I am somewhat curious what people think about doctors wearing white coats. I have sort of conflicted emotions about my white coat. I haven't even worn a white coat in several months, although wearing a coat in clinic today I was reminded about their good qualities.
1. Pockets - I can carry more things than I could hold in my hands.
2. The hospital and clinic are ALWAYS cold. A white coat is a light-weight jacket and can keep me warm.
3. They make me look more doctorly. I often wonder if I would be called "nurse" less if I wore my white coat more. (Not that I really mind being called nurse - I love nurses. Especially the ones I'm related to.)
On the other hand, here are what I consider to be the negatives:
1. Wearing one often gives me a sore neck - see #1 above. This is probably mostly a problem only I have, since my disorganization problem even leaks over into the white coat and the pockets slowly become like a black hole of papers, reference guides, and hemoccult developer.
2. They harbor germs. And lots of them. I tried to switch them out once a week, but honestly even when I wore them regularly, that didn't always happen.
3. I might be wearing a really cute outfit (it does happen occasionally), and the white coat is just going to cover it up.
And of course, there is the Murphy's Law of White coats:
As soon as you wear a clean or new white coat to work, within minutes you are going to spill coffee, yogurt, or salad dressing on it or get splattered with blood. (This also holds true for when I wear a nice-looking shirt or if I've just washed my khaki pants.)
So any thoughts out there? Should I wear my white coat more? What do patients expect?