Perceptions of patients, physicians, and Medical students on physicians’ appearance.

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Perceptions of patients, physicians, and Medical students on physicians' appearance.

Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2013 Sep-Oct;59(5):452-9

Authors: Yonekura CL, Certain L, Karen SK, Alcântara GA, Ribeiro LG, Rodrigues-Júnior AL, Baddini-Martinez J

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impressions made by different styles of dress and appearance adopted by physicians on patients, medical students and other physicians in Brazil.
METHODS: Two hundred fifty nine patients, 119 students, and 99 physicians answered questions related to a panel of male and female physicians' pictures covering the following styles: white clothing; white coat; formal, informal, and casual garments; and surgical scrubs. They also reported their level of discomfort with a list of 20 items for professional appearance of both genders.
RESULTS: Most of the answers of the volunteers involved using white clothes or white coat, and in many situations the percentages of preference referred for these styles were close. Physicians and students preferred physicians wearing surgical scrubs for emergency visits, and doctors with informal style for discussing psychological problems with male professionals. Patients most often chose white clothing in response to questions. Regarding male professionals, all three groups reported high degree of discomfort for the use of shorts and bermuda shorts, multiple rings, facial piercing, sandals, extravagant hair color, long hair, and earrings. For females, high levels of discomfort were reported to shorts, blouses exposing the belly, facial piercing, multiple rings, extravagant hair color, and heavy makeup.
CONCLUSION: Brazilian patients, physicians, and medical students form a better initial impression of physicians using clothing traditionally associated with the profession and exhibiting more conventional appearance. The use of entirely white garments appears to be a satisfactory option in this country.

PMID: 24119377 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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