White Coats

In my opinion, clinicians should hang up our white coats. We should organize and mobilize to improve patient safety and access to high-quality health care. Like Rosie the Riveter during World War II, we can roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Health care for all!

Updates:

1/30/2017- Northwestern medical students lay down their white coats

3/31/2016- White Coats on the Controversies in Infection Control Blog

1/20/2016 – Philip Lederer on WUKY/NPR: Docs Ditch The White Coat – Too Germy

1/9/2016 – Dr. Keren Landman on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation

12/23/2015 – Should Doctors Ditch Their White Coats?

12/18/2015 – Why White Coats Should Be Optional

11/23/2015- StudioTulsa on Health: Doctors, White Coats, and an Ongoing Debate in American Medicine

11/19/2015- Doctors Debate Safety of Their White Coats

9/17/2015- It’s Time for Doctors to Hang Up White Coats for Good

IMG_8950
Dirty White coats
An alternative symbol?
An alternative symbol?

 

12 thoughts on “White Coats

  1. Consider an alternative: white coats with short sleeves to be washed daily (as scrubs are) by the hospital. These would serve some of the purposes doctors like them for (pockets, keeping their clothing free of the unexpected blood/feces etc that occasionally happens). Furthermore it would probably encourage men (who wear long sleeves more often than women, at least in my hospital) to roll up their sleeve so they don’t look “dorky” in short sleeved white coats. I don’t necessarily think that the white coat is bad as a uniform per-se, and I think patient-centered care can be conducted in-uniform as well as out.

  2. I agree with the idea of not wearing white coats and generally didn’t in my own practice, but it goes beyond that. Where I work now, I am expected to. Being a woman, it is also needed for acknowledgement from patients and other attendings.

    “Change your clothes in the hospital before you go home” is nice, but not very practical, as there are no lockers outside the OR, and limited access there.

    Besides white coats, many physicians wear suits, so that they look “professional.” These, too, are rarely dry-cleaned and are likely to spread nosocomial infections.

    I have long advocated for HCW to be able to have scrubs provided or laundered by the hospital, especially if contaminated by blood. They refused d/t cost. Unless something like that is mandated, I don’t see it happening. Do you?

  3. I agree with the idea of not wearing white coats and generally didn’t in my own practice, but it goes beyond that. Where I work now, I am expected to. Being a woman, it is also needed for acknowledgement from patients and other attendings.

    “Change your clothes in the hospital before you go home” is nice, but not very practical, as there are no lockers outside the OR, and limited access there.

    Besides white coats, many physicians wear suits, so that they look “professional.” These, too, are rarely dry-cleaned and are likely to spread nosocomial infections.

    I have long advocated for HCW to be able to have scrubs provided or laundered by the hospital, especially if contaminated by blood. They refused d/t cost. Unless something like that is mandated, I don’t see it happening. Do you?

  4. I used to walk around the hospital in my white coat, then sometimes hang up before entering rooms. I’d explain to patients that I didn’t want to get “hospital muck” all over them. That’s not to say I was always bare below the elbows, but it allowed me to gel/wash past the wrists, and I was more aware of what parts of me were touching the patient.

  5. Hi Phill! I just cant imagine work at Maputo Central Hospital without wearing a coat whatever the colour! Thats it! I dont feel superior to anyone because of that….and even with the white coat I can also wear a big smile!

  6. Pingback: White Coat Vote

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