https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarboraZel

How to address a doctor in Danish?

In German we call doctors Herr Dr. or Frau Dr. (Mr. Dr. or Ms. Dr.). Is it the same in Danish or do you just call them Dr. without the Herr/Frau?

August 12, 2019

3 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DragonNights

We are generally a lot less formal than in Germany, and personally, if I was to use a name, and I knew it, I would use a first name.
It depends on the situation of course and how they introduce themselves.
But if anyone under the age of seventy introduces themselves as hr eller fru, then I would think them pretentious and snobbish.

My normal interactions with doctors at my regular GP, is saying "hej/goddag" use and a casual handshake when I'm called in, and the same when I leave if the doctor isn't sitting at his/her desk writing.

August 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarboraZel

I'm mainly asking because I'm nonbinary and feel very uncomfortable when someone calls me a Ms. (and I study medicine). So this would not be an issue in Danish?

August 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baerghest

It should hardly ever be a problem. Denmark is very much a first-name society, and in the few instances I can think of where people refer to others as "doktor" (in the third person), this has not been accompagnied by a gender-specific honorific.

Names might be a problem, however: any patient covered by Danish public health insurrance (sygesikring) gets a card stating the name of their GP. As far as I understand, this is the legal name, as it appears on your driver's license and other ID. So, if you have a gendered first name but prefer to go by a different name, this might be difficult to do. I think anyone legally adopting a new first name has to take it from the gender specific approved list, although this does include a few non-specific names. Obviously, if you already have a legal name that is not gender specific, this will not be a problem (so, case in point, if Louie, legally Louise, practises medicine in Denmark, their patients will probably see their feminine name in writing in all official communications; if Tal, legally Tal, does the same thing, their patients will see their non-specific name).

As an aside, we have had a very long, very confused and sometimes rather hostile debate on gender-neutral third-person singular pronouns (Swedish hen, English they), and a number of very loud pundits are very unwilling to accept any such innovation, but hopefully this is just a phase. I suspect most workplaces are far more willing to listen and accept people's own choices than this debate really indicates.

August 13, 2019
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