ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: Clothes That Make The Man

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Clothes That Make The Man

Watching the pre-Oscar runway shows with my roommate this afternoon (What's that? No, no...I don't have any testicles at all, silly!), I couldn't help but notice that people seem most fixated on what the stars were wearing and how they wore what they were wearing. I'm sure that makes sense to someone besides me. Unexpectedly (well, maybe just for me), I found myself playing close attention to what everyone was wearing, because fashion has suddenly become a big part of my life. How, you may be wondering, can I possibly have time to worry about fashion when I'm busy saving lives? Unfortunately for me, this wasn't by choice, but was instead something thrust upon my by one of my attendings this past week...

Taking a break from my team while we were all on call one afternoon, I stopped by the office of my research attending, a young hematologist-oncologist that I sort of, kind of, maybe do research for, I think. As is tradition for all physicians (fake or real) who are on call (which means they are going to be working for 30 hours straight and staying at the hospital overnight), I donned my trusty scrubs before starting work that day because scrubs are undoubtedly the most comfortable work clothes on Earth, they still let us look like doctors, and have I mentioned how damn fine I look in scrubs? However, when I walked into this doctor's office, I was not greeted by a "Hello", a "Good afternoon", or even a "Hey it's my bitch!". No, instead he took a survey of my attire, head to ridiculously attractive toe, shook his own head in disgust, and left his office for a moment without saying a word. I sat there, rather confused and disturbingly reminded of so many blind dates I had been on in the past, before suddenly hearing the rumblings of the Xerox machine outside. This was followed moments later by my attending marching back into his office, a stack of papers in hand.

"So, did you just come out of the OR?"
"You heard me."
"Uhh, no."
"Then why are you wearing scrubs?"
"Umm...my team is on call, we're going to be here all night."
"So? Are you not going to be seeing patients, then?"
"Of course we are, we're the admitting team so we have to see patients."
"Then why are you wearing scrubs?!?"

With that, he tossed a journal article in my lap, an article with convincing evidence demonstrating that patients prefer doctors who wear formal attire at all occasions instead of casual attire (i.e. no tie) or scrubs. I stared at this article in disbelief for a moment, partially because I was not expecting this sort of greeting, partially because I could not believe someone actually took the time to study this, partially because I did not believe he actually expected us to wear a dress shirt, tie, and slacks for 30 hours straight, but mostly because he clearly was not acknowledging the fact that I look damn good in scrubs. However, after a moment to recover, I starting thinking about this. Was it really true? Do you all truly believe that it's the clothes that make the doctor? Being the massive dork that I am, and never one to back down from an utterly pointless fight, I left his office after a few more moments of small talk and did a literature search of my own, pulling up conflicting articles (one of which actually suggested that people prefer scrubs...the same article I conveniently printed out and left on said doctor's desk later that night...OH SNAP!) that left me more confused.

But then I had a great idea: Why should I try to figure this out on my own when I have the greatest collection of minds this world has ever seen at my disposal to figure it out for me? Yes, I am entrusting you, the collective mass that is the Internet, to tell me what clothes make a doctor, and, by extension, what clothes I should be wearing. Formal? Scrubs? Clown costume? Birthday suit? Saran-Wrap? Fuck-me boots? Do you like it with a tie? Do you like it in the eye? I'm very curious to use this forum to see what you all think people in my profession should be wearing. All suggestions will be taken seriously.

And with that, I will return to the Academy Awards. Oh my God can you believe what everyone's wearing?!?!?


Blogger Dean said...

Scrubs... If you showed up in my room in the middle of the night in a shirt and tie, I would think you were from hospital admin looking for a check...

7:09 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

If you're not severely deluded, and you actually do look hot in scrubs. Please wear scrubs. You'll help ease my pain. Sorry, though, I'm married and not Jewish. (Too bad for you!)

7:17 PM  
Blogger MedStudentGod (MSG) said...

Scrubs are fine. In fact...I think it is more "doctorly" looking than nice shirt and tie. That ensemble always reminds me of a quick fix doc (like family medicine) who really doesn't get involved in the nitty-gritty of your care. Your research hem-onc is a bitch!! Plus, how much damn time does he have to honestly think that Xeroxing and throwing a "fashion in medicine" article in your lap will actually influence you?

7:27 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I like it in the eye...oh, was that a rhetorical question?

OK, the general rule of thumb is dress for the role to which you aspire.

I think scrubs will do overnight, but if you are in the clinic, the above rule can guide you. It could play out very differently if you aspire to, say, pathology vs. plastics. Undastand?

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't really leave the scrubs article on his desk. He would would have your nuts crushed. I prefer scrubs with a shirt underneath (no chest hair flowing out) during the night. If you wear a shirt and tie, a white coat must go over it.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Scrubs, definitely. People who wear suits at night are definitely weird.

7:39 PM  
Blogger eaf said...

Scrubs in the hospital, white coat in the office (what you wear under it is none of my business). The last thing I need while in the hospital is to see you in your Armani reminding me of what the bill will be when I leave. :-)

Besides, you've been through three years of med school... I think by now you've earned the right to wear comfortable clothes!

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

def the doctor white lab coat. its conservative, classic, clean and sexy ;)

although its so traditional, for those who are hospital phobic, scrubs conjure up the image of an alien dissection room..with a mad scientist to boot.. (with the standard gray frizzy hair and mad glasses and metallic instruments everywhere).

def Not suits..i mean is this a hospital or wall street? hehe it reminds people too much of the office and thus may induce unnecessary stress. you'd remind people of coworkers, nice bunch of ppl but wouldn't want to take medical advice from them.. take it from a business major..suits (usually set aside for wall street wannabes)are so cliche, so yesterday...;)

btw happy belated bday!

-snoopy girl

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to site external validity here and say that I really think culture plays a big part here. I'm out in California, and while I often wear a shirt and tie for my inpatient and outpatient rotations, it's more often than not that my male attendings drop the tie entirely.

My attending on surgery (who did his residency and fellowship at Hopkins) said his chief of surgery during residency was so serious about this (back in the 60s) that he would require residents and fellows after closing the surgery case to go back to the locker room and re-dress into a shirt and tie before talking to patients' families about how the procedure went.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs are hot! Doctors in suits look like prissy little rich boys who don't want to get their hands dirty.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Daphnewood said...

I am fond of scrubs myself. This is on medscape: Doctors are told to ditch "disease spreading" neckties from BMJ BMJ. 2006; 332(7539):442 (ISSN: 1468-5833). So look at it as a health concern. You are doing everyone a favor by not spreading nasty germs in your necktie.

8:09 PM  
Blogger lucidkim said...

I work for a group of 19 doctors, only the ob/gyns wear scrubs AND, I MIGHT ADD, THEY LOOK TOTALLY HOT IN THEM. The family practice doctors vary in their attire, I think only the oldest, stick-up-his-ass doctor wears a tie - the rest in polo/khaki combos with a white lab coat. Except for one who refuses to wear the lab coat because he says it sets the doctors apart from the patients and he wants to be seen as on the same level as his patient, not talking down to them or seeming to think he is a superior human being. I like that perspective. My perception is that the doctors in scrubs are better doctors, have more experience and therefore I trust them more with my care. And they really are hot - all I can think is one pull of a string and tada, I could see the family jewels. And no t-shirt underneath, that's as nerdy as wearing socks with sandals.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

honestly, i would trust the guy in scrubs more than the guy in the suit...why be all dolled up?

not sure where you are located, but i know a sweet, funny, and cute i might add jewish chick in LA...one who happens to be smart...works in a hospital, something in the realm of nutrition...

8:42 PM  
Blogger Motherkitty said...

As a patient, I would prefer to see my physician in clean clothes with a lab coat in the office. At the hospital, where strict adherence to cleanliness and sanitation are of utmost importance, lose the dress wear and wear the scrubs. I would rather see a doctor who looks like they are ready to get down and dirty rather than a prissy ass standing there not willing and able to get their hands dirty and take care of the patient.

8:47 PM  
Blogger GB, RN said...

As a nurse, I don't care if you are wearing scrubs or a Big Bird suit. Patients really don't care either. Do you think that someone who is laying in bed, crapping out their weight in lactulose is going to care if your tie matches your shirt?

Actually, it is better if the ressies are wearing scrubs because we like to get you in there for some hands-on stuff. I don't think you would want bloody pus, C-diff stool, or any other disgusting body fluid on your nice silk tie.

Scrubs are definitely the way to go. Everyone looks hot in them because they mask body flaws well, and if you get something on them, just go down to surgery and grab another pair.

Happy Belated birthday!

8:50 PM  
Blogger ~D said...

Go for the scrubs, man. If I could wear drawstring pants and an oversized shirt to work and look professional as all get-out, I would!!!!

9:13 PM  
Blogger Ada said...

Scrubs for the hospital, shirt & tie (or at least a crisp dress shirt) for the clinic. How are you supposed to sleep in dress clothes without wrinkling? If you want to dress up the scrubs, then maybe a lab coat? (I get the feeling I might be wrong...)

Anyway, I can't remember what the doctors were wearing last time I was in a hospital anyway, so your patients probably won't either.

9:48 PM  
Blogger David said...

I don't think you should live in scrubs as a doctor, different clothes for different settings/activities. There is something to be said for a nice button-up shirt, slacks, and a white lab coat.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have printed this article for his review.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

enrico...that was awesome.

10:15 PM  
Blogger hotpink said...

I recently spent eight hours in the ER with my boyfriend.
I was tired.
A very handsome doctor walked by in scrubs, looking like he's stepped out of the ER set and was ready to save me from the next six mini cups of coffee and my boyfriend from another three hours of moaning.
Three hours later, we got a middle aged doctor wearing a damned tie. HIS SHIRT WAS PRESSED. Who the hell wears a tie and a pressed shirt in an ER where you're supposed to save somebody's life? It looked like, if the Love of My Life had needed immediate surgery, the doctor would have said, "Eeeww, are you kidding me? This is an Armani tie, I dont want to get blood all over it."
No ties, Fake Doctor. Wear your scrubs.
And if anyone has an issue with it, tell 'em they can talk to me.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Audi said...

Well after seeing a peice done on doctors and ties and how they carry A LOT of germs because the come in contact with the patients. Also because they don't look "dirty" they don't get washed as often as the should. I would choose the scrubs. Atleast they get washed on a regular basis and unless you are a fat slob everyone looks good in scrubs.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

During my dad's final fight with cancer, we were bombarded with several versions of scrubs making their way in and out of his room. It was very hard to tell who was an orderly, nurse, doctor or who was the cleaning lady.

That being said, surgical scrubs are viewed differently and a patient can tell that 'this is the doctor'. I believe it shows authority and confidence.

For morning rounds, though, I'd like to see the doctor in 'normal clothes'. Please NO BOW TIES - they're very distracting to me. I can't help but supress a giggle each time I see them, and miss all the important information given. ;)

No matter what, please never assume that we know you're the doctor. Always introduce yourself to the room (for the new visitors that haven't seen you before). And, keep your ID visible, so your patients that have seen 30 doctors that day will be able to look at your name without having the embarrasment of having to ask AGAIN.

Okay - enough of my babble. I suppose my final thought would be to wear what YOU feel most confident in. Your confidence level is felt by your patients and their family.

10:38 PM  
Blogger missbhavens said...

Hospital? Scrubs.
Clinic? Shirt, slacks, white coat, no tie(germy).

NEVER scrubs AND a white coat. You'd be amazed how many people try this. If tere was a red carpet leading to the hospital, Joan Rivers would rip them a new one as they passed by. And rightly so.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DARE you to show up to work in neon pink pants and big fluffy bunnie slippers.

......yeah well Entertainers kinda deserve to dress up and wreak havoc in coiture for once, especially the directors. Since they're dressed like crap on set most the time. Checkout Peter jackson in his raggedy Tshirts'n shorts running around in flip flops.

infact, you oughta run over to the post production CGI-studios and pay us under-recognized peons a visit....where half of the actual movie, are made by guys who are ocasionally running around in fuzzy slippers/ PJ's shooting nurf guns at each other.......it would almost make your scrubs seem 'versace-esque.'

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs! When a physican walks into a patient room in a suit at 3 am, the pt generally wants to know if he was running late after a physician's banquet/mixer and asks me if I thought he'd been drinking while there.
There is a physician that wears a long lab coat with OR scrubs on my floor. It matches the shaving cream that he forgot to rinse off the top of his head quite well.
Pts are generally "wowed" by a doc in a tailored suit with a stethoscope around the neck during the 7am-noon time frame.
But I'm guessing our geographic locations mandate all kinds of stupid dressing rules:)

12:07 AM  
Blogger Sneha said...

I'm a med student in Australia. The only time we EVER wear scurbs is if we are actually in the theatre. All staff and students are forbidden to wear scrubs outside the theatre section of the hospital. So therefore I'd say, shirt and tie, although at night I'd say forget the tie, but still wear a shirt and slacks. The only time we can dress "comfortably" is in emerg on the weekends. Oh and we never wear a white coat - only the orthopaedic surgeons insist on white coats, in my hospital anyway. What is it with you american's and white coats? :)

12:21 AM  
Blogger redhead83402 said...

personally, I think that scrubs look good. They can be cleaned, changed, and don't look too rumpled if you have to fall asleep on a bench during on call.

ALSO, sort of important, but presentation is everything! If you are having a meeting with the doc, say before a surgery, and he needs to explain things, you might wear slacks, button down shirt and the white coat, but if you are to look as though you actually ARE a doctor, say one who PRACTICES, you should wear scrubs. Besides the fact that as many folks have mentioned, scrubs look good on a variety of body shapes, they also give the patient the impression that ~ this doctor actually knows something~.

Here's an example:
You walk into Walmart to buy something, but you need a salesperson's advice... you immediately start hunting someone down in a vest, right? Because that is the signal ( or uniform ) that is given for non-employees/customers to know who is charge/ can help them.

another example:
You walk into a sporting goods store, and need to look for a bike. No-one wears a vest here, but that's ok, you'll probably seek out the person/employee who looks the trimmest, and most fit, and athletic, because you assume they will know what they are talking about.

another example:
you walk into a fine restaurant, ready to eat a tasty meal, but you have a certain allergy that must be addressed, do you talk to the waiter? ( good luck on getting your need across, its a touch hit and miss) or to the chef? How do you tell them apart? Bet the waiter is wearing a different uniform than the chef.

So,do you want to be identifiable for questions and information ( like the walmart vest), do you want to look like you know what you are talking about ( the athletic salesman, trust me, fat doctors are dis-heartening, if they can't even follow their own advice...) and do you want to be seen as the one who conveys messages or actually does the work (waiter or the chef)?

Where are you at, what sort of medicine are you in, is it a hospital or a private office, do you deal with snobby pt's one at a time or deal ~on the run~ with regular pt's in a hospital/clinic setting?
Presentation is everything.
and, of course, when in Rome....
(in Aus, might have to doll up, in NYC, scrubs would be far better)

1:55 AM  
Blogger ER Nurse said...

Saran Wrap and Fuck me boots!!

Scrubs make docs look like they work and are real people like the patient- whereas the suit conveys book knowledge but not practical knowledge.

4:15 AM  
Blogger 4D said...

To be honest I don't really care what a doctor is wearing. If I've gone to hospital with a problem, I'd prefer it if she/he is concentrating on my problem, not on the fact that their clothes are uncomfortable. I say you should wear what you're most comfortable in. If that's scrubs, great, if it something more formal, also cool, if it's leather S&M gear well that's fine too but I'll probably laugh at you.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I had the witty answer, but the damn word verification to post had me stumped. Makes me think I need to go see an eye doc. Scrubs. Short Answer. Your friend with the article has low self esteem. I'd find an article for him about penile implants, xerox it, and hand it to him. But that's just me...

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a student nurse, and I usually get about in a fetching nurses' uniform. I turned up for a psych placement in my own clothes, which included a velvet blazer, black pants, neat hair and my glasses, and was asked if I was the new doctor. As pleased as I was with the promotion, and the potential for mischief, I had to inform them that no, I was a nurse. A student nurse at that. Obviously clothes do make the (wo)man, because when I turned up at another psych placement in jeans, I was not asked if I was a doctor. Professional wins for the public.
For me, wear whatever you want. The fuck-me boots could really spice up a consult.
PS - glad you're back!

5:24 AM  
Blogger A. said...

Scrubs mean that you are working in a hospital. I mean, really, who wears scrubs on a subway or while directing traffic or in a classroom or while preparing a gourmet meal? So it stands to reason that you'd wear them when you are, in fact, working in a hospital. And I believe our society has come far enough that comfortable clothes are as important as "looking professional." Also, I'm with the pp who says it is always in good form to introduce yourself. I've only been a hospital patient twice (for the birth of both my children), but it is amazing how many folks come and go in and out of a patient's room. It is always helpful to have someone introduce themselves and tell you why they are there.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally couldn't give a rats backside what my doctor was wearing, the only stipulation I have is that she or he is qualified or being supervised by someone who is qualified! Other than that wear what you like - it's you that's got to wear it no one else!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Cathie said...

One of the best Dr's I ever saw in the hospital was wearing scrubs at 10:00am and he was great because
a) he actually looked me in the eye
b)answered the questions I asked
c) smiled at me
d) didn't act like I was taking up his valuable Dr time.
These things are infinitely more important than what you are wearing and the guy that gave you the artilcel is a complete fool. Stick to looking hot in scrubs.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My vote is for scrubs in the hospital - which is the whole point here, 30 hours straight. Still, I have to agree that it's hard to tell who's the doctor when everyone is in scrubs. So I also agree with the suggestion of keeping the ID visible and introducing yourself as the doctor.

I also agree with the comment about a doctor's fine clothing reminding me of high bills in my future. I like the polo/khaki/white coat look, myself, in the office. In fact, for something like pediatrics, I think a polo/jeans look is way cool.

I never thought about the tie situation but, now I know that ties are major germ carriers, I think they should be banned in all hospitals. Maybe that's what's been causing so many people to get sicker instead of better all these years.

Stick with scrubs, hot stuff.

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote scrubs too! HOT HOT HOT!,...and more believable. Which brings me to a silly question after spending 5 hours in emerg yesterday. Is it common for orthopedic surgeons to not be available on weekends in a HOSPITAL ? I mean isn't that when people tend to break bones? What's the point in having xray techs on hand if nobody can put on a cast? Of course I should mention that this is in Quebec Canada.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Carina said...

My hubby wore scrubs whenever he was on-call (I know because I washed them). It was what all the residents did, but that was because the medical residents ran the codes in their hospitals. They had a dress code for the days, though.

Since becoming an attending, he's ditched the ties entirely, and he never wears scrubs anymore. He doesn't have hospital call, though, so it makes sense. Thank goodness I don't have to clean his white coats, though.

I say, unless there's a written code you have to follow, wear the scrubs when you're on call. That attending's a jerk.

7:45 AM  
Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

Scrubs with a white lab coat over them. Best of both worlds, formal and informal.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Zombie in Training said...

Scrubs for sure. Anything else seems anal if your working 30 hours straight.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I'm on call, I will never, EVER not where scrubs. Let them think I'm crazy but if you are going to bother me at 4am while I'm napping on the couch, don't think I'm dressing up for a code blue.

Enrico - Rock on.

8:09 AM  
Blogger GP said...

Frankly I think SCRUBS ROCKS for the long duty hours but even here in Malaysia it's been implemented on how DR's are suppouse to be always formally attired. It's SO inconvinient at times, especially when you are dumped with all the reports and the mid-night rounds. Somedays I feel like I may just collapse wearing formals especially when the heat from the environment and the work gets to you!!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Ms. M said...

I work at a hospital too. I don't know the patients' perspective, but from the single jewish female perspective... doctors look DAMN GOOD in scrubs! The undressing of scrubs in a cramped on call room is a constant fantasy of mine

Sigh.... we sure do need a few goodlooking young jewish doctors at my workplace!!!

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If someone is gonna die, then make them feel like you are going to fuck them! It will make the nice (and sick looking) Jewish girl you drool for feel good about themselves.


10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DUde, almost every response is coming from a comtemporary. Go ask the same question to a bunch of 45 - 60 year old doctors and see how they respond.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

As the mother who lived at the hospital for 6 weeks when her child was born with severe heart defects, and has been in and out with that child ever since, I prefer doctors who introduce themselves as doctors and wear their IDs where I can see them. We had a cardiology fellow who followed us for that entire 6 week stay who always wore scrubs and never introduced herself. I was brand-new to the whole hospital thing and never could figure out if she was a really knowledgeable nurse with more authority than the other ones or a lower-ranking doctor or what. The staff physicians only wore dress clothes the days they had outpatient clinics.

I prefer a doctor to wear what matches me. If I'm coming in to a clinic, I'm wearing "normal" clothes and the doctor wearing business casual is fine (white coat is optional). If I or a family member is admitted into the hospital, scrubs make me feel less of a scrounge since I have probably worn the same clothes for two days, have barely slept a wink, and may or may not have showered when you come in for those awful 7am rounds! I want to feel like part of the team, and having gussied-up doc come waltzing in is very off-putting. But then I'm on a council promoting Family Centered Care at our local Children's Hospital.

Especially in the ED, I would go scrubs all the way - you never know what mess you might brush up against (or worse) and the patients/families there had to drop everything to come anyway. Who knows what they'll be wearing!

10:16 AM  
Blogger yatesy said...

i was asking my mom what she liked her doctor to wear after i was thinking about it for awhile. she had the best answer.
"who gives a shit as long as they take good care of you".
(scrubs are hot tho!)

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I don't care what my doctor wears. My family medicine doctor wears jeans and a tee-shirt (I live in the the NY Tri-State area) and I don't think any less of him cause he always gets the job done well. How a doctor speaks to me plays a much bigger role.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Nuclear Mom said...

Scrubs in the hospital, shirt and tie in the office. But I never balked either when my ob showed up in scrubs in the office. (But then again he's hot.)

10:56 AM  
Blogger Tanis said...

Scrubs win my vote. At least in the hospital. Perhaps in the clinic, a pair of slacks and a dress shirt. I spent months in the hospital with a sick child and as long as the doc had a visible name tag, I couldn't give a flying fig what they had on.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs in the hospital for the overnighter. I've seen one E/R staff add a white coat on top of that and I think it's lame.

I do find it annoying if somebody wears scrubs for a day in the office, though. I feel like THAT is the time to show some respect with the clothing choices.

My issue is with office admin staff wearing scrub-esque items from a uniform catalog, when they are not even nurses. When they touch nothing but your file, why do they need these special clothes?????

11:40 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

If you are working at a hospital, i would like the scrubs...if you are at a doctors office, i like business casual. No ties, everyone looks like an asshole in a tie.

What kills me are random nurses wearing smiling bear scrubs in the doc's office. I mean really, you need the scrubs to get my weight and check my bp?

12:50 PM  
Blogger MattHeatherEmma said...

My hubby's rule is always:
Clinic-Shirt and tie.
Wards: Scrubs...unless he is seeing patients for consult during the day.
It really does vary from one attending to another. Some are absolute jerks when it comes to attire and some look like slobs all of the time.

12:59 PM  
Blogger MattHeatherEmma said...

What journal was this article in. I've got to look it up and read it for myself.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I can honestly say I don't care what the doctor's wearing. I'm not sure I've ever even noticed. I only get pissy when they send an NP into see me because, hello? My problems are WAY MORE IMPORTANT than that.

I'm kidding, a little.

But now I think about it, I think I'd prefer scrubs. Scrubs say, "I'm an in-demand guy who could be called into the OR at any minute, because only my expertise can save you." Scrubs say you're too busy to put on a tie. I think I prefer that.

1:14 PM  
Blogger design42 said...


I'm curious, what do the women wear? Skirts and stillettos?

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing BUT SCRUBS, formal attire for hosipital ? Is someone going crazy ...?

2:03 PM  
Blogger wendela said...

Scrubs in the hospital, whatever you want that's comfortable elsewhere. I agree that w/o visible i.d. it's sometimes hard to tell who's who and does what in the hospital. Over all, clean shoes, no matter what kind. :)

2:23 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

As long as you sort out whatever's wrong with me you can wear a wonderwoman costume for all I care...

2:27 PM  
Blogger Twanna A. Hines | FUNKYBROWNCHICK.com said...

While we're on the topic of clothing ... can I just say (probably for the 100th time today) that Salma Hayek looked absolutely stunning at the Oscars?? I'd do her.

Okay, now, back to you ...

My preference is a white coat or scrubs. Scrubs seem more personal. If my doctor showed up in a suit and tie, I'd get a little freaked out because, silly as it may sound, I'd think s/he was trying to add a little distance from the patients. *ME* doctor. *YOU* lowly patient.

Hmmm .... Birthday suit? Saran-Wrap? Fuck-me boots? ... Well, if the Doc is hot, then by all means ... ;)

2:46 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

When you're in a hospital setting, scrubs. In a more family clinic setting, "formal" attire. Plus,if you're in the hospital, who wants to get cooze on their nice clothes? Anything can happen. Oh, and I agree that scrubs are quite comfy.

3:10 PM  
Blogger One Sick Cookie said...

As a patient:
Wear scrubs in the hospital. It looks like you're not afraid to *gasp* touch your patients.

In a clinical setting:
Nice shirt, tie, etc. When I see a doc in a clinic donning scrubs I can't help but think "You taking traumas in this office today?"

As a co-worker:
Scrubs are our right. We graduated college, we're smart, we work stupid hours, dammit we get to wear pajama-like clothing to work. Neener neener!

3:28 PM  
Blogger gabbiana said...

A shirt and tie and slacks are sexy and all, but not at 4 AM when you've been seeing patients for hours and hours and everything is wrinkly. At least scrubs are disposable (or, uh, quick-changable); you can always grab a new pair when the overnight-funk sets in. However! Improperly-fitted scrubs do have a tendency to grab one's butt in the most unflattering way, or to sag so much that you could be walking around with a loaded diaper under there. Beware the ill-fitting pants!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doctors always look better in scrubs!

3:33 PM  
Blogger nurse pica said...

wear wat u want...as long as u smell good and do ur job well.

3:35 PM  
Blogger elizabby said...

Hey, did you see the recent BMJ article about how ties carry nosocomial infections?! Forget the tie (unless you want wear a bow tie, in which case I'm never reading you again!)

Scrubs are fine at night, shirt and nice pants during the day. No jeans, no sneakers, no jewellery. This is a professional setting. It's not only the patients you have to impress (they want to know you take their illness seriously) but the families will be paying even more attention.

Like the Academy awards, isn't it always the spectators who are the most opinionated?

3:46 PM  
Blogger The Angry Frenchie said...

I actually had this conversation with an MD/MPH student and the research tech at the lab at which I was employed.

The MD/MPH student maintained that you must wear really nice clothes, or you'll freak out the patient. The research tech claimed that if you dressed like a total slob he'd have way more respect for the doctor because it would show that he was like him. They fought for a while, and in the end, we ended up where we started; no where.

Personally, I see no harm in scrubs; maybe drape a white coat over em for extra measure, just to differentiate your appearance from that of a nurse, to appeal to the more discriminating patients.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd always prefer to see a doctor in scrubs. It's just suppost to be that way. When somone sees scrubs they automaticly think doctor, but when someone sees a shirt and tie they think ... business school? Anyway, with as much work as doctors do, why not let them wear pajamas to work? As a doctor you've earned the right.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell you what ... send me some scrubs and I'll do a photo shoot in them ... ;)

7:15 PM  
Blogger Tidy Bowl said...

Totally depends on the situation... if you're in your office, in a practice, I expect a shirt and tie, or at least something dress-casual. If you're in an ER or admitting somewhere in a hospital, I would expect scrubs. If you're doing rounds in a hospital it could probably go either way. If you're wearing scrubs, wear a tshirt underneath them... if you really do look hot, I would appreciate the distraction from my pain, but I really don't want to see your chest hair. If you're wearing a shirt and tie, please don't wear a suitcoat. That's just a bit too much for me!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Tidy Bowl said...

Actually, I take back what I said earlier. I once read a news story about a study that found that ties carry bacteria and junk... so skip the tie. Either a (comfortable) dress shirt and no tie or scrubs.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

If you actually do look hot in scrubs, PLEASE wear them. But if you just like to SAY you look hot in scrubs, then go with slacks and a dress shirt not buttoned all the way up with no tie.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the general consensus. Scrubs for hospital, get gussied up for office.

I used to be a receptionist in an ENT office. I was given the choice of scrubs or office attire. I chose office attire because I didn't want any of the patients to think that I had any sort of reliable medical knowlegdge. If you wear the same clothes as the nurses, you give patients reason to think you might have a clue as to what's going on with their treatment, when in reality the totality of your job is to schedule appointments and answer the phones.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Dominique said...

Uh yeah... for the patient I'm not sure it really matters much. As a mother I would almost PREFER you wear scrubs (easier to clean). Easier for you, I mean how many sets of clothing do you want to keep on hand in case you get something on you (which you KNOW is bound to happen). Plus if you wear dark scrubs it hides more of the icky stuff. Good Luck!
P.S. I also pick scrubs for the fact that there is nothing like going to work in what feels like PJ's. Now that's a good day.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Marissa Engel said...

No, Dr., you are the gifted writer. And you're (almost) a doctor to boot. And if you have any fashion sense at all and your testicles in tact, you might possibly be the perfect man.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Scrubs feel more relaxed, definitely, though I don't know how I'd feel about "relaxed" if I'd just gone through chemo for cancer.

Just don't succumb to the ugly sweaters. You know the ones I'm talking about.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

wow, you got 76 comments in a little more than a day!!!?? must be a record! I wore my scrubs for the first time today in nursing school. You are right, very comfy. They'd make great jammies. However, you couldn't possibly look as hot in yours as I do in mine - hee hee. my vote is WEAR WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT, just don't kill me! I live in Hawaii. Some of the doctors here show up for rounds on Sundays in shorts (postpartum is where I've witnessed this)! I personally want a doctor who appears to be a real person that I can relate to (cuz then I know he has feelings, not all business when I'm suffering)...formal attire can be intimidating. Good luck.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

P.S. but if you have a cute butt, you really should wear nice dress pants ...irresistable ;-)

11:49 PM  
Blogger Meeko's Momma said...

i vote for scrubs-always a prefer a doc who doesn't mind wearing normal people clothes and isn't afraid to get dirty--funeral directors wear ties

1:14 AM  
Blogger lee said...

Who gives a toss what the doctor is wearing-so long as it's clean-in fact THEY should be taking notice of what I'M wearing ;).(Birthday suit could prove to be a bit painful with sharp implements about.Nice white swan outfit ala bjork could provide some light comic relief for all-even nurse theresa.You could swan about the halls,and your head could probably reach up your own backside as well and you could be just like a real doctor-sorry,it had to be said :).

3:26 AM  
Blogger Sarabeth said...

Start in formal and change to scrubs, but personally, I don't care what the doc is wearing. It's all about the confidence and the way I'm treated as a person.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love scrubs. Shirt and tie is standard for the office but definitely not for when I'm on call. If I ever have an excuse to dress casually, I do it. Next year when I'm an intern and no longer a lowly med student I plan on dressing as casually as possible at all times.

One thing that bugs me is that women just toss on a sweater, Tshirt, blouse, whatever and it's "professional". Why do we have to choke ourselves with a piece of silk?

4:52 AM  
Blogger re-belle said...

scrubs every time...i dont want my doc in a starchy shirt and strangling tie when i might be fighting for my life or some such thing...

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to work in education but now work in a hospital. I have been amazed at how in this corporate, button-down setting people are so caught up in how things look rather than how things are. The suits are too formal. When I am in the hospital with my kid....I have bed head and am in pseudo PJs sleeping in the fetal position on the window seat. No need to wake up to Doctor McDreamy in red carpet attire (or was that just a dream?). Anyway---I am not mainstream----but would appreciate a kind, compassionate medical professional in a hawaiian shirt & flip flops over a cold fish in a 3 piece suit! On a related note---a lot of hospital nurses wear t-shirts and scrub pants---esp in pediatrics-- Why not?

7:03 AM  
Blogger Pat & Reg said...

Scrubs are fine. Be comfortable. I do like the white lab coat though. Can you wear that over them?

7:56 AM  
Blogger Margie the Pickle Princess said...

Ok, I didn't have time to read all the other comments, so I hope I'm not repeating exactly what someone else said.

I think that when a doctor wears a tie; a) he's a stuck up prick who's going to charge me too damn much and thinks he knows everything, and b) he's not really going to listen to my needs and is just going to rush me through and out with a quick fix to get rid of me.

And besides, if you look hot in scrubs, I say go with the hot! I wish I could see. You should post a pic. :)

10:47 AM  
Blogger sb8q said...

I vote scrubs in the hospital or any sort of clinic setting. If you are working in an office outside of the hospital, scrubs seem a little weird. However, You should always have some sort of shirt under your scrubs (patients really don't want to see your chest hair), and a white coat over the scrubs works too.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nosicomial infections from ties says the BMJ. Shit, if folks were really concerned about keeping bacterial/fungal fauna down, they should try wearing disposable paper slippers or installing the adhesive peel off pads in front of every entry/exit.

Appearance matters. People are visual. People wear uniforms, everybody. Yea, they may not necessarily be mandated, but our appearance communicates what we choose it to.

A professional appearance is just that, professional. I work in a hem/onc clinic and am attending medical school in the fall and it appears to me that patients are really looking for….hold your breath…. Physicians to be genuinely fucking concerned!!!

A few months ago a pathology resident came through whose chosen daily attire was a gray, formally white, lab coat, cracked clogs, scrubs, unshaven, and ALWAYS had a cool guy stocking cap crammed over his 70’s hair. Some patients actively sought NOT to be seen by this resident and he had more issues than any other resident I’ve seen make the rotation. Not a dumb dude, but looked like he was auditioning for the next inane iteration of a hospital docudrama.

Scrubs have their place, as do more formal clothes.

I’d love to see someone show up for their medical school interview in scrubs. Now that would take balls.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Febrifuge said...

When I was a tech in the ER, people thought I was a doctor. When I shadow in clinic and I'm wearing a shirt and tie, people think I'm a doctor. Ergo (and yeah, I'm assuming my anecdotal evidence matters, but thas' how I roll, yo), where you're at and what you're doin' are clearly the more important factors.

So if I'm the patient, here's what I'm thinking. Dude in scrubs in the clinic, when everyone else is wearing ties and jackets: tech. Dude in tie and jacket when everyone else is wearing scrubs: possibly a local investigative journalist looking for dangerous practices. What kind of place is this, anyhow?

If your whole admitting team was in a state of sartorial solidarity, then the look might even help patients to feel well-taken-care-of.

Heme-Onc probably just got razzed in junior high because he had the wrong Garanimals(tm), and fought long and hard to be able to work the Brooks Brothers wardrobe. He wants it to be as tough for everyone else.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a med student in Australia... basically all the doctors here (interns, residents, registrars and consultants) wear shirts and ties... scrubs are pretty much reserved for people who just got out of surgery and are going to pop back in...

there are a few old school docs who wear white coats.. but they are few and far between... i think that goes against the "non-paternalistic" type o medicine we're sposed to be working towards...

then theres the one or two docs in every hospital who wear bow ties... just to be different...

its hard enoug to tell who everyone is.. with every nurse wearing a different damned uniform... so its good the docs look the same.. (and lets us med students pass as docs every now and again =P )

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm partial to a no-sheets waterbed with chocolate syrup over the fuck me boots any day! ....hhmmm

anyway...who cares what you wear? however, one added bonus is that, with wearing scrubs, you might stumble across a nurse you wanna shag, you can easily get a quick piece in a broom closet and not have to worry about wrinkling your clothes....or having them on inside out, for that matter. mmm....professionalism at its best.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First point: maybe the patients' preferences regarding your attire doesn't matter. I mean, they'd probably not prefer to be in the hospital (and I do mean the HOSPITAL, not the country club golf and family medicine clinic), but there they are...

Second point: you ever been to a party where you were significantly over- or under-dressed? It's not pleasant. That disparity pales in comparison to that between a Dr. in a tie and a patient with a flimsy gown with the ass open in the back.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please wear a suit and tie and come in to my hospital room as I sit in some assine open-backed garmet that totally demoralizes me. Please widen the whole doctor-patient gap a little more, couldja?

Scrubs are fine, especially if you actually look hot in them.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Holmes said...

How about scrubs with a necktie and suspenders?

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say if you're working 30 hours straight, you wear whatever you damn well please. If you're mostly in ER or in the OR, definitely the scrubs - lord knows what you'd get on your clothes. If you're in the office/clinic, I say comfortable casual is the way to go. A tie is for researchers and specialists who worry more about what they look like than what they are doing.

And if you look hot in scrubs, wear them, white coats just make people nervous.

6:40 AM  
Blogger K2 said...

Personally I really don't care what doctors (fake or real) wear as long as they listen to me. I hate it when they don't listen..it has nothing to do with attire.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Well, I gotta ring in on this one. In Israel, the world capital of unprofessionalism, the only time I have EVER seen a doctor wear a suit or tie is if he is going to appear on international tv. I also don't think I've ever, *ever* called a doctor by anything other than a first name.

Scrubs are much loved everywhere. Somehow, they decided to color code them - at my hospital, nurses are one shade of blue, surgeons are green, and weirdly enough, internal medicine is in white scrubs, often with a white coat on top.

Ah, at some other hospital in ob/gyn, they asked us to put white coats or surgical gowns over scrubs when we left the operating theater and roamed other areas of the hospital, or to change scrubs when we came back in.

But the hospitals give the scrubs here, none of those dumb ass care bear print shit.

When older docs are in a clinic or whatever, they usually wear sandals (technically against the rules, I guess), clogs, jeans, and a t-shirt, or a short consultation jacket. In intenal med when we weren't in scrubs, I wore jeans and t-shirts under an open white coat (including the Vote for Pedro shir t, etc) and no one ever said anything.

I must say though, this report is making me reconsider residency in the states.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I'm in the middle of my first internal medicine experience - complete with a ridiculous amount of call.

Frankly, I don't care at ALL whether people like my clothes at 4 a.m. If the scrubs I'm wearing are that offensive, I'd be happy to go back to bed.

I can't believe 'medstudentgod' referred to family docs as "quick fix docs". I'm just going to go away now, shaking my head.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your head has become so big, my friend, it's a wonder you can fit your 'fine ass' scrubs over it.

always love putting you in your place, Kim

7:56 PM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Scrubs, all the way. (Am I influenced by the tv show of the same name? probably... I watch too much "scrubs" and "house")

It depends on the demographic... older people tend to prefer the prof look... I like to think the tv generations prefer the "on the job" scrubs thing... I'm sure you look totally hot, haha.

But then I'm just a teenage "scrubs" fan.

11:39 PM  
Blogger UnsinkableMB said...

IMO, if you're in the hospital, scrubs are appropriate. If you're in clinic, then go with the nice shirt, tie, white coat. I'm in the OR all the time, so all I see are Docs in scrubs. I must say, it's a nice look.

As for docs of the baby boomer generation, my mom is in that category. From working with her while I was in nursing school, I observed that she is usually dressed in "business casual" with a white coat in the hospital and whatever-the-heck-color coat she wants in her office. She doesn't seem to sweat about the clothing issue since she is able to develop a good rapport with patients rather quickly. It must be that in addition to her clothes, she wears a friendly smile.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs all the way! If someone came into my room at a hospital with a tie on I would think I had died and the funeral director had come to collect. There is nothing worse than an uptight idiot in a business suit. I would be much more comfortable if you walked in with scrubs on or jeans/slacks and a nice shirt. Stay away from the formal wear, you are much to cool for that crap!

1:57 AM  
Blogger Peg said...

You are so cute and I dont even know what you look like!
I think scrubs while in hosptal on call, casual attire if visiting patient in the morning and in the office or clinic, suit or white coat casual.. tie optional. I have the most adorable orthopod and I have seen him in all of the above. The bottom line is that it really doesnt matter as long as you give good care.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Random "Frequent Flyer" Dent said...

Story Time:
I was at a Tae Kwon Do tournament when *bang* my connected with a bony sticking out part around teh elbow area of another girl. It hurt. Alot. I ended up going to the emergency room for X-Rays...
I got a med student in a suit, but I didn't know he was a med student, because silly rural me (i was visiting a city) I htought he was some lawyer or sumthin. I almost kicked him when he sat down and touched my foot during his introduction.

In an ER, especially at night, go with scrubs. I've learned to associate scrubs with healthcare professionals, and overnight rotations, you need something you can move in. Beside's if they expect guys to wear ties, does that mean they expect women to wear skirts and heels?

however, if you are in a clinic, and seeing patients with appointments, looking somewhat professional is a good idea.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

scrubs. be comfortable dude!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Patty said...

Always wear a lab coat, whether you are in scrubs or street clothes. The lab coat should have your name, title, and institution embroidered over the left breast pocket. The hospital should provide this for you. Originally scrubs were intended to be worn only in the operating room or newborn nursery, and each person who left the suite for a break was to cover the scrubs with a lab coat so “outside germs” didn’t get on the scrubs.

If you are staying on-call at the hospital, wear scrubs. If you are on-call while away from the hospital, wear street clothes. When a surgeon comes into the ER at midnight to do an emergency appendectomy, wearing street clothes says to the patient “I was not lounging around the hospital waiting for something to do, I interrupted my private life to come in and help you.” When a patient’s family demands to know what’s taking so long for the doctor to get here, the nurse can explain “he has to drive to the hospital” but it doesn’t sink in until they see the physician arrive fully dressed.

If you are doing a medical rotation a dress shirt and tie with a lab coat is the way to go, it implies that you are interested in a broader approach to medicine. If you need to examine a patient who is “draining” ask the nurse to get you a gown to wear over your lab coat, so you don’t contaminate yourself and the next patient. If you are in a specialty that is mostly medical but sometimes interventional, scrubs = had to/might have to scrub in. If you do a procedure at the hospital that makes you late for clinic, wearing scrubs with a lab coat sends the message “sorry I’m behind schedule, but I had to save someone’s life before I could come over to the office, and I didn‘t take time to change because I wanted to honor YOUR appointment.”

I have some bad news for you: the younger the physician, the more conservatively he must dress to have credibility. When you are old enough to have such a huge client base that you are turning patients away, then you can wear what ever you want.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Patty said...

They're called "fuck me boots"? Uh oh, suddenly I'm embarrassed.

11:14 AM  
Blogger MustangSally said...

In clinic/offices, wear something nice-looking. It doesn't have to include a tie, but a nice shirt and neatly pressed pants are good for men. Women get away with a bit more because we have a wide range of choices (but then agian you have more opportunities to get in trouble too!).

In the hospital, I think it depends on your role. If you're an ER physician, something nice and a white coat over it is good. I remember when my mom had emergency surgery late one night, and the surgeon came in wearing nice dress clothes (tie included) and a white coat to examine her after she'd been admitted and before surgery. After the surgery when he came to let me know how it had gone he was wearing green scrubs and a green cap, and I think that was great becuase it does kind of put you on an equal footing with patients. If a family member has just had surgery and you're waiting to find out if they lived or died, it's nice to have someone in comfy clothes come and talk to you. The dress clothes help reassure you beforehand that this person is a professional, and then afterwards the more casual clothing makes you more relaxed in their presence.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The white coat makes doctors look like pompous asses - if you want to make people comfortable, then you have to be comfortable, so whatever works for you works for me.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs no question. I've had a job where they expected me to dress up too, and why? To get all dirty and ruin my clothes. No thanks. Plus, quite frankly I'd be uncomfortable with a doctor who was all dressed up.

When I am in the hospital it's because I am sick. I don't really care what anyone looks like, the most important thing is that hospital professionals are sincere, genuine, respectful, appropriately humourous and caring. That should shine through at all times, regardless of a person's attire.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Summer said...

If you are on call but have to be in the clinic during the day of call, wear: Dress pants, nice shirt & white coat. Tie, if you want. Bring scrubs to change into after clinic.

On call, in hospital only: scrubs & crocs all day/night.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone with an MD/DO or <2 years away from an MD/DO should wear a white coat AT ALL TIMES, unless they're wearing a surgical gown (or unless they're in psychiatry). I don't buy any of the crap about not wearing the white coat so that you are at the same level as your patients. If you're someone who's not "book-smart" or hasn't had a lot of "book learnin'", you probably sure as hell don't want to receive medical care from someone on your own level. And let's be honest, most of the population fits this category. (Obviously, I emphatically agree with all the other SUBCONSCIOUS "same level - don't be a jerk" stuff like trying to sit at or below the level of your patients, letting them talk without interruption for the first several minutes of the interaction, asking them if they have any questions, etc.)

Scrubs are appropriate only for people in surgical fields, emergency medicine, or when on call (during which scrubs are fair game for the full 30 hours - no changing for rounds bullshit). In my institution, attendings wear scrubs almost EXCLUSIVELY in the OR, and change to shirt/tie if they need to see a patient on the floor.

Otherwise, if criteria for scrubs are not met, it's shirt/tie all the way (again, with the exception of psychiatry). The tie spreading disease literature is fascinating and may one day provoke widespread change, but for now, male doctors and doctors-to-be's are resigned to wear ties with their shirts.

There is absolutely no reason, ever, to wear a suit for patient care. I know some places are weird about this (i.e. Mayo), but seriously, I look very askance at people in the hospital wearing suits, because they're either the administration, lawyers, or drug reps. Docs just don't wear suits, at least around here.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for anything that looks and acts like a doctor.

When my dad was dying, the palliative care resident came in looking like she was going to a party...at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Sparkly open-toe sandals, sleeveless shirt, tight pants, loose flowing hair, jewelry. Yeah, she was pretty, but that was the last thing on anyone's mind - we just wanted her to be a good doctor, and she wasn't. I would have cut her more slack if she had been professionally dressed and at least looked the part.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Where I used to work in dot com land we would dress up for Halloween like big two-year olds. One year, I went as an ER doctor and wore scrubs. It was the most comfortable workday of my entire life.

As a patient it would make sense to me that the doc would be wearing scrubs in the hospital. If I were going to their office for my yearly check under the hood, then that would be odd. . .

1:15 AM  
Blogger Scott E D said...

If you're as hot as you say you are then defiantly the scrubs, preferably with no underwear. :)

7:06 AM  
Blogger Not this time said...

Scrubs. A doctor in scrubs looks likes he or she is DOING something... whereas a doctor in a tie looks like he's just staying too clean... you know, like if I thought I had TSS, I don't want the doctor with a tie on going in there for a swab... bring on the scrubs.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shirt and tie - I think there is a lot of confidence to be had in someone who takes (or at least looks like) they take their job seriously. Unfortunately people judge someone by what they look like and how they carry themselves and on first blush someone who dresses up looks more serious.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Mean Red said...

hmmm I'm still going for the saran wrap and the fuck me boots...but for work, wear what you're comfortable in.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you're right - scrubs are damn comfortable to wear anywhere, any time, day or night. I even wear them at home, having brought a few pairs home after late nights or overnight shifts.

But unless there's a good reason for wearing them, like just having come out of OT or something (or just about to go in), shirt and tie please!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Milkberry said...

I vote scrubs!

A doctor in ties and pressed shirts are just like a football (soccer) coach in Armani suit during a game. They just don't look the part.

But that's just my opinion :D

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of good advice here and I'm torn over the scrubs or not. Chest hair is so icky (scrubs) but I wouldn't want a frat boy, either. Ew.

So, are you going to talk shoes? Please! A lot of docs wear CROCS. OMG! That's so weird. If I got a male doc and he was wearing clogs, I'd pine for the male doc wearing NewBalances. Just know, people notice your kicks, too.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't believe you got so many f-ing comments. my two cents is that i think a lab coat is best. that way it doesn't matter what you wear underneath and it is still comfortable and yet you are still oozing the doctorness.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Susan Harper said...

ID where I can see it, an introduction, and a face I can see is what I like. I prefer people to be wearing what looks natural to them, rather than looking patronisingly like they're trying to dress up as their job title for my benefit. I do like doctors to look clean and washable is much more reassuring than dry-clean only. Scrubs tick all the boxes.

Importantly for t-shirt wearing doctors in informal countries: if any part of the outfit has words on it let them not be rude ones.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs it is at least it gives the impression you can be found in the hospital in case of need. Shirt and tie gives the impression you are just passing through!

10:23 AM  
Blogger t said...

Thankfully, I haven't spent a lot of time in hospitals. I picked up a friend after on-call duty once, and friend was very smelly. Bad mouth odor. I would say that's not a hot doctor outfit.
My ideal medical person is neat and clean and not very smelly.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck me boots under the white coat. ladies this is the key to honoring in your rotations.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in our second year of med school we had to do an "ethics research project". our group did it on physician attire 'cuz we thought it would be fun to play dress-up. we surveyed a few hundred people in doctor's offices and found that, for males, a suit and tie was actually perceived the worst, by very far, and scrubs or business casual (nice shirt no tie) did best. so the hem-onc guy can suck it!

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my most preferred doctor outfit is jeans, pink uggs, my pink fleece and my hello kitty adorned stethoscope. and with this outfit i won over the little girl who put "no dr. so-and-so allowed" signs all over her door. peds rules.
if you're nice to your patients, you can wear whatever you want and they won't care. if you're not, you can still wear whatever you want because they still won't care.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say it is not your appearance but your demeanor that counts...

But since we are talking about appearance I'd say...

1- In patients aren't really going to give 2 shits...they have bigger and better problems.

2- If there is any hands on patient care involved, wear scrubs for sanitarty purposes for you and for your patients.

3- If there is no "hands on" "down and dirty" patient care going on, say office hours...then professional attire with or without your labcoat. Looks nice either way but it is all in how you present yourself.

Presenting yourself:

You could walk out from surgery and talk to a family just in scrubs or you could put a labcoat over your scrubs or you could take the time to change completely but I don't really think the family will care either way...they want to know the status of their loved one.

Can I say it again? It's all in how you present yourself.

Be professional, be focused on them or their family member, be short and sweet, answer their questions to the point, act like you care for a moment or 2...oh yes, this is a good one, approach with passive postures...like if you are walking up to a family, hold your hands behind your back, when you get to them, greet them, hold your elbows at 90 degrees and lock your hands together...it will keep you from standing there like an idiot and it will do 2 thinks...you have a passive stance on approach, a concerned to the point stance upon speaking and then you can get the hell out and you looked golden through it all.

Works like a charm.

Good luck to you fake doctor. Be sure to let us know the results of your survey.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You won't get "fired" from the hospital for wearing scrubs.
And even if some people prefer dress shirts and shoes, they wouldn't be surprised by any means if you showed up in scrubs.

I wear scrubs. I'm aware of this
article, too. People are just wishy
washy sometimes. If you told them some reason you were wearing them, they would then think dress shirts aren't right anymore.
Show that doc what's up.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 more vote for scrubs.

All sorts of professionals (and fake professionals) wear shirt and tie. Only doctors get to wear the scrubs.

Also, as someone who puts comfort above almost any other factor when it comes to dress, I like to see others comfortable as well, especially if they're there to help me (the patient).

I know I work more efficiently when comfortable... wonder if that's been studied? Doctor's ability to do their job well should be at least as important as patient preferences when it comes to dress. Plus aren't ties considered expensive germ collectors anyway???

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By all means, wear scrubs. When a doctor comes and speaks with me I want hard at work. A suit and tie doesn't show a patient that the doctor is currently working and dealing with patients. It says that they have spare time to spend on fashion and less to spend dealing with their patients.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

What ever in the hospital/clinic, but for heaven sake, DON'T wear scrubs with the surgical cap all wet and sweaty to the public library to check Wall Street after morning surgery, like one doctor used to do. Seriously. Gag! Keep the stuff you wear with sick folk in the hospital, not next to me in line at the grocery store, or at the next table at a restaurant. I only care if you are a doctor if you are actually treating me.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it all depends on where you are. Scrubs are comfortable Im a lab jockie..and I have to wear scurbs. usualy a long sleave t shirt underneath. its easy and clean, the only draw back is your mistaken for a nurse alot. of course no patients see me and i basicaly sit around on second shift(5pm-130am) waiting for some ER doc to send something nasty our way

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scrubs, there clean, attractive, and don't remind your sick and needing to be saved pts about the astronomical bill they will be recieving. Ties and labs coats harbor every type of bacteria and contribute to nosocomial infection rates(bad, bad, bad, for the med student, and very bad for the nurse (me) who cleans up after you. lol.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Buy Tamiflu said...

I think it is a kind of instinct. People have been beautifying themselves from the very ancient times and clothes is an element of it.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Scrubs, scrubs, scrubs. They make me feel more comfortable and a button up shirt and tie with dress shoes and slacks makes it more difficult to move around I think. Scrubs, on the other hand, I think are appropriate for most medical jobs.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Asal said...

Ever notice how scrubs and prison jumpsuits look pretty much the same?

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Anonymous Leather Coats said...

Scrubs... If you showed up in my room in the middle of the night in a shirt and tie, I would think you were from hospital admin looking for a check...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you EVER err when you look polished? And the word "polished" is key. Whether it's scrubs with a white-coat, or slacks with a button down, the look should be well groomed and respectable. This look should be for anyone interacting with the public, and not just doctors.

Who really wants to see a saggy-bottomed, dirty tennis-shoe wearing, scraggly bearded, rumpled, chest-hair showing ogre suchering up my cut?

Err on the side of caution and don't appear slobby.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in cardiology and have come to know many of the cardiologists that pass through and perform procedures there. Almost all of them wear shirt/tie ensemble. The best of all of them wears scrubs religiously - never seen him out of them. And he really is the best - blows the rest out of the water.

3:44 PM  
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