Patients and the Habits of House Officers

Lawrence S. Neinstein, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(15):2031. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390150047014.
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To the Editor.—  The article by Dunn et al1 entitled "Patient and House Officer Attitudes on Physician Attire and Etiquette" was interesting in that there are few studies that have examined the impact of physician dress style. However, this survey examined only the preferences of patients and did not examine the subsequent effect of dress style on patient-physician rapport.This question has been examined, at least in an adolescent population, in a study we conducted recently.2 In our study, physicians randomly dressed in four dress styles from jeans to suit and tie. At the end of the interview, patients were asked to fill out a confidential questionnaire on their comfort level with their physician and also their preferences about the dress of their physician. Regardless of the dress style of the physician, the patients evaluated their physicians equally. In this study, 43% of the respondents stated that dress


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