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Maiden name vs Married Name

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  • Maiden name vs Married Name

    I got married a few weeks ago. I have been searching on the web and I could not find a clear answer. I would like to hyphen my name (First name, Maiden-husbandslastname) in the legal documents( IRS, payroll drivers license, bank accounts, insurance,ect). Is it possible to keep my maiden name for Medical boards, Medical licenses, DEA, FCVS, Medical diploma (I'm a foreign grad)?

    I hope this question is not too tangential to this forum.  It is still a "Women's Issues". Identitity is the 101 necessity in order to have a bank account. I just realized this after I got married.

    Thank you

  • #2
    whatever you choose for your legal names goes on all your medical papers i think.

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    • #3




      I got married a few weeks ago. I have been searching on the web and I could not find a clear answer. I would like to hyphen my name (First name, Maiden-husbandslastname) in the legal documents( IRS, payroll drivers license, bank accounts, insurance,ect). Is it possible to keep my maiden name for Medical boards, Medical licenses, DEA, FCVS, Medical diploma (I’m a foreign grad)?

      I hope this question is not too tangential to this forum.  It is still a “Women’s Issues”. Identitity is the 101 necessity in order to have a bank account. I just realized this after I got married.

      Thank you
      Click to expand...


      As a foreign grad, getting licenses in other states ( even with FCVS) is a daunting and time consuming process. Especially states like CA and FL. I have found that if all your documents match the name exactly to your original medical school diploma, the licensing boards are generally happy and it removes one stumbling block.

      How much the married name, hyphened name versus professional maiden name means to you is something for you to decide. But many licensing boards have become a pain in the rear for IMG and the less chances you give them to delay or deny licenses, the better.

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      • #4
        Must be all legal name. Agree with Kamban above - may make getting licenses onerous if any old documents have your maiden name only etc.

        I personally dislike hyphenated names. I am not married but don't plan to change my name, and we name our son with both of our names (my last name as middle name, fiance's last name).

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        • #5
          Not criticizing your choice at all as I understand in some cultures (American too) it is expected to take on your husband's last name. However, it is such a PITA to go through all that. And then, if you get divorced, you gotta undo it all. I personally also find the practice somewhat sexist. I asked my wife not to take my last name. If it is something that is important to you, change your last name by any means. But if you could care less, don't give in to societal pressure and just let it be.

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          • #6
            If it helps in your decision, over 1/2 of our married female physicians have kept their maiden names.
            Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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            • #7
              Thank you for all the responses. I also asked HR to check if this is a feasible option or not. We already opened a new joint bank account and therfore in that bank I changed my name. This probably will make things more complicated for me. Never thought until I got married that the name change could be a huge obstacle especially so late in my professional career (5 years in practice).

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              • #8
                This is a question of state law, whether or not how you can change your name, or if you even have to.

                Credentialing, boards, etc. can all handle it.  Just scan a copy of your marriage license.  Maybe get some duplicate originals if you want to be safe.

                Most schools will issue you a new diploma with your married name on it.

                Biggest PIA is having to wait with all the bums at the social security office, assuming you decide to change it with them.  It's really not a big deal.

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                • #9


                  I asked my wife not to take my last name.
                  Click to expand...


                  You have worked very hard to get where you are.

                  1) Keep your name

                  2) Hyphenate it

                  3) Assume you husbands surname

                  4) Even choose a new one! No disrespect to Dreamgiver, my wife chose option 3), I did not have the chance for any input. She might have done this.

                  There is no best way, it is simply your choice. I believe you understand the need to do it consistently. Now get to work and congratulations!

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                  • #10
                    I kept my family name for about the first five years of marriage (wanted to make sure the marriage had legs, ya know? ) and then changed.  Very easy to make the switch, even though all my diplomas and board scores have my maiden name on it.  I don't know if legal/financial name has to be the same as professional name - I doubt it, the boards, credentialling agencies etc have their own systems.  Whenever you apply for insurance or hospital privileges or whatever you are asked if you have ever used another name.

                    Lots of women physicians I know use their maiden name professionally (in fact, I think it's required in OB-gyn   and their husband's name to their non-work friends.

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                    • #11




                      Lots of women physicians I know use their maiden name professionally (in fact, I think it’s required in OB-gyn   and their husband’s name to their non-work friends.
                      Click to expand...


                      I'll chime in, despite being male.  I laughed at your comment about ob-gyn as it was mostly true for my fiancées ob/gyn residency.  The few that did take their husband's last names were always informally known by their maiden names or it was followed up by who?1?.  On our end, and after the wedding, she is keeping her maiden name and avoiding the mess of paperwork.  We haven't decided what we would do if we have kids.

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                      • #12
                        We are in same boat. We didn’t discuss much in detail, but I told my wife that I’m happy either way. When/if she changes, I’m pretty sure I’ll be the one filling out the paperwork ?

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                        • #13
                          First - congratulations!!!

                          Second - my 2 cents. I changed after getting married 4 years out of training and right around the time I left my first post-residency job. It’s still an issue as my maiden name is still used by pharmacies, outside systems etc. it’s actually caused several issues with patient care and not getting records/results.still popping up randomly 3-4 years later. May not be an issue if you aren’t changing jobs. If I had to do it over again I’d have kept my maiden name professionally/legally and used married name everywhere else.

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                          • #14
                            I got married, not adopted. I would have kept my last name even if I wasn't a physician but that's just me.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by southpaw View Post
                              I got married, not adopted.
                              I saw that on a bumper sticker the other day and was confused, now I get it.

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