It’s better to look scientific than BE scientific

Ever wonder why doctors wear white coats?  I always thought it was for hygiene purposes and to save wear and tear on “real” clothes.  Apparently it’s because doctors want to look all scientificky and therefore more authoritative (or trustworthy, if you want to go for a more benign interpretation).  Well, the AMA is having none of that.  They’re recommending physicians get away from the mad scientist look and go for regular street clothes.  I guess this makes sense for a number of reasons, not the least of which is numerous studies that show people will trust and obey whitecoats far more readily than those wearing normal clothing.  I want my acceptance of my doctor’s judgment to be based on his logic, not because I think he looks like House.

(Another reason the AMA wants to get away from the white coats is because of cleanliness–why they don’t just mandate frequent laundering, I don’t know.  But this reminds me of a study from a few years ago that showed doctors’ neckties are a major source of in-clinic contagion.  Which kind of make sense.  Think about it, guys: when was the last time you had your neckties dry cleaned?)

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