Why are female doctors introduced by first name while men are called ‘Doctor’?

June 24
Julia Files and Anita Mayer, physicians at the Mayo Clinic, started seeing a pattern: When their male colleagues were introduced at conferences, they were usually called “Doctor.” But the men introduced them and other female doctors by their first names.The pair quickly realized they weren’t alone. Sharonne Hayes, another Mayo doctor, had noticed the same thing. While a male colleague would be introduced as “Dr. Joe Smith,” for example, the women were often simply called “Julia,” “Anita” and “Sharonne.”

So the three decided to study speaker introductions at “grand rounds” — events where doctors, researchers, residents and medical students present medical problems and treatments for discussion. Their research showed that unequal introductions were real — that women were less likely than men to be introduced by professional title when men did the introducing.

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