"What is the doctor's name?"
this is a very bad sentence. It can mean 'what is the doctor calling/shouting (as in a S-V-O pattern) . For the passive usage ( is called) , mostly we should add " 名字 mingzi (name)"
Must the characters for "doctor" come first in this sentence, or would it also be correct to place the characters for "what" at the start?
Mandarin Chinese is very word order dependant, so putting 医生 after 叫 and 什么 before it the changes the sentence meaning. That would change the meaning to something like "what is a doctor?"
The subject comes (almost) always first in the sentence, the sentence structure is pretty rigid in Chinese
the typical structure for chinese sentences are subject + verb +object , so doctor should be first.
As I know, "what" should be placed at the place of the "thing" being asked, this is true for other question words,
Doctor is called ling Doctor is called what?
According to my Chinese girlfriend, docter has to come first. Had the same question haha.
If I accidentally put "老师" instead of "医生" in front of "的名字是什么", couldn't Duo just point that out instead of offering me a completely different-looking solution "医生叫什么"?
Asking for a friend :o)