Background: It is believed that patients prefer that surgeons convey a professional appearance with traditional business attire and white laboratory coat. We performed a prospective study to assess patient opinions regarding traditional attire versus the wearing surgical scrubs in the outpatient setting.
Methods: During a 5-month period, surgeons alternated wearing traditional clothing and surgical scrubs. Adult patients were given a questionnaire assessing their preferences regarding surgeons' clothing.
Results: Six hundred twelve patients returned the questionnaire. The majority felt that scrubs were appropriate attire for physicians. Half of the patients felt that wearing white laboratory coats is necessary. A minority felt that their surgeon's dress affects their opinion regarding the care they received. There was no difference between responses regardless of the attire actually worn.
Conclusions: Surgeon's clothing choice does not significantly influence patient's opinion of the care they receive. Patients do not have strong preferences for white coats or more traditional surgical attire.
Published by Elsevier Inc.