romayne Moore

Michael Yelland

Shu-Kay Ng


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.


Twenty consecutive patients of 13 randomly selected GPs (n=260) were surveyed on preferences for use of names in consultations and the factors influencing these preferences.


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.


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.

Download the PDF for the full article.


Yes     No

Declaration of competing interests *

Yes No

Additional Author (remove)

Yes No






Competing Interests: 

Your comment is being submitted, please wait


Download citation in RIS format (EndNote, Zotero, RefMan, RefWorks)

Download citation in BIBTEX format (RefMan)

Download citation in REFER format (EndNote, Zotero, RefMan, RefWorks)

For more information see Wikipedia: Comparison of reference management software