must be my northwest oregon coast upbringing. or maybe just my personality. i have never been too formal, or too concerned with many of the rules of engagement. i have always been a mostly first name person. the people i call by ms or mr i do so by either instinct, or because it fits the situation. i have always been one to show respect by how i treat some one, rather than following an etiquette book. i bet i didnt even spell the word right.
but the issue has come up at work, since i am the one who calls patients the day before to remind them of their upcoming appointment. i have found that asking for a male patient by first name offends older wives, but not younger ones. so my co-worker, and the lady who has been training me for my job, begant o instruct me that you call people by their mr or mrs. when she rooms patients, she calls them by their last name. most clinics where i have worked, or been a patient myself, the patient has been addressed by first name. personally, i think it protects their identity more. HIPPA and all that, you know.
well my well meaning co worker is always polite with me, but she really wants me to do everything her way. most of the time i think i should. as i said, she has been training me for my job. and she is very knowledgeble in all things front office. but she did go into this big discourse about respect and addressing people by their mr or mrs, especially on the phone, and people her age (she is like, 2 yrs older than me at most), and hoe offended she is to be called by her first name by a stranger on the phone.
so i decided i will ask for the patient by their whole name when i am calling them on the phone, since i make my calls during times when we have no patients in the waiting room.
as for myself, i still prefer to be called by my given name.