Etiquette in referring to Nurse Practitioners
July 3, 2013 10:46 AM   Subscribe

I am a pre-med student, and have been shadowing lots of doctors lately. When I finish shadowing, I usually write a thank you note to the doctor, and to the staff in the office where I've been shadowing (basically thanking them for being welcoming while I'm in their work space). How should I address the notes I'm writing for this most recent shadowing, where a Nurse Practitioner is also in the office?

A doctor I just shadowed with works very closely with a nurse practitioner; they share the same patients, and which provider sees any particular patient depends on what needs to be done. She is clearly more senior than any of the other nurses, and in the hierarchy of the office, the only one above her is the doctor. I did not work directly with the NP while I was there, but saw her quite a bit when she was in between patients.

Which of these ways should I address my notes:

Note 1: Dr. Smith
Note 2: Annie Body, NP and the staff of the Lorem Ipsum Clinic


Note 1: Dr. Smith
Note 2: The Staff of the Lorem Ipsum Clinic
(lumping the NP in with the rest of the staff)

OR some other way I haven't thought of?
posted by ocherdraco to Human Relations (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What if the NP was a doctor? Would you lump her in with the rest of the staff in that case? Genuinely asking, not being snarky. I would not see any reason to call her out specially if you didn't work more with her than any of the other staff members, so I'd probably go with Option 2 that you laid out.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:50 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

You didn't work directly with her so there's no need to call her out separately in a thank you note (unless you have a strong desire to do so).
posted by killdevil at 10:50 AM on July 3, 2013

Response by poster: Okay, option 2 it is. Thanks, y'all!
posted by ocherdraco at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2013

Why not write one note? After all, the Doctor is also clinic staff.
posted by quince at 11:42 AM on July 3, 2013

Response by poster: No, he is not. He owns the practice. He is the employer, and they are his employees.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:21 PM on July 3, 2013

I agree that you should write separate notes to the doctor and the staff, but I don't think you're obligated to send a special note to a professional you didn't interact with. If there were multiple doctors in the practice and you only shadowed one, would you write separate notes to the other ones? That's rhetorical, I think it would be really weird if you did that! Same thing here.
posted by telegraph at 1:08 PM on July 3, 2013

Best answer: In my clinic we have lots of students shadowing in various ways and the usual etiquette is to send individualized notes to anyone who worked with you 1:1, and a general thank-you to the clinic staff who didn't do anything special for you. So your option 2 seems perfect.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 5:05 PM on July 3, 2013

Option 2.

I still think it's a bit awkward addressing NPs in writing like this though, which is part of the problem here and might come up again in your future. If you continue on to be a doctor, there may be times you are directly taught by an NP. I add a Mr or Ms before full name to give it a formal feeling.
posted by latkes at 6:51 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older Sourdough shortage?   |   Tips for learning english on vacation. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.