Journal of Anesthesia and Surgery
Exploring Patients Perceptions of Their Surgeon Based on Attire
- 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kingston General Hospital, Queens University, Kingston Ontario Canada
- 2Queen’s University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kingston Ontario Canada
Gavin C.A Wood, Kingston General Hospital, Department of Surgery,76 Stuart Street, Kingston Ontario Canada, K7L 2V7, Tel: 4899(613)549-6666, E-mail: woodg@KGH.KARI.NET
Wood, G.C.A., et al. Exploring Patients’ Perceptions of Their Surgeon Based on Attire. (2016) J Anesth Surg 3(2): 208- 212.
© 2016 Wood G.C.A. This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Background: Physician attire is an important factor in the patient’s first impression of their doctor. The purpose of this study is to determine how different forms of attire impact patient perceptions of their physicians within our orthopaedic clinics.
Methods: A survey was distributed to new patients visiting an orthopedic surgery clinic within a 9 month span at a Canadian outpatient hospital. Each participant also received either a male or female photo sheet depicting 6 different forms of physician attire: Surgical scrubs and white coat, surgical scrubs alone, formal wear with white coat, formal wear alone, business suit and casual wear. Demographic data and general questions related to surgeon’s attire as well as specific questions pertaining to the pictures provided were collected.
Results: 100 patients responded to the survey. Most respondents agreed that physician attire was important and they expected their surgeon to be dressed professionally. Respondents felt strongly that there was an association between how a physician dressed and their perceived ability to dispense care. There was a significant preference for the surgeons wearing a white coat. The least favored surgeon attire overall was casual wear.
Discussion: The results from our survey identify the importance of surgeon’s attire in the patient’s perception of their surgeon as a health care provider. Attire was identified as influencing patient confidence and possible likelihood of compliance/follow-up. Conclusion: We have identified the white coat as being an important adjunct to the surgeon’s attire that embodies professionalism and inspires confidence in a surgeon.