Dress and address: patient preferences regarding doctor's style of dress and patient interaction

Ir Med J. 2008 Jul-Aug;101(7):211-3.


We sought to determine patient preferences regarding doctor's dress styles and mode of doctors introducing themselves to patients and addressing patients. A survey of patients attending a general medical/endocrinology outpatient clinic in a tertiary referral hospital over a 6 week period was performed. 124 people completed the survey (62 male, 62 female). Mean age was 52.3 years (Range 19-84). Patients preferred to be addressed by their first name while they prefer doctors to introduce themselves by their first and last name. However the majority of patients found all forms of doctors introducing themselves acceptable. Patients preferred formal attire for both male and female doctors, with a white coat being the most preferred option. 84.5% of patients felt that doctors should wear name badges in a clearly visible place although only 26% of patients saw name badges always or almost always during a consultation. This study raises important points regarding the doctor patient interaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clothing*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires