Posted by: bridget | 23 November 2006

Musings on Professional Attire

Pachyderm meanderings of the mind on professional attire….  there is certainly an East Coast/West Coast split on attire.  The “other” Sunshine State proudly features lawyers who sport flip-flops, while even unpaid interns near the Atlantic are expected to wear full suits.

The New York Times has weighed in on doctor’s attire.  Apparently, patients are more likely to trust doctors in white coats than those in a variety of other clothing.  Problematically, the study lumped together doctors who wear professional business suits and those who wear sandals and miniskirts.   (Ah, sociology: always so easy to find what you are looking for.)  The pachyderm does find it amusing that long hair is apparently a health hazard, as it can transmit bacteria.  Um… huh?  Does short hair not carry bacteria?  Sure, a MD whose hair is all over her patient will probably gross people out, but since when are long tresses a haven for disease?

The pachyderm finds it interesting that malpractice plaintiffs ask about (and are allowed to get answers to) the attire of their doctors.  Furthermore, the fact that senior doctors give worse scores to (obviously female) MDs who are too attractive doesn’t say anything about attire being important – it just shows that the medical profession needs its own version of Elle Woods. 

(End of grumbling.)

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