Orange recently asked me if I ever tell my patients to call me by my first name. The answer is no, never. I don't call them by their first names, either. I call everyone "Ms." or "Mr.," unless they really insist, in which case I avoid saying their name at all. This is the only area of life in which I'm like this; for instance, the only adults I didn't call by first name when I was a child were my teachers, and I find it weird and hilarious when kids call me Ms. DoctorMama (or worse, Mrs. TrophyHusband).
I just feel that if I'm going to be poking and prodding folks in their most intimate places, I better make sure that they know I respect them first. (I do let a couple of old men get away with calling me Miss Firstname, but I still call them Mr. Thrombosis and Mr. Bad-Hip.) I especially dislike it when high SES white people call me by my first name; I feel like saying, Listen, you really don't want me to be your friend, you want me to be your doctor, so let's not muddy the waters, all right? I don't much like it when doctors I don't know personally call me by first name either. It's especially obvious to me when this happens because there are two ways to pronounce my first name, and people who don't know me usually pick the wrong one. Makes me feel like I'm being examined by a telephone solicitor. (I run into trouble with our pediatrician because she's a nurse practitioner; it feels absurd to call her Nurse, but double-standard-ish to call her by her first name.)
Orange says I've got a stick up my ass, but she also calls it "quaintly elegant" and "traditional." What do you think? Are you on a first-name basis with your doctor? Do you think it affects your relationship either way?