Named for life

Most people have their name picked out by their parents, alter it a bit with nicknames and so forth during their growing up years, and sometimes change their surname on getting married. How much thought do you really put into how you’re referred to?

My first name is fairly easy to abbreviate in multiple ways, so I’ve been different things to different people over the years. My surname is reasonably unique – only one other family in our local phonebook, only four uses on the medical register, for example. Google Scholar shows no results for my name… but it will soon!

The paper that’s been two years in (intermittent) progress is finally sat in the in-tray of a journal editor! I may not be first author, but I’m super excited about this! (And this is only partially to do with the big fat FPAS point attached to it, of course).

So this meant having to pick what my name would be on it. I didn’t put much thought into it, because I just got a phone call asking for my middle name and qualifications (I have a BSc (Hons) that I think I’m more proud of than my four years of medical school) and that was it, but afterwards I realised that’s it – all my future publications will be in that same name. Somehow this feels like a bigger thing than deciding my stance on married surnames, though I suppose actually they both revolve around the same point – I’m keeping my name as it is for professional purposes, so that my publication history etc can be easily linked to me, and taking his name for personal stuff. Seems my career dreams are pretty influential in every decision I make!

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