Letters Unwanted white coats

31 uses for a white coat

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39489.654028.BE (Published 14 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:346
  1. Nawar Al-Shabibi, clinical research fellow
  1. 1Royal Free Hospital, London NW3 2QG
  1. a.magos{at}medsch.ucl.ac.uk

    The government is trying to ban doctors in the United Kingdom from wearing white coats in hospitals,1 the only country in the world where this has happened. Although there is no logic or evidence to support this policy,2 no doubt there will be many thousands of white coats lying idle in hospital laundries. Rather than throwing them away, we tried to think of how they could be recycled. We were hoping to think of 101 uses for our white coats. Here are 31:

    • 1 Use it as a projector screen

    • 2 Donate it to developing countries

    • 3 Give it to any developed country apart from the UK

    • 4 Give it to the butcher

    • 5 Give it to the dentist

    • 6 Cut it up into handkerchiefs

    • 7 Turn it into nappies

    • 8 Make sails out of it

    • 9 Make it into dusters or dishcloths

    • 10 Give it to a pharmacist

    • 11 Turn it into napkins

    • 12 Use it for a shadow theatre screen

    • 13 Give it to your child for a school play

    • 14 Donate it to a science museum

    • 15 Give it to the Catholic Church for priest collars

    • 16 Give it to the Catholic Church for nuns’ head covers

    • 17 Turn it into hair ribbons

    • 18 Turn it into curtains

    • 19 Turn it into a demonstration banner

    • 20 Wave it as a white flag in case of surrender

    • 21 Use as a dust sheet when you are painting the house

    • 22 Give it to your child to play doctors and nurses

    • 23 Cut it into bandages

    • 24 Donate it to the local abattoir

    • 25 Use for white balance for endoscopy camera

    • 26 Make it into a scarecrow

    • 27 Make it into a windshield for the summer holidays

    • 28 Wear it at a fancy dress party

    • 29 Give it to the local school dinner lady

    • 30 Donate it to the local laboratory

    • 31 Give it to your vet.


    • Other authors are Angeliki Papadimitriou, Sheethal Madari, Ioannis Korkontzelos, Andreas Stavroulis, Ali Nakash, Nikolaos Gkioulekas, Charalampos Stamatopoulos, Stylianos Triantafyllidis, Michail Fragoulidis, and Adam Magos.

    • Competing interests: None declared.


    View Abstract

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Free trial

    Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
    Sign up for a free trial