That whole dress for success thing. Does the white coat guarantee the best care?

Think twice before you judge

Does the attire determine professionalism?

I stumbled upon this article over at Kevin MD. The overall message of the article was talking about the ‘most appropriate’ attire for professionals, specifically physicians. Although this can be applied to most healthcare professions including Nurses (and of course Nurse Practitioners).

Would your trust a provider in a suit and tie more than you would a provider who showed up in slacks, or even jeans?


Do the clothes really make the man (or woman)?

Just because they ‘look’ the part, are they really fulfilling the part? I’ve worked with some of the most disheveled professionals whom I would entrustĀ  with my life or the life of my loved ones. And on the other side of the coin, I’ve worked with the most pristine looking professionals that I would not let touch me or my loved ones with a blood pressure cuff!!

I’m not saying we all should start wearing jeans to work, I completely believe in dressing for success. But I also feel we should think twice about appearance dictating ability. This topic is synonymous with professionals who have tattoos. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Things that make me go “Grr”.

After all, the way health care is going, you may be graded on your appearance similar to the way television personalities judge celebrities on fashion police.

via Does the attire determine professionalism?.

Image source: Flickr


One thought on “That whole dress for success thing. Does the white coat guarantee the best care?

  1. It used to be the doctors were almost all men in suits and ties and nurses were women in white dresses. Now a doctor can come in wearing scrubs, jeans or sweatpants and who is going to say boo about it. But as an advanced practice provider and a woman I feel I have to fight to be taken seriously as the same kind of professional. That means I have to present myself in every way – the way I dress, talk, carry myself, speak to the team, follow up – everything as the utmost professional, because all eyes are on me. Most of my patients are older and it’s not uncommon for them to expect a male doctor to be the one with the answers and to be in charge of their care. If I came in wearing a miniskirt, with my stuff hanging in their face I lose my credibility. And if one of my interns comes in wearing something that would be unbecoming and offensive to our patient population I would insist they change before rounding. It is important the patients have confidence in the team. Just like when you see what people think is fine for wearing to Walmart and it’s really what you should only wear in your living room. There is a time and place. The workspace should be clean, well groomed and appropriately dressed with appropriate language.

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