DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been a physician for 40 years. When introducing myself in social/business situations, I introduce myself as Zachary Welch. I have been told I should introduce myself as Dr. Welch.
I feel this is somewhat pretentious. My brother does not introduce himself as Attorney Trevor Welch.
GENTLE READER: Over those 40 years, how many times have you hoped to enjoy a relaxing social evening, only to be asked to examine someone’s rash, to give advice about the condition of someone’s relative you haven’t seen, or to listen to a rant about other doctors or health costs?
Do your advisers assume that you want to encourage more of that sort of thing?
Miss Manners realizes that we live in times when people are constantly touting themselves, and the distinction between work and social life is all but obliterated. Yet you do not have to live like that.
The rule against using a title for oneself -- whether it is doctor, duke, Mr. or Mrs. -- when it is not a professional necessity has not been repealed. Should you not feel the need to brag or to drum up business when you are off duty, you should follow it.