How Would You Want Your Doctor Dressed or "Undressed"?
How Would You Want Your Doctor Dressed or “Undressed"? is a very important question both from the point of view of patient trust but also with regard to infection control. Writing in “Family Practice Management” June 2006, Bobby J. Newbell, M.D. wrote an article regarding physician dressing habits. The article starts out with a question “If a shirt and tie are too formal and jeans and a T-shirt are too casual, what's a doctor to do?” Dr. Newbell ends up with choosing “unisex, featureless, strictly utilitarian, pajama-like clothes that cover the maximum area with minimum material, scrubs are the ultimate triumph of function over style. Hanging on the thin, straining on the corpulent, scrubs are democratic in their indignity to the human form. Attempts to add a note of individuality or whimsy to scrubs by adding colorful patterns or cartoon depictions only reinforce the garment's relentless banality.” Got the picture? You know what it is: a so-called "scrub suit". Dr. Newbell thinks they are the just right clothing for a physician to wear.
Further and beyond the issue of appearance, without clinicians wearing ties or white coats with long sleeves, documented sources for bacterial transmission, control of infections can be improved. I know many patients might say that there is more to be concerned about their doctor than how he or she dresses, however since doctors do have to practice medicine with some clothing on their bodies, “what should a doctor do?”
I suggest a little mental exercise: create a mental paper cut out of a doctor, male or female, and then, in your mind, cover the doctor with some paper cut out clothing, just the way you would want to see him or her in real life. And then write to this thread what you came up with. By the way, those who have the time and interest could make a graphic of your imagination of a properly dressed doctor and e-mail it to me as a relatively small jpg file and I will attempt to post some of your examples here. My e-mail address is : DoktorMo@aol.com