Lately I have been getting email with questions about addressing married doctors:
What is the proper way to address a letter to a husband and wife who are both doctors?
If a married doctor couple has the same last name, what goes on the envelope?
What if the doctors have different last names?
What if the wife is a doctor and the husband is not?
I checked The Gregg Reference Manual (Gregg) for “official” responses. Shown below are Gregg-approved answers, along with places where I would deviate from the recommended format.
1. If the doctors have the same surname, use this style for the envelope, inside address, and greeting:
Dr. Angel Espinoza
Dr. Marguerite Espinoza
Dear Drs. Espinoza:
Gregg stipulates the style above. However, I believe it would be perfectly acceptable to use this style on the envelope and inside address:
Drs. Angel and Marguerite Espinoza
I personally like both names on one line for a married couple, but if you need a reference manual to support your decision, use the Gregg approach of one name above the other.
2. If the husband and wife have different surnames, Gregg recommends this style:
Dr. Angel Espinoza
Dr. Marguerite Gordon
Dear Dr. Espinoza and Dr. Gordon:
Once again, because the vertical list has a sense of separation, I would type both names on one line. I also like one professional title rather than two:
Drs. Angel Espinoza and Marguerite Gordon
Dear Drs. Espinoza and Gordon:
3. If the wife is a doctor and the husband is not, do this:
Dr. Pitta Moussa
Mr. James Gomes
Dear Dr. Moussa and Mr. Gomes:
Or do this:
Dr. Nicole Cillo
Mr. Leon Cillo
Dear Dr. and Mr. Cillo:
These posts cover other challenges in letter greetings: Advice on Special Salutations and Salutations in Letters and Email.
I have described the accepted style in the United States. If styles differ in your country, please let me know.