I have a terrible problem with names. Terrible cannot even describe how bad I am with them. I can see you every day at work and be unable to produce your name without a name tag in any other situation. I think it has to do with how much information I have to filter as a doctor every day -- "I don't need to remember his/her name, they are wearing a name tag....next piece of information."
When I was in residency, we did a lot of our training with the E.R. residents. I could never remember their names unless I spent vast amounts of time with them, but again: name tags. One of my friends, a 6'5" Irish guy named Lenny came up with the idea of giving all of them nicknames. We would actually use these nicknames when talking to them and it made it easier. One night I got a call from the E.R. about an admission that went something like this...
E.R. Doc: "Hey man, it's McKinney, I got one for you."
E.R. Doc: "McKinney, Doctor McKinney."
E.R. Doc: *sigh* (voice lowered) "Handsome Dan."
Me: "Ooohhh. Hey man, what's up?"