Why do hospital doctors wear white coats?

J R Soc Med. 1991 Jan;84(1):43. doi: 10.1177/014107689108400116.


Seventy-two per cent of all hospital doctors and medical students wear white coats and most wear them greater than 75% of the time. White coats are worn chiefly for easy recognition by colleagues and patients, to put items in the pockets and to keep clothes clean. Psychiatrists and paediatricians try to maximize rapport with patients by deliberately not wearing white coats.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clothing* / psychology
  • Clothing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • London
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires