Blog | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dress for success or sterility?


You may think that your quality of care and adherence to guidelines are crucial measures of medical performance, but physicians' clothing choice, of all things, seems to be the quality issue that won't go away. (At least not until something more entertaining comes along for medical journalists to write about.) We first analyzed patients' preferences related to doctors' dress back in April 2007.

Now, the Brits are taking action on the subject, according to the New York Times. The National Health Service has banned ties and encouraged docs to wear short-sleeve shirts, with a goal toward reducing the spread of infections. Debate has ensued, as apparently evidence is mixed (and limited) on whether ties are overall good or bad for patient care.

One reader came out definitely against ties in a response to our article. What do you think? Is it more important to gain that little bit of patient respect garnered by a tie? Or would you rather reduce the possibility that your clothes are spreading germs?