Doctor’s Appointment, Doctors’ Appointment or Doctor Appointment?

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“Doctor’s appointment” or “doctors’ appointment” or “doctor appointment”: Which is correct?

When making an appointment with a doctor, you may wonder whether to use the possessive form “doctor’s appointment” or “doctors’ appointment”.

The correct way to say that you made this kind of appointment is to use the form “doctor’s appointment.” “Doctor appointment” is also not unheard of, but it is a less common option.

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Doctor’s Appointment

If you are making an appointment with a doctor, you can call it a “doctor’s appointment.” This is the simplest and most straightforward option.

Similarly to “doctor’s appointment,” we can say “dentist’s appointment.”

For example:

  • “I have a doctor’s appointment at 2pm.”
  • “Can we reschedule my doctor’s appointment?”
  • “I need to cancel my doctor’s appointment.”

Is doctor’s possessive in “doctor’s appointment”?

At first glance, it may seem like “doctor’s” is being used as a possessive form in “doctor’s appointment” but that is not entirely true.

We can also use an ‘s for the genitive case. The genitive case is much like the possessive case in terms of ownership but it also means that there is a close association between the words “doctor” and “appointment.

The term doctor’s in “doctor’s appointment” is called a descriptive genitive. The noun “doctor” is being used to describe the kind of appointment.

“Doctor’s” as the Possessive Form

Here are some examples of when the word “doctor” takes the possessive form:

  • Doctor’s surgery
  • Doctor’s office
  • Doctor’s prescription
  • Doctor’s bill

Doctor Appointment

“Doctor appointment” is an equally correct way to say the term.

If you are making an appointment with a doctor, you can also say “doctor appointment.” This is not as common as “doctor’s appointment,” but it is still used.

This is acceptable because “doctor” the noun is being used adjectivally to describe the kind of appointment.

According to Google Books Ngram Viewer, we can see that “doctor’s appointment” is the more frequently used term that has occurred in the corpus of books:

Doctor's Appointment and Doctor Appointment Popularity

Doctors’ Appointment

We do not use “doctors’ appointment” if we arranged a meeting with the doctor.

Doctors’ suggests there are multiple doctors. Not just one.

We could say “the doctors’ coats” or “the doctors’ gloves” to refer to the coats and gloves of more than one doctor.

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In Conclusion

So, to sum it up, if you made an appointment with the doctor, then you can say “doctor’s appointment.”

You can also say “doctor appointment,” but this is less common.

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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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