doctorFred

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to date, the following people have tricked me (unintentionally) into thinking they were doctors vis-a-vis the long white coat:

pharmacist
midwife
nurse practitioner
graduate researcher
micro lab assistant (for reals)

not that i support medical elitism, but shouldn't you be able to quickly scan a room and accurately identify who the physicians are?
 
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I just did the same thing the other day. I skirted my way gingerly around a guy in a long white coat who was blocking the physician workroom (thinking he was the Endo fellow as the attendings don't wear coats) and not wanting to be the person to ask him to kindly move outta the way. Came to find out a little later that he was a 1st year med student?? I honestly have no idea how/why he had a long coat and never got to asking him. Needless to say, the next time he was in the way, I gave the cursory, "Excuse me," and brushed him out of the aisle.
 

Moonglow

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Many of our MD's dress like porters. :D Always look at the indentification badge, look at it even when someone says that (s)he is a "doctor".
 

JonnyG

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At my program you stand out more if you do not wear a white coat. Every nursing position above direct patient care gets a white coat. I do not mind if someone has a doctorate wearing one of them but they mostly do it to trick patients into giving them the respect and authority doctors have.
 

zenman

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My barber wears a white coat. However, my respect for his skills went downhill after he messed up my moustache last week.

I still respect the butcher at my local meat market though as he wears a white coat.
 

Substance

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We as a profession need to take back the white coat!

The white coat has long been a symbol of the scientific rigor and integrity of medicine. Such a symbol enhances the trust that patient's have for their doctor. It also helps give medicine a unique image of professionalism.

By allowing others to usurp our symbol, our public image is becoming denigrated.

Just as nobody but police officers can wear a police uniform and badge, so should it be that only physicians and those in training to become one should be able to wear the long-standing symbol of the physician.

Nurses should be banned from wearing it, as well as EVERY OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. They are not doctors. That is not their uniform.
 

Touchdown

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Count me in the I dont care category, as soon as I am no longer required to (ie finish residency) I will not be wearing one. I dont feel the need to parade around my status, and feel sorry for the people who do. You only need to introduce yourself as Dr... and youve established your crediblity when needed.
 

w a n g

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dont forget the local 1st year community college nursing students with the long coats as they shadow their nurses. Especially the 45+year old male ones. Now that is one big psych out.
 

Knicks

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We as a profession need to take back the white coat!

The white coat has long been a symbol of the scientific rigor and integrity of medicine. Such a symbol enhances the trust that patient's have for their doctor. It also helps give medicine a unique image of professionalism.

By allowing others to usurp our symbol, our public image is becoming denigrated.

Just as nobody but police officers can wear a police uniform and badge, so should it be that only physicians and those in training to become one should be able to wear the long-standing symbol of the physician.

Nurses should be banned from wearing it, as well as EVERY OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. They are not doctors. That is not their uniform.
 

zenman

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We as a profession need to take back the white coat!

The white coat has long been a symbol of the scientific rigor and integrity of medicine. Such a symbol enhances the trust that patient's have for their doctor. It also helps give medicine a unique image of professionalism.

By allowing others to usurp our symbol, our public image is becoming denigrated.

Just as nobody but police officers can wear a police uniform and badge, so should it be that only physicians and those in training to become one should be able to wear the long-standing symbol of the physician.

Nurses should be banned from wearing it, as well as EVERY OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. They are not doctors. That is not their uniform.
I'll never be caught wearing one. But the general public sees a lot of people outside healthcare wearing a white coat, including the girls at the makeup counter in the mall. So, I think physicians who think wearing a coat means something, should go with pink.:laugh:
 

Doctor Bob

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I'll never be caught wearing one. But the general public sees a lot of people outside healthcare wearing a white coat, including the girls at the makeup counter in the mall. So, I think physicians who think wearing a coat means something, should go with pink.:laugh:
At my hospital the residents and attendings wear long blue coats... and nobody else in the hospital can. So there are lots of white coats wandering around, but the patients can quickly pick out the docs by their blue coats.

As for me... I'm in the ED and none of us wear coats of any color.
 

dragonfly99

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I have to ask...is it like sky blue, or royal blue, or a bright electric blue??

I have to agree with Zenman on this...I think this battle of the white coat thing is lost...even the Clinique counter ladies wear one. As far as I know, pharmacists have been wearing one for years. And patients are totally, totally confused as to who the doctors are anyhow...it's just modern medicine.
 

w a n g

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At my hospital the residents and attendings wear long blue coats... and nobody else in the hospital can. So there are lots of white coats wandering around, but the patients can quickly pick out the docs by their blue coats.

As for me... I'm in the ED and none of us wear coats of any color.
at my hospital blue coats are the unit secretaries!
 

lapooh

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At my hospital the residents and attendings wear long blue coats... and nobody else in the hospital can. So there are lots of white coats wandering around, but the patients can quickly pick out the docs by their blue coats.

As for me... I'm in the ED and none of us wear coats of any color.
Oh yes ! I have seen those blue coats. They are sky-bluish, and IMO, they look miserable. I have also seen a place where attendings wear grayish-cream colored coats, and the residents wear blue ones.

I am not the greatest supporter of white coats, but would take them over the blue/gray ones anyday.
 
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at my hospital blue coats are the unit secretaries!
At our home hospital, the HOUSEKEEPERS wear the light blue coats! I saw residents in coats this color on an interview, and as bad as it sounds, it did move them down the rank list a little (it was also out of my favored geographical area and I had the problem of loving too many programs, I'm not THAT shallow :laugh:).
 

ussdfiant

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Stopped wearing a white coat the day I became an attending. Very few of my partners (in a practice of 25) wear them either.
 

bambi

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In the UK we aren't allowed to wear them or anything below the elbow and haven't for years. I find it odd that you wear them at all!
 

Instatewaiter

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Well, in mother russia, the white coat wears you.

But seriously, it is way too hard to look at a name badge. Ususally it's right around the chest area and it looks like you're scoping someone out. When it's not at the chest, people wear it on their waist which makes the situation worse.

At my hosptial the nurses wear a huge yellow plackard that says RN. Makes sense they should do that for everyone.
 

Maybeknot

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If you think non-physicians wearing long white coats is bad, just this past winter I saw someone that's NOT an Asian female wearing a black peacoat. I mean, seriously people, WTF???
 

Buzz Me

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If you think non-physicians wearing long white coats is bad, just this past winter I saw someone that's NOT an Asian female wearing a black peacoat. I mean, seriously people, WTF???
Huh? :confused:
 

DrBowtie

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In the UK we aren't allowed to wear them or anything below the elbow and haven't for years. I find it odd that you wear them at all!
Must wear short sleeve dress shirts? Wow.
 

EMT2DO

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Our cafeteria workers wear white coats half the time.

Well hopefully no one would ever mistake the lady that slops out the sloppy joes for a physician. I have also recently noticed dietitians wearing long, pressed white coats now in addition to PA's, NP's, RN managers (without any advanced degree), PT's, and a number of other non-physician staff. The problem isn't the "prestige" of the coat, although it is annoying to wear this awkward, short POS that I had to special order from the scrub shop (in a community not used to having med students, in fact there are less than 10 of us here) who thought I was crazy. "Just wear a long one, we don't have any short ones". Ohhhh, no, not opening that box of crazy. The problem is when patients start getting confused as to who is really directing their care. Then again, maybe insurance executives, case managers, and now everyone's favorite, US congressmen and our president should wear white coats, because they are now in charge of medical care for every patient in this country.
 

irie

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The key to diliniating the white coat wearers is easy if you make two observations.
1. What are they holding? If it is a clipboard then it is a nurse.
2. What is their BMI? >30? then it is a nurse.
 

zenman

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The key to diliniating the white coat wearers is easy if you make two observations.
1. What are they holding? If it is a clipboard then it is a nurse.
2. What is their BMI? >30? then it is a nurse.
:laugh:
 

keeping-it-real

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i find that it's usually fairly easy to tell whether or not a white-coatsman is a physician. it's a gestalt thing, but very often these stand-ins just don't look the part. whether it be too much make-up, the deer-in-the-headlights flakiness, or a variety of other subtle clues. even the way a chart is carried around is pretty revealing.

i'm sure most of us notice it even if we can't quite pin it down.
 

lanzarlaluna

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I live in the south, where everyone is fat. No help there...
 

akinetopsia

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Don't forget chefs wear white coats, but they would never be confused with a lab coat thanks to the typical design and double buttons. And some aren't even white. (well, sous chefs usually are, chef de cuisine may not be)
 

basupran

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Been faked out also.

When doing an H&P during MS3, a man walked into the room wearing a long white coat. He took off his glasses, put the temple tips in his mouth and then let out a sigh at the me, MS3 wearing the short white coat. Thinking he was an attending, I felt horrible -'sorry sir, you can go ahead, I will wait'.
Without a thank you, he proceeded to pull out his menu and ask what the patient wanted for dinner. I was fooled by the long white coat- he was a nutritionist!
 
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Ypo.

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not that i support medical elitism, but shouldn't you be able to quickly scan a room and accurately identify who the physicians are?
Dude, have you started residency yet? Sometimes you really don't want people (ie nurses, some pts) to recognize you as the doctor, especially when you are on call and want to go to sleep. :)
 

BlondeDocteur

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????? I don't get that one. Most of the larger than life people where I work are doctors. I only know one obese nurse?
Do we live in the same New York City? The one with the tall buildings and ubiquitous yellow cars?
 
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Lol...wow, didn't realize how important a lab coat is to some.
(I even wore one in some of my college science labs)
Even our department secretaries wear them, but for warmth lol :eek:.
Personally, I hate to wear it, it's a pain, but only for exam days.
The boss insists heehee. We have groovy ones with our names/titles
embroidered on (all of us, MD/RN/Techs/Secy's whatever), they're purty.
Jealous lol? :p
 

Arcan57

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One of my colleagues wears black scrubs, I keep looking for the MNA (Master of Ninja Arts) after the MD.
 

docbill

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I would rather not wear white coat in some rotations. It ticks me off when everyone has a white coat and they fake it. Especially PAs!!!! They hide the fact that they are only PAs.
 

johnnydrama

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Am I the only one who feels like the white coat is basically just a vector for disease? (Unless people are cleaning their coats every day, but I can't imagine anyone doing that...) I know it's a status symbol and all, but it's probably a source of some nosocomial infections in the hospital.
 

johnnydrama

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My barber wears a white coat. However, my respect for his skills went downhill after he messed up my moustache last week.

I still respect the butcher at my local meat market though as he wears a white coat.
Well, barbers were the first surgeons, so it kinda makes sense... and I suppose some surgeons are butchers... :p

And what are you doing with a moustache in the first place? Are you a 70's porn star, or from the 1800s?
 

doctorFred

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Am I the only one who feels like the white coat is basically just a vector for disease? (Unless people are cleaning their coats every day, but I can't imagine anyone doing that...) I know it's a status symbol and all, but it's probably a source of some nosocomial infections in the hospital.
actually, our ED just banned white coats for residents/attendings for that reason.
 

wholeheartedly

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I wear a long white coat (actually I don't think anyone at my hospital wears short white coats) but I'm a medical lab scientist and it's considered PPE for me given the nasty nature of stuff I do testing on and don't want spilled on me. My coat has fitted cuffed sleeves however to indicate it's a possibly contaminated coat not to leave the lab, as opposed to the other white coats that docs/etc wear which have open sleeves. Of course ANYBODY* out side the lab would know that and be able to tell us apart...:rolleyes:

Side story: one of my coworkers ran a cooler of blood to the ED and walked into a pts room to restock the blood fridge only have 5 family members staring at him expectantly. they were quite disappointed to learn he wasn't a doctor and he never forgot to remove his lab coat before going down there.

(*sarcasm)
 

docbill

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Am I the only one who feels like the white coat is basically just a vector for disease? (Unless people are cleaning their coats every day, but I can't imagine anyone doing that...) I know it's a status symbol and all, but it's probably a source of some nosocomial infections in the hospital.
I agree 100%.

I try to change my white coats 1 time a week. Some residents have the same one for 1-2 months without washing it. It is nasty. Can you imagine how much nasty bacT or Viruses are on there? It would be safer to lick a toilet than a white coat.
 

docbill

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I wear a long white coat (actually I don't think anyone at my hospital wears short white coats) but I'm a medical lab scientist and it's considered PPE for me given the nasty nature of stuff I do testing on and don't want spilled on me. My coat has fitted cuffed sleeves however to indicate it's a possibly contaminated coat not to leave the lab, as opposed to the other white coats that docs/etc wear which have open sleeves. Of course ANYBODY* out side the lab would know that and be able to tell us apart...:rolleyes:

Side story: one of my coworkers ran a cooler of blood to the ED and walked into a pts room to restock the blood fridge only have 5 family members staring at him expectantly. they were quite disappointed to learn he wasn't a doctor and he never forgot to remove his lab coat before going down there.

(*sarcasm)
I use to hate it when research lab personnel wear their "lab coat" outside the research building. They have some nasty chemicals on there. Now even worse was when lab personnel wear gloves and handle door handles with them.
 

Faebinder

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In the past the white coat was useful when you used to carry pocket books and instruments.

Now, iphone got everything I need, and on a good day in internal medicine you barely need the stethoscope, much less extra pockets. Stethoscope goes on the neck.

So what's the use of the white coat? It's a lost symbol IMO. :shrug: