But I guess he already knows you know that you are seeing Dr. Smith so doesn't feel the need to say "I'm Bob Smith".
True--but he also knows that I know I'm seeing Dr. Bob
Smith. So I guess that means he really does prefer if I address him by his first name.
He needed to identify himself to me, of course, but he could have said, "I'm Bob Smith."
My optometrist does go primarily by his first name but all of his patients and staff call him Dr. Bob. I always thought it was because his last name was slightly hard to pronounce and very uncommon in our area when he started praticing 30 or more years ago.
The funny thing is, his name isn't Bob. It's very unusual--not an ordinary first name. It's so unusual that if I told you it, you could Google him and FIND him, even without knowing his specialty. So for him to use it on its own may really say something.
I'll have to ponder that.
He's at a major medical center for his specialty, so there's no other "Dr. Smith" sort of thing to worry about.
I may end up getting around the whole "I don't feel comfortable calling my medical professional by his first name" thing by just never addressing him by name. Then I can *refer* to him as "Dr. Smith" when I speak to his staff, etc., without feeling awkward. When I go back for a followup, I'll listen to see what other people refer to him as--I think the nurse practitioner say, "I'm Dr. Smith's nurse practitioner."
(his specialty is sports medicine/orthopedics. So not the most intimate of body parts. And the sports/injury part may have led to a different vibe with his patients--maybe more like the collaborative relationship
you'd have with a physical therapist, whom I might easily call by his/her first name.)