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Am J Surg. 2012 Nov;204(5):663-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.09.001. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Patient attitudes to surgeons' attire in an outpatient clinic setting: substance over style.

Author information

1
William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Department of Surgery, El Paso, TX 79920, USA. roy.edwards@amedd.army.mil

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is believed that patients prefer that surgeons convey a professional appearance with traditional business attire and white laboratory coat. We performed a prospective study to assess patient opinions regarding traditional attire versus the wearing surgical scrubs in the outpatient setting.

METHODS:

During a 5-month period, surgeons alternated wearing traditional clothing and surgical scrubs. Adult patients were given a questionnaire assessing their preferences regarding surgeons' clothing.

RESULTS:

Six hundred twelve patients returned the questionnaire. The majority felt that scrubs were appropriate attire for physicians. Half of the patients felt that wearing white laboratory coats is necessary. A minority felt that their surgeon's dress affects their opinion regarding the care they received. There was no difference between responses regardless of the attire actually worn.

CONCLUSIONS:

Surgeon's clothing choice does not significantly influence patient's opinion of the care they receive. Patients do not have strong preferences for white coats or more traditional surgical attire.

PMID:
20591408
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjsurg.2009.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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