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I am in contact with the my doctor by email. We exchange about 3 messages per week, today we exchanged 2 messages. Now I have a situation where I think it is a bit silly to write each time Dear Dr. Lastname. For example:

I send him question

Dear Dr. Lastname,

question here

Kind Regards,

FirstName LastName

he reply me within 2 hours. Should I write again Dear Dr. Lastime? And the same each time? Or maybe just Hi or just short answer for example

Yes, I confirm.

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closed as off topic by Will Hunting, Mitch, J.R., tchrist, Robusto Nov 13 '12 at 21:23

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You could try Dear Doctor. – Barrie England Nov 13 '12 at 18:57
So just repeating each time Dear Doctor even if we are going to exchange 3 messages on the same day? – user1324762 Nov 13 '12 at 19:06
It's an option. What you do depends on the sort of relationship you have with your doctor. – Barrie England Nov 13 '12 at 19:26
Because an email exchange is a continuing conversation, you do not need to open each new reply with a salutation. The first email and the first response should have salutations. After that, both parties can forego that formality. I have no source confirming this (which is why I'm posting a comment instead of an answer), but in my experience this is acceptable. – Michael Lewis Nov 13 '12 at 19:34
@BarrieEngland Or, "Hey! Sawbones," – Jay Nov 13 '12 at 21:02

Unless the recipient of the email is a superior or the context of the email calls for formality, I would expect this to suffice:

Dr. Lastname,

Body of email.


Efficiency and directness usually supersede formality in email. Even my correspondence with superiors (Professors, Managers, etc.) tend to devolve into the format above after my initial message, and sometimes lose all salutations, leaving a text message like format.

When in doubt, I look to the format they choose for their reply and respond in kind.

Hope this helps.

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I agree with what Scott says. I'd add one tip, though, based on the closing comment in the O.P.'s question. Instead of responding with a simple, "Yes, I confirm," I would at least elaborate just a little bit in the message, i.e., "Yes, I'll be there on Tuesday at 3 o'clock." This is merely a simply courtesy, and makes it so that the doctor need not scroll down into earlier conversations to figure out exactly what you are confirming. Assume he is busy, and be efficient in your communication. That said, this is more of an issue regarding email etiquette than about English. – J.R. Nov 13 '12 at 20:18

As Baz says, this is more culture and etiquette than English, but ...

I never write greetings or signature lines in an email. It seems to me that the "To" in the header is the equivalent of "Dear [whatever]" and the "From" is the equivalent of "Regards" etc.

I think this is comparable to a printed office memo with "to" and "from" blocks at the top. You do not write a "Dear Al" and a "Sincerely, Bob" on an office memo, because these names are already in the "to" and "from" blocks. http://www.ehow.com/how_5025751_write-interoffice-memo.html

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+1 - Very good point! – Kevin Fegan Jul 21 '13 at 8:05

This has more to do with culture than the English language per se. I would always use Hi or Hi Sean, with the exception of when I'm applying for a job. In that case I would address the recipient via: To whom it may concern.

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