Should Doctors Have A Dress Code?
Posted by admin On September 22, 2010 5:13 AM
Doctors are typically identified by the white coats they wear. The sparkling clean white coat of a doctor makes
the patient sub-consciously associate it with hygiene. Doctors? deal with blood and diseases and a clean
coat gives the patients a reassurance that the doctor maintains high standards of cleanliness.
Not too long ago a doctor used to dress in formal attire and a tie was a must for the male doctor. It was very rare to see a doctor
dressed sloppily. In fact sloppiness was considered to be sign of incompetence and a doctor who was not meticulously dressed was
considered unprofessional and unreliable. Even after female doctors became common, this attitude persisted. Every doctor,
regardless of race, gender, nationality or background was expected to be primly dressed, the white coat being mandatory.
But off late there is a shift in trend. Many doctors no longer consider dressing up as a strict part of being a doctor. Initially there were
ones who gave up the tie and then they started wearing jeans and before long casual clothing became regular attire for many of them.
But casual clothing is just one part of the picture. There are some in the field who do not bother to be even cleanly dressed, leave
Their hair looks unkempt, their clothes are wrinkled, and they are unshaven and untidy. This kind of look has slowly started becoming
considered as the look of an intellectual doctor- the one who is so good that dressing is not something that this person needs to
But how do the patients feel about this? Researches indicate that most patients prefer the formally attired doctors. Though not all care
about the tie and such, they do consider a better-dressed doctor to be a better professional. Most patients trust a doctor who dresses
well more than the one that does not. Being a doctor is considered a serious business and a doctor who takes serious care of his or
her appearance is regarded as being more serious about their profession.
Although not all patients prefer a formally dressed doctor, a clean and neatly dressed doctor is preferred almost universally. In fact, an
untidy doctor could cause patient to mistrust the doctor. Though children do prefer their doctor if the dress is casual, they still would
like to see the white coat and clean clothes on their doctors.
It is true that in many cases dress is no indication of the caliber of the doctor. A really busy doctor might not even have the time for
such extravagances. But the well being and comfort of the patient is the most important to the doctor. Patient trust is at many times
essential for the treatment to work. Therefore, it could be suggested that the doctor has to be careful with the dressing. Even if the
doctor wears jeans and t-shirts, the clothes have to be really clean and well maintained. And of course, the all-important white coat is
not to be forgotten.
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