Use courtesy titles at doctor’s offices

I know this has been a subject touched upon in the past, and I would like to add my perspective. As a child growing up, we were taught to refer to adults as sir or ma’am, or Mr., Ms. or Mrs. While this is still in practice, I’ve noticed it isn’t common today, especially in doctor’s offices, where employees refer to patients by their first names.

I realize there may be two unrelated Mr. Smiths, or what have you, in the same room. Couldn’t the employee ask for “Mr. David Smith” in cases like this? I’ve also been referred to as “honey” and “sweetheart.” These are labeled as terms of endearment, and are very rarely said by male professionals. I am a honey or a sweetheart to family members, but not to strangers I don’t know. This is supposed to be a professional setting.

I also realize there are people who don’t care to be referred to as sir or ma’am – my mother is one of them. But unless told otherwise, there are those of us who wish to be old school and keep it respectable.

Russell J. Fowler