Does it make sense to change your practice name?

January 6, 2006

When I registered the name of my new medical office with the state, they gave me the go-ahead. Now a local physician, who opened his office two months before I did, claims that the names of our practices are so similar that it's confusing his patients. He's threatening me with legal action unless I change the name of my office. What should I do?

Q: When I registered the name of my new medical office with the state, they gave me the go-ahead. Now a local physician, who opened his office two months before I did, claims that the names of our practices are so similar that it's confusing his patients. He's threatening me with legal action unless I change the name of my office. What should I do?

A: Find a solution outside of court; the bad publicity surrounding a lawsuit would only hurt both practices. Changing the name of your practice would presumably satisfy the other physician, so perhaps that's a wise move. And after you resolve the matter, you and he should meet, just to smooth ruffled feathers.