Original contribution| Volume 29, ISSUE 1, P1-3, July 2005

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Patient attitudes toward emergency physician attire

  • Siu Fai Li
    Reprint Address: Siu Fai Li, md, Department of Emergency Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Bronx, NY 10461
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
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  • Marc Haber
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
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      Previous studies have suggested that Emergency Department (ED) patient satisfaction is unaffected by physician attire. We conducted a before-and-after trial to test this hypothesis. A convenience sample of ED patients was surveyed during a 2-week period. In the first week, emergency physicians wore white coats and formal attire. In the second week, the same physicians wore scrubs. Patients were asked to indicate on a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) their ratings of physician appearance, satisfaction, and professionalism. The primary outcome was the difference in VAS scores between the two dress styles. There were 111 patients surveyed. There were no significant differences between patients’ evaluation of appearance (Δ = −.68 mm VAS, 95% confidence interval [CI] −5.5 to 4.1), satisfaction (Δ = .83 mm VAS, 95% CI −3.0 to 4.6), or professionalism (Δ = −.46 mm VAS, 95% CI −3.6 to 2.6) between the two dress styles. Emergency physician attire does not affect patient satisfaction.


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