Satisfying patients is not just about making the right diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment. Patients need to know they are seeing a friendly, caring, professional physician. But how do patients know? It’s complicated.
Patients’ perceptions are affected by all sorts of variables. Researchers reporting in the Archives of Dermatology looked at what kind of dress patients expect from their physicians. It’s a moving target, changing with our culture. Ties and white coats—traditional doctor attire—aren’t uniformly recognized as needed any more. Some patients, especially kids, can do without them.
Still, physicians will do well to wear dress that communicates to patients the doctor’s professional, caring approach to patient care.