do the clothes make the doctor?

17 Mar


Interesting brief article about a study from the BMJ



Physician attire was defined as:

  • personal or hospital-issued clothing (e.g. scrubs), +/- white coat
  • formal attire = collared shirt, tie and slacks for male physicians and blouse (with or without a blazer), skirt or suit pants for female physicians.
  • casual attire: e.g. polo shirts and blue jeans; or not the formal attire listed above


70% of studies analyzed found that patients prefer professional attire with or without white coats

4/7 studies focusing on surgeons, gynecologists, and emergency medicine, found that their attire was less important than that of a family or general physician.

only 4 of the 10 US-based studies reported that attire influenced patient perceptions regarding their physician   (other countries seemed to care more, from UK/Europe, Asia, Austrailia, etc).

acute care settings (e.g. the ED) : attire seemed to matter less.


Interesting, though as EM docs, we seem to get a pass.


References: article; BMJ article; picture


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