Patient and House Officer Attitudes on Physician Attire and Etiquette

Jocelyn J. Dunn, Thomas H. Lee, Jack M. Percelay, J. Gregory Fitz, Lee Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

To study patient preferences on physician attire and etiquette, we interviewed 200 patients on the general medical services of teaching hospitals in Boston and San Francisco. Of these 200 patients, 65% believed physicians should wear a white coat, 27% believed physicians should not wear tennis shoes, 52% believed physicians should not wear blue jeans, 37% believed male physicians should wear neckties, and 34% believed female physicians should wear dresses or skirts. Forty percent of patients wanted physicians to address them by first name, but only 10% of patients wanted to address their physicians by first name. A concurrent mailed survey of 74 medical house staff members at the two hospitals revealed wide variability in physicians’ attire and in how patients were addressed at each institution. Thus, many house officers had habits that were less formal than a substantial portion of their patients preferred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-68
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume257
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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