We listen to the advice of our doctors for so many critical aspects of our lives. Shouldn’t we listen to their advice for baby names too? Keep reading to find out the best baby names according to doctors.
Doctors have the privilege of greeting so many babies as they make their entrance into the world. Their role is pivotal in the safety and health of these babies and their mothers. With so much experience with babies, what would doctors say the very best names are?
You might be surprised that Lemonjello (read: Luh-mon-gel-o derived from Lemon Jell-O) did not make the list. The names here are a little more traditional than that. But some of the names don’t even make it in the top one thousand names for babies today.
What baby names are adored by doctors? Which ones bring up fond memories? What names give a nod to the history of the profession? What names make a child actually more likely to become a doctor later on in life?
This list is a must read for parents wanting to make the best decision when naming their baby. Making a naming mistake is one thing parents never want to do.
Michael has been a boy name craze since in the early 1900s. Doctors love this strong biblical name that means “who is like God?” You might be pretty likely to have one of your doctors with the same name since it’s the 3rd most common name for doctors today. About 355 of every ten thousand docs go by Michael.
A famous Michael that is trained as a doctor is Michael Crichton. But you’ll know him for his writing before his medical career. As an author, screenwriter film director and producer he’s created Jurassic Park and ER along with many other projects.
For babies born today, Michael ranks as the 17th most common boy name in the US. More recently, Michael has seen a slight decline in its popularity.
Elizabeth has Greek, Hebrew and English origins. I means “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance.” In the New Testament Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary used her wealth to help the poor. Queen Elizabeth I of England helped to make the name super popular starting in the 16th century and has been followed by many other royals like the modern queen Elizabeth II and the 18th century empress of Russia.
Doctors will love you nod to Elizabeth Blackwell who was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States and the first woman on the UK medical register. She was a pioneer of the women’s movement at the turn of the century and promoted the education of women in medicine.
Leo comes from the Latin word for lion. It is a name that has seen great fame with 13 popes, 6 Byzantine emperors and 5 Armenian kings. And don’t forget about the famous writer, Leo Tolstoy, who gave us classics like War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
Not only will your Leo be adored by the doctor who delivers him, he will be adored by all around him. With the heart of a lion and a name written in the stars he can’t avoid it. Leo is a constellation and also a sign of the zodiac.
Leo was very popular at the turn of the 20th century until its decline from the 1930s through the early 2000s. But today it’s reaching popular heights again and ranks as the 37th most popular name.
Mae hasn’t been a very popular name in the last century but one woman who has it packs quite a punch. Mae Jemison is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She was the first African American to travel in space. Mae’s acted on TV several times including Star Trek: The Next Generation. She hold nine honorary doctorates. She’s has a life that is nothing short of spectacular. That’s why your doctor will grin when she hears your naming the baby Mae.
Mae is derived from the name Mary which means “bitter”. It is slightly growing in popularity today but still only ranks at #585. The height of Mae was in the late 1880s and through the turn of the century.
Thomas is a solid name whether you chose to nickname with Tom or Tommy. It comes from the Hebrew word that means twin. Among doctors today it comes in at #9 as the most common names for physicians.
You might not expect much of a fuss from a little boy named Thomas but Dr. Thomas Szasz is best remembered for the stir he caused in his own field. In the 1960s he began speaking and writing against many of the common psychiatric practices of his time. He didn’t like the coercive that were used to treat patients with mental illness. His ideas continue to influence psychiatry today, many decades later.
As for babies today, Thomas has been on the decline. But it still ranks in the top 100 at #68 for most common boy names.
The name Anna gets to the heart of doctors as they remember Anna Howard Shaw. Anna was a strong leader in the women’s suffrage movement in the US as well as a physician and the first female Methodist minister in the US.
Anna has been popular throughout the world since Biblical times. Saint Anna (or St. Anne) is revered as the mother of the Virgin Mary. Anna was also the name of several Russian royals including an empress of Russia in the 18th century. Leo Tolstoy used the name Anna for his main character in Anna Karenina a married aristocrat with a tragic love affair.
Anna comes from the Hebrew language and means “gracious”. It has drastically fallen in popularity since the mid1800s but still ranks at #50 today.
Will, Willie, Bill and Billy are just a few of the ways you might call out to your adorable William. William comes from the Germanic word wil and means “strong willed warrior”.
William is a strong name and many doctors are likely to carry it. It is the 6th most common name among doctors today. It has been popular among the population for decades and today it ranks as the 23rd most common name in the US.
Your doctor will have Sir William Osler to thank for her medical residency. William Osler is known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” and created the first residency program for specialty training of doctors. He was also one of the four founding fathers of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Your doctor will love the name Florence as it’s a nod to the people who keep the hospital running—nurses. Florence Nightingale is known as the founder of modern nursing. She organized and trained nurses to help with wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War. After the war, she started the first nursing school in the world at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. International Nurses day is even celebrated on her birthday.
Florence is a Latin name meaning “prosperous or flourishing.” It also reminds us of the beautiful Italian city, Florence, which like baby Florence is known for beauty and creativity. In the US, the name Florence was most popular in the late 1800s. Today it ranks as #1,145 for baby names.
David means “darling” in Hebrew and the name is adored by doctors. Doctors love the name David for several reasons. One is that it is the second most common name for doctors to have themselves according to data collected from Medicaid and Social Security records. Out of every ten thousand doctors about 333 will be named David.
Other than popular in medicine, David has been popular for generations. It was most popular in the United States during the 1960s when it was usually the second most popular name for boys. If your doctor isn’t named David, there’s a good chance that he has a David or two in his life that mean something to him. David will end up being a solid name whether your son wants to be a rock star, accountant or physician.
Mary is one of the most popular names that doctors today have themselves. It is the 12th most popular among doctors. Mary is a strong Biblical name starting in the Old Testament and most recognizably as Mary the mother of Jesus.
Mary has been a popular English name since the 12th century. Today it ranks at #181 for baby girl names.
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker has a story revered by doctors today. She was an American abolitionist who treated the Union Army as a surgeon during the Civil War. But her story doesn’t end there. She was captured by the Confederate army and kept as a prisoner of war. She received the Medal of Honor for her war efforts and was the only woman ever to do so even today.
James, Jim, Jimmy—this classic name is nearly always adored by doctors. Coming from the New Testament, this name has been uber popular across the globe for decades. James is actually a derivative of the Hebrew name Jacob. It means “supplanter” or “one who follows”. Remember, we can’t all be leaders and for this world to work correctly sometimes we need to follow.
James is the 5th most popular name for doctors to carry with about 269 out of every ten thousand doctors toting it. It has been popular for centuries and the Scottish king, James VI, helped to make it more popular when he inherited the English throne in the 17th century. Today, James is the 10th most common name in the US.
Miriam is a great baby name as it has been tied to baby Moses in the Bible. Miriam watched over baby Moses as the pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the Nile river. It is the original Hebrew form of the name Mary. For parents who have waited a long time for a baby they will appreciate that Miriam means “longed-for child.” The height of Miriam popularity was in the early 1900s with its decline starting around 1935. Today it ranks at #618 for babies named this beautiful name.
Your doctor will smile as she remembers the great advice Dr. Miriam Stoppard has shared with the world about babies. Dr. Miriam is known as the ‘UKs most trusted baby expert.’ One of her books includes the Children’s Medical Handbook and she also focuses on women’s health.
Luke is a favorite among doctors as St. Luke is the patron saint of doctors. Luke is a form of Lucas and it means “light giving.” The name Luke is of Greek origins and is derived from Lucas. In the New Testament, Luke was known as the beloved physician who traveled with the apostle Paul and wrote Acts.
The popularity of the name Luke began to grow in the 1980s. The year of Luke was in 2006 when it reached its height in popularity. Today, Luke ranks at number 21 of most popular boy names in the United States having fallen off some from 2006.
Luke is a great name that will fuel endless dad jokes that wrap up with, “Luke, I am your father."
Virginia is a feminine form of the Roman family name Virginius and has roots to the latin word for virgo which means “maid”. Virginia is a strong female name and that goes back to the very beginning of America. The first English baby born in the new world was named Virginia Dare in 1587 on Roanoke Island.
Doctors who deliver babies especially love the name Virginia as it pays homage to the very important anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar. She is best known for her Apgar score which your new baby will get soon after it is born to assess its health. She spoke across the world about the importance of birth defects throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She broke many gender barriers and proclaimed that “women are liberated from the time they leave the womb.”
John, Jonathan, Johnny boy. Whatever you decide to call your little Jon-Jon it will be a solid choice with doctors. John is the most common name among doctors. There are about 355 doctors out of every ten thousand who go by some form of John. It’s a name that stays solid throughout the generations and ranks today at #44 for boys’ names.
The name John has roots in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English. It means “gracious” and who doesn’t love a gracious person?
John Arbuthnot was a famous Scottish physician who rubbed elbows with Sir Isaac Newton in college, treated Prince George (Queen Anne’s Danish husband) and inspired his close friend Jonathan Swift’s famous book Gulliver’s Travels. John is a great name for a boy with an inspired future.
Sources: Biography.com, WGNTV, BabyCenter, New York Times, Behind The Name