Letters Unwanted white coats

31 uses for a white coat

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39489.654028.BE (Published 14 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:346

Other colours?

Is it just white coats that are objectionable? Why not just dye them
all and continue wearing them as always.

The Postgraduate Medical Journal ran an article in 2004 estimating
only 13% of doctors in one London hospital actually wore white coats. 70%
of those doctors claimed they felt the coats were an infection risk, and
60% said they were uncomfortable to wear. I doubt that changing the
colour of the coats would change the minds of those 87% who already don't
wear white coats.

As a research scientist, I prefer to not wear white coats because of
the discomfort, but will don some kind of protective clothing when I'm
working with known hazards. Sadly, this means I'm breaking our
institutions rules. I would love to see white coats banished from labs,
as they function poorly as safety clothing and the long sleeves are a real
hazard. Their only advantage is providing a place to keep you pens (with
pocket protector and slide rule of course)

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

18 February 2008
Allison L Miller
medical researcher
Christchurch School of Medicine, 8124