Name Change Guidance for Medical Professionals

NameSwitch Guide Series

Whether you’re a doctor, occupational therapist, dentist, vet, chiropractor or perform another type of job that is undertaken by medical professionals, the prospect of changing your name may be causing you concern or unnecessary stress.

You may have already earned an excellent reputation using your current name and are, therefore, wondering if it would be easier to continue working under your existing name and go by your new name only in your home and social circles rather than having to go through the hassle of changing your name to a different one.

There are many reasons why medical professionals across the UK decide to navigate the name change, and NameSwitch is an independent company that wants to help make it as easy and painless as possible.

You might be getting married or divorced and are unsure of how to inform the necessary medical authorities (as well as the dozens of other companies such as banks, utilities companies, mortgage providers, and insurers) that you’re changing your name.

In this article, we aim to explain as clearly and succinctly as possible how medical professionals can get the ball rolling, with or without the help of NameSwitch’s name change service.

General Advice for All Medical Professionals

Before we go on to cover the specific associations that you will need to inform of your name change depending on which of the most common types of medical professionals you belong to, we have some general advice which applies to all medical professionals.

There are many companies that you’ll need to inform about your name change such as the DVLA, the UK Passport Office, bank, utilities, insurers, and your local council.

Our free checklist can help start the ball rolling, but if you want to make life even easier, our packages (which start at just £29.95) can help you notify a choice of more than 600 different government bodies and companies with personalised forms, letters and instructions that you simply need to sign and send off.

Continuing to Use your Maiden Name Professionally

If you are changing your name after marriage but still want to use your maiden name professionally, we advise that you alter your passport so that it reflects your married surname. Section 8 of the passport renewal form allows you to include your maiden name and professional title (e.g. Dr) which means that both of your names will be officially recognised as a form of ID. Once your passport has been updated, however, any future travel bookings will need to be made in your new name. The same approach applies if you’re changing your name due to a divorce or after undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

You can find more information about applying for a new passport under your new name here.

The Double Barrel

Choosing to combine names is becoming an increasingly popular choice for professional couples. It preserves one’s family heritage, professional history and for many is seen as a perfect statement of equality. You have the choice to double barrel surnames with or without a hyphen, in an order that makes most sense to you. That is also a choice that your partner may or may not wish to adopt. As a general rule, you will not require a deed poll in order to do this if you are double barrelling after marriage or divorce. For further insight, please refer to our guide to deed poll.

Personalised Instructions for Medical Professionals

If you do decide to go all out and change your name both professionally and personally, there will be specific medical authorities who will need to be informed, depending on which profession you belong to. Below are some of the most common medical professions in no particular order.

Doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) will need a certified copy of your marriage certificate / civil partnership registration / decree absolute / deed poll.

Once you’ve advised the GMC and waited a few days, you should notify the British Medical Association (BMA) as they are linked and will draw from GMC records.

Again, notifying the GMC of your name change should be your first step. You can then advise the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Nurses

There are three authorities that you may need to advise that you’re changing your name if you’re a nurse or midwife. They are the Royal College of Nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the Royal College of Midwives (telephone 0207 3123 535).

Health & Care Professionals

Complete the online contact form on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) website or send the letter supplied in your NameSwitch pack.

Chiropractors

Email the form supplied in your NameSwitch pack to the General Chiropractic Council.

Physiotherapists

Submit the online contact form on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) website or send the letter supplied in your NameSwitch pack.

Pharmacists

We can supply you with a name change form to submit to the General Pharmaceutical Council(GPhC).

Occupational Therapists

The British Association of Occupational Therapy and the Royal College of Occupational Health Therapists are one and the same. You can get in touch with the British Association of Occupational Therapy about your name change here.

Speech and Language Therapists

You can advise the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists that you’re changing your name by emailing them.

Dentists

Your personalised NameSwitch pack will contain a form that you can send straight to the British Dental Association. The same applies for the General Dental Council.

Vets

The two associations that UK vets may need to advise about a name change are the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Further Assistance

As you may have noticed, the name change process for many medical professionals requires submitting forms and providing copies of your marriage certificate / civil partnership registration / decree absolute / deed poll.

For this reason, we suggest that you obtain two or even three certified copies of the necessary certificate upfront, as well as some self-addressed envelopes and stamps so that you can help speed things up when you’re ready to send off your requests.

As medical professionals often have extremely busy jobs and work long hours, we appreciate that your time is precious. So, if you’re considering changing your name and would like someone to help share the load, NameSwitch should be your first port of call.

We offer a range of packages that allow you to fly through the name change process far more easily than doing it solo. You can choose from our ePackage that lets our system automatically generate all the necessary forms, letters, and instructions that you’ll need online, ready for you to print them off, sign them, and send them on. Alternatively, we can post your forms directly to you if you opt for our Print Package.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!