(HealthDay News) — Most patients prefer that physicians wear white coats, according to research published online in JAMA Dermatology.

In a survey of 255 patients, Robert Kirsner, MD, PhD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues showed participants photos of dermatologists wearing either a suit, a white coat (professional attire), surgical scrubs, or casual clothing, and asked which they favored.

The researchers found that a white coat was the most preferred (73%), followed by surgical scrubs (19%), a suit (6%), and casual clothing (2%).

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“In this study, most patients preferred professional attire for their dermatologists in most settings,” the authors write. “It is possible that patients’ perceptions of their physicians’ knowledge and skill is influenced by the physicians’ appearance, and these perceptions may affect outcomes.”


1. Fox JD, Prado G, Baquerizo Nole KL, et al. Patient Preference in Dermatologist Attire in the Medical, Surgical, and Wound Care Settings. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Jun 1. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.1186.

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