I'm currently an MS4 on the interview trail and was hoping for some advice from physicians or residents who have changed their last names during their careers. When I married, I elected to hyphenate last names, and honestly I've always regretted it. The combined name is just too long and the first half almost sounds like a first name so it is always causing confusion both in medicine and frankly whenever I have to give it in any setting. I've considered changing it, but at this point I have so many things under the name (medical licensing exams, passport, mortgage, student loans, and soon medical degree) that the thought of officially changing it is rather daunting to say the least. I know some physicians change their names, but I've also seen plenty who have elected not to.
Is it feasible to practice solely under the second half of my legal hyphenated name (which is also my maiden name)? I worry that would make it difficult if anyone needed to search for me on databases or for some other reason as alphabetically it would fall under different letters. I'm also just looking for stories of anyone who has opted to change their names and how difficult it was to update all official licensure. When would be the best time to change names in your opinion?
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