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Posted: 10/30/2006 10:30:58 AM EST
What is the protocol for wearing a lab coat. I see our newbie doctors wearing a short white blazer syle lab coat with lots of papers and handbooks in the pocket and some of the staff doctors wearing a long lab coat whenever they are in the clinic or hospital but some doctors do not wear them when visiting patients. Is there a professional standard, house rules, or is left up to the individual doctor to decide?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 12:39:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 12:49:03 PM EST by sleepdr]

Originally Posted By Headless_T_Gunner:
What is the protocol for wearing a lab coat. I see our newbie doctors wearing a short white blazer syle lab coat with lots of papers and handbooks in the pocket and some of the staff doctors wearing a long lab coat whenever they are in the clinic or hospital but some doctors do not wear them when visiting patients. Is there a professional standard, house rules, or is left up to the individual doctor to decide?


It varies from institution to institution. By and large, doctors (including residents/interns, who ARE doctors) wear the long coats. Short coats generally are worn by medical students, and many schools have a White Coat Ceremony where... drum roll... students are presented with their first short white coat.

However, at Massachusetts General and other Harvard institutions (maybe others - only speaking from personal experience), attending physicians in some specialties (e.g. anesthesiology) do wear short coats. At residency interview time, I passed an older man in the hallway wearing a short coat, and thought "awww, how nice. An old medical student." 2 hours later, I was sitting in his office being interviewed.

Best bet is to just check the name tag. I haven't worn a white coat for about a year, back while working in an ICU. How much garbage is in the pockets is a function of the wearer's mood, memory, and strength. Coats can get heavy quickly if you try to carry too much stuff. ("Do I remember enough of the stuff I've written on these little notebooks to not have to carry them everywhere? There are computers available for quick reference nowadays, and I don't feel like using the strength to carry them.")

As a student, I used to carry 4-5 pens, a sharpie, a reflex hammer, an ophthalmoscope/otoscope, stacks of quick reference cards, stethoscope, penlight, etc. About 8 pounds of stuff.

Now? 2 pens, sharpie, Palm Pilot (and we tend to ask each other about things we've forgotten), knife, Surefire, and stethoscope. Much better.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 12:47:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By Headless_T_Gunner:
......left up to the individual doctor to decide?


Yep......unles there's an in-house protocol........which there usually is not.


Link Posted: 10/30/2006 12:50:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By TUMOR:

Originally Posted By Headless_T_Gunner:
......left up to the individual doctor to decide?


Yep......unles there's an in-house protocol........which there usually is not.




But no hospital yet has let me wear a cape.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:06:54 PM EST
I think sleepdr pretty much covered it, but I will add that psychiatrists are generally the exception to the white coat rule. White coats are a source of anxiety for a lot of people; so, psychiatrists rarely wear them. It's basically the same reason why docs try to sit at the patients level rather than stand over them. Patients will tell you more stuff if they're at ease.

Mine presently contains a stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, otoscope, pen light, a few ink pens, two tuning forks, and a reflex hammer.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:13:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 1:13:44 PM EST by Alien]

Originally Posted By sleepdr:

Originally Posted By TUMOR:

Originally Posted By Headless_T_Gunner:
......left up to the individual doctor to decide?


Yep......unles there's an in-house protocol........which there usually is not.




But no hospital yet has let me wear a cape.


That would be sweet. What kind of emblem would you have on your cape? You could use a Superman S for Sleepdr!
___
\S/
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:48:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2006 1:51:02 PM EST by jblachly]
Johns Hopkins makes 1st year residents ("Interns") wear short coats (well, at least the Internal Medicine program, I don't know about the others). This rule is to let you know that you're on the low end of the totem-pole, presumably.

Also another interesting tidbid, about half of the doctors have been booted off this site.

Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:04:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By TulaneBME:
Mine presently contains a stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, otoscope, pen light, a few ink pens, two tuning forks, and a reflex hammer.


Tuning forks? For an ear test of some kind?
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:15:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By jblachly:

Also another interesting tidbid, about half of the doctors have been booted off this site.



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