White coats good – sandals bad

What should Italian hospital doctors wear (if they want to maintain patients’ confidence)?
In the first study of its kind (in Italy) researchers Sotgiu G, Nieddu P, Mameli L, Sorrentino E, Pirina P, Porcu A, Madeddu S, Idini M, Di Martino M, Delitala G, Mura I, and Dore MP, at the  Epidemiology and Medical Statistics Unit, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Italy, showed photos of male and female doctors (in varying modes of attire) to hospital patients. And analysis of 765 completed questionnaires showed that the Italian patients were clearly in favour of white coats, nametags, and well kept teeth, but considerably less keen on long hair, visible tattoos, and body piercings. And, for women, the use of trousers and/or excessive makeup was frowned upon.

“This study clearly indicates patients’ needs for a sober professional image of their physician, deriving from a standard dress code and attention to detail in personal grooming …”

See: ‘Evidence for preferences of Italian patients for physician attire‘ in  Patient Preference and Adherence, Volume 2012:6 Pages 361 – 367