Current Issue

Volume 64, Number 5, September 2012

Optimal Physicians’ Attire: Patients’ and Physician s’ Preference
Suwannee Suraseranivongse, M.D.,Kaittiyos Kuldejchaichan, M.Ed.,Arunee Leesirichaikul, BA, LLB, Barrister-at-Law
Department of Anesthesiology, Postgraduate Education Division, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok10700, Thailand.


Background: The use of a white coat has been less popular in some countries due to the spread of healthcare-associated infection and changing doctor-patient relationship towards provider-patient relationship.
Objective: To identify optimal physicians’ attire based on current preferences of both patients and physicians in Thailand.
Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted in a university hospital by distributing a questionnaire to 350 patients, 100 faculties and 100 residents during September to December 2010. The opinion on physicians’ attire were rated as a 4-points Likert scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”. The attires which were rated “strongly agree” and “agree” from at least 75% of both patients and physicians were defined as “optimal attires”, 50-74% were defined as probable optimal attires, less than 50% were defined as non-optimal attires.
Results: The response rate of patients, faculties and residents were 88.3%, 50% and 73%. The optimal attires included residents’ uniform, short or long sleeved shirts, name tags, trousers, belts for males; trousers, skirts and blouses with conventional style and color for females. Suit was considered improper and neck tie was not compulsory. Patients favored white coat more than physicians. Most casual attires were not considered proper except athletic shoes for both genders in emergency situation and female sandals with conventional styles and colors.
Conclusion: The optimal attires based on patients and physicians’ preference were generally formal. Suit and neck tie were not compulsory. White coat was more preferred by patients than physicians.

Full Text of this Article