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apostrophe possession question
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I am a medical transcriptionist and they have their own rules of grammar, spelling,  and punctuation (drives me crazy). However, one thing I am not certain on is when the doctor dictates, ” John Doe is a patient of Dr. Smith’s.” I want to put, “John Doe is a patient of Dr. Smith.” Does the inference of Dr. Smith’s practice make the Dr. Smith’s spelling correct OR should it be changed to Dr. Smith?

Ron Draney
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I’m sure I’ve taken part in discussions before about the “double possessive”. If I recall the outcome correctly, it’s used when the thing possessed is a representative of a whole group of similar things that belong to the possessor. So in your example, Dr Smith has a bunch of patients, as a group they’re “Dr Smith’s patients”, and John Doe is one member of that group.

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‘Patient of Dr Smith’ is not wrong, except for being too rare compared to the other form. It’s a clue of foreignism.

Some discussions here and here.

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