Physicians: Patients favor professional attire

Patients prefer when their physicians wear professional attire — such as a white coat and tie — rather than business attire, surgical attire or casual attire, according to a new study published in JAMA Dermatology.

Researchers analyzed survey responses of more than 250 patients in the dermatology medical setting, including medical, surgical and wound care clinics. Despite a hypothesis that patients might prefer scrubs in the dermatology surgical and wound care settings, the researchers found respondents generally favored professional attire across all clinic settings.

Here is the breakdown of cumulative responses from patients on their dress code preference.

  • Professional (white coat and tie) — Indicated by 73 percent of respondents
  • Surgical dress (scrubs) — 19 percent
  • Business dress (suit and tie) — 6 percent
  • Casual attire (t-shirt and jeans) — 2 percent

"It is possible that patients 'perceptions of their physicians' knowledge and skill is influenced by the physicians' appearance, and these perceptions may affect outcomes," the authors wrote.


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