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The 20 most common first names of doctors

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It’s only natural to have lofty aspirations for your child — and becoming a doctor is one of the most noble and prestigious professions she could choose. Of course, you can’t be certain that your little one will grow up with a passion for medicine, but giving your son or daughter a name that is very popular among doctors is a subtle nudge in the right direction.

MooseRoots used data from Medicare.com to find the 20 most common names of both male and female doctors in the U.S. in 2015. Our genealogy experts looked at names that occur at least 1,000 times and used data from the Social Security Administration to find the frequency of a given name in its estimated birth year — calculated by using the average medical school graduation year for doctors with a given name and assuming the average doctor finished medical school at age 28.

As of 2014, there were 708,300 jobs for physicians and surgeons in the U.S., and the future employment outlook is promising, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means plenty of job openings and career stability for your child down the road when it’s time to practice medicine. For each name, in addition to frequency information in the estimated year of birth, we include current ranking data from the Social Security Administration for the most recent year (2014).

#20. Stephen

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 106.79
Average Graduation Year: 1985
Estimated Birth Year: 1957
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 91.52

Stephen means “crown, garland,” and was most popular during the 1950s, but has trended down during the last decade, ranking No. 258 for baby boys born in the U.S. in 2014.

The name is a bit more common among doctors born in 1957 than the general population.

#19. Jeffrey

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 112.99
Average Graduation Year: 1990
Estimated Birth Year: 1962
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 160.91

Geoffrey was common in the Middle Ages, but has since evolved to the spelling Jeffrey in North America and Britain. In 2014, a total of 1,368 male newborns in the U.S. were named Jeffrey, earning it the rank of No. 266.

Though common among doctors, the name Jeffrey is more common among non-doctors born in 1962.

#18. Charles

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 113.01
Average Graduation Year: 1981
Estimated Birth Year: 1953
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 193.46

Charles is derived from the Germanic word karl, meaning “free man.” The name has English and French origins and ranked No. 51 in 2014, but was most popular during the 1880s when it was the fourth most common male name in the U.S.

Although it’s common among doctors, the name Charles was more common among the general population in 1953.

#17. Daniel

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 118.98
Average Graduation Year: 1990
Estimated Birth Year: 1962
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 122.64

Originally a Biblical name meaning “God is my judge” in Hebrew, Daniel was the 10th most popular name in the U.S. for male newborns in 2014.

The name is slightly less common among doctors born in 1962 than their cohort at large.

#16. Steven

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 119.35
Average Graduation Year: 1987
Estimated Birth Year: 1959
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 158.24

A variant of Stephen, the name Steven ranked No. 144 in 2014, with 2,778 baby boys given the name in the U.S.

The name ranks highly among doctors, but is also just popular among the general population.

#15. Paul

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 121.21
Average Graduation Year: 1985
Estimated Birth Year: 1957
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 125.27

The name Paul means “small” and is of English, Estonian, French, German, and Swedish origins. During the 1930s, it was the 13th most popular male name in the U.S., but experienced a drop in recent years, ranking No. 2014 in 2014.

The name is no less popular among doctors than non-doctors born in 1957.

#14. Elizabeth

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 132.39
Average Graduation Year: 1995
Estimated Birth Year: 1967
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 91.52

Elizabeth has roots dating back to the medieval period, and was the 14th most popular name for female newborns in the U.S. during 2014.

The name is actually more common among doctors more in 1967 than among non-doctors born that same year.

#13. Susan

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 136.84
Average Graduation Year: 1989
Estimated Birth Year: 1961
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 175.81

During the 1950s, Susan was the fourth most popular name for baby girls in the U.S., but it has experienced a decline in recent years, ranking No. 851 in 2014.

The name, while common among female doctors, was more common among the general population of girls born in 1961.

#12. Mary

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 136.90
Average Graduation Year: 1989
Estimated Birth Year: 1961
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 223.32

As the name of the mother of Jesus Christ, Mary was extremely common among early Christians. It ranked No. 120 for baby girls born in 2014.

Although the name is common among doctors, it was nearly twice as common among non-doctors born in 1961.

#11. Joseph

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 137.45
Average Graduation Year: 1985
Estimated Birth Year: 1957
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 147.67

Originally stemming from the English form of the biblical Hebrew name Yosef, meaning “((God) shall add (another son)),” Joseph was the 20th most popular name for male newborns in the U.S. for 2014.

The name, while popular among doctors, was more popular among the general public in 1957.

#10. Mark

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 159.60
Average Graduation Year: 1988
Estimated Birth Year: 1960
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 275.92

Mark is defined as “horse” and earned the U.S. rank of No. 189 in 2014, with 2,161 baby boys given the name.

The name was nearly twice as common among the general public than among to-be doctors born in 1960.

#9. Thomas

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 167.57
Average Graduation Year: 1984
Estimated Birth Year: 1956
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 212.45

Thomas, which is derived Biblically by the Greek Didymos meaning “twin”, ranked No. 54 in 2014 for male newborns. At its peak in the 1940s, it was the eighth most popular boys’ name in the U.S.

Although a common name among doctors, the name was no more common among doctors than the population at large born in 1956.

#8. Jennifer

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 168.12
Average Graduation Year: 2001
Estimated Birth Year: 1973
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 398.17

Bernard Shaw’s character Jennifer Dubedat in “The Doctor’s Dilemma” is thought to have given rise to the popularity of the name Jennifer, which is ironic given that it’s so prevalent among doctors. It ranked No. 220 in 2014, with 1,514 baby girls in the U.S. given the name.

Although it’s a popular female name among doctors, it was even more common among the population at large in 1973.

#7. Richard

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 192.39
Average Graduation Year: 1982
Estimated Birth Year: 1954
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 279.62

The name Richard is defined as “hardy, power, strong” — qualities commonly associated with a doctor. It was most popular in the U.S. during the 1930s, when it had an average rank of five, but has dropped significantly in recent years, ranking No. 141 for male newborns in 2014.

The name Richard is no more common among doctors than the general population born in 1954.

#6. William

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 215.35
Average Graduation Year: 1982
Estimated Birth Year: 1954
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 301.10

William originates from the Germanic word wil, meaning “desire, helmet, protection, will,” and was the fifth most popular name for baby boys born in 2014.

The name has both a high frequency among doctors and non-doctors, but isn’t any more popular among doctors than the general public born in 1954.

#5. James

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 268.41
Average Graduation Year: 1984
Estimated Birth Year: 1956
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 402.41

Originally a New Testament name, James has consistently been one of the most popular males names for decades. It has English and Hebrew origins and ranked No. 9 in the U.S. in 2014, with a total of 14,301 male babies given the name.

The name was less popular among doctors born in 1956 than the public at large.

#4. Robert

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 314.70
Average Graduation Year: 1982
Estimated Birth Year: 1954
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 423.01

A name of French, German, Germanic, and Romanian origins, Robert means “bright, fame, famous.” It was the most popular name for baby boys in the U.S. during the 1920s, but has experienced a decline in recent years, ranking No. 61 in 2014.

Although very common among doctors, the name was more frequently used in 1954 for babies at large.

#3. Michael

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 354.21
Average Graduation Year: 1984
Estimated Birth Year: 1956
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 382.92

Michael is the English form of a common biblical name meaning “who is like God?” and has been one of the most popular male names in the English-speaking world since the early 1900s. Despite a slow decline in popularity over the last decade, a total of 15,323 newborn boys were named Michael in 2014, earning it the U.S. rank of No. 7.

The name was a bit more common among babies at large born in 1956 than among future doctors.

#2. David

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 332.04
Average Graduation Year: 1987
Estimated Birth Year: 1959
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 395.40

David, a name that means “darling” in Hebrew, ranked No. 18 in 2014 for baby boys in the U.S. It was most popular during the 1960s, when it had an average rank of two.

The name was popular with the general public at large in 1959.

#1. John

Doctors With the Name per 10K Doctors: 354.21
Average Graduation Year: 1984
Estimated Birth Year: 1956
Babies With the Name Per 10K Babies in Birth Year: 382.92

Naming your son John doesn’t guarantee his future as a doctor, but it certainly won’t hurt. John is of English, Greek, and Hebrew origin and was the 26th most popular name for male newborns the U.S. during in 2014.

The name John is generally popular, and isn’t more so strictly among doctors.

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