Female doctor OR lady doctor

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Untaught88

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Hi,

Which one should I use if I have to use one of those? In my country "lady doctor" is common, but I think the correct term should be "female doctor" because "female" can be used both as a noun and as an adjective whereas "lady" is a noun.
Female doctor OR lady doctor
 

bhaisahab

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I don't think we differentiate. My doctor is a woman, if I refer to her I simply say her name. If someone wants to know what sex my doctor is, I would expect them to ask "Is your doctor male or female?" or "Is your doctor a man or a woman?"
 

Untaught88

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If I use "lady/female doctor", is it incorrect to you?
 

Tarheel

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There is also "woman doctor". (I remember being asked if I would be okay with having a woman doctor.)
 

Tarheel

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GoesStation

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If I use "lady/female doctor", is it incorrect to you?

Lady doctor would be bizarre in AmE. Female doctor sounds odd, but not as bad.

The best way to refer to a doctor who is female is this: ​Doctor.
 

Skrej

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The problem is that if you say 'lady/female' doctor, it becomes potentially confusing if you're referring to the doctor's gender, or their specialty.

Sometimes 'lady doctor/female doctor' is used as a synonym for 'gynecologist', because all the doctor's patients are women (regardless of the doctor's actual gender), since their area of expertise is the female reproductive system.

It used to be considered embarrassing and crude, or even a mild taboo to discuss such personal matters in public conversation, or at least between genders. Ergo, 'female/lady doctor' became a euphemism for gynecologist, for those wish to avoid speaking directly about it.

Today I imagine this probably isn't as common as it used to be, as social norms evolve, but you'll still hear it used.
 

Tarheel

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I have only heard:

OB/GYN
 

MikeNewYork

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Of the offered terms, I prefer "female doctor". In most cases, gender is not relevant, but in some cases, urology and gynecology, it may be.
 

jutfrank

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Don't say lady doctor. Don't say gentleman doctor.

If you want just to refer to a person's gender, simply use female or male.
 

curiousmarcus

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It's a cultural thing. In some cultures doctor is assumed to be male, and a different term is used to female doctors. Heck, these female doctors even use the title Dra. instead of Dr. to indicate that they are female.
 

bubbha

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The term "lady doctor" may be considered offensive in large swathes of modern English-speaking society. It has an old-fashioned feel to it, harking back to the dark days before women's liberation (i.e. pre-1960s). Ordinarily there's no need to make the distinction, but if for some reason you must, the safest is probably "female doctor".
 

Raymott

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It's a cultural thing. In some cultures doctor is assumed to be male, and a different term is used to female doctors. Heck, these female doctors even use the title Dra. instead of Dr. to indicate that they are female.
Not in English, which we are discussing here. Dottoressa is an Italian title. Many languages retain such differences, but they have disappeared as a rule in Anglophone countries.
In Australia, a patient might ask "Could I see a lady doctor, please?" if they have problems with men, and vice versa. Of course, not all female doctors are ladies. I think 'lady' would be more common than 'woman' or 'female' here still.
But as others say, a general reference to a doctor doesn't require a gender attribute - speaking of which, we will very soon have more than two sexes/genders in English-speaking countries.
 

Rover_KE

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Just as not all men are gentlemen.
 

tedmc

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It is a cultural thing alright. It is perfectly normal to call a female doctor a "lady doctor" where I come from, or a female teacher a "lady teacher".
 

jutfrank

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In my culture, the words lady and gentleman are old-fashioned and outdated, with inappropriate class connotations. Just saying.
 

emsr2d2

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Oh! I make no distinction between lady, woman and female, nor, for that matter, between man, gentleman, bloke, guy and male. Once upon a time, a "lady" was of a higher social class or someone whose behaviour was particularly polite, nice, etc, and a "gentleman" had a similar connotation. I don't make these distinctions any more.
 

Tdol

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If I use "lady/female doctor", is it incorrect to you?

Technically, it is not incorrect, but it is socially awkward. If you really needed to state her gender, woman/female doctor would work best for me, and I would not use lady. However, as others have said, I see no need to specify this information. If, say, for cultural/religious reasons, you need a doctor of a specific gender, then state this, but I can't think of any other context where you'd need to state this.
 
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