I ain’t no Doctor Quack Quack!


They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Usually, I would agree that it’s best to follow this advice because going to the doctor is a scary thought. It usually starts with a series of tests. If you’re lucky(and healthy), you can get out of the sitch fast. But if you aren’t, you’d have to endure some scary talks with the doctor about your medical condition. Now THAT? It could be one of the most traumatizing talks of your life. But picture THIS: if your doctors look like as Dr. Mark Sloan(Mcsteamy) and Dr. Derek Shepherd(Mcdreamy) , would you even bother trying to keep them away?:”>

Meet McSteamy and McDreamy. They seriously can tie up my innards in all the wrong places and I won't care. Okay... maybe I will. But yeah :">

When I think of doctors, I usually associate the word with my favorite TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. In this TV Series, I get this vibe that doctors are the following: (1) cool, calm and collected under intense pressure, (2) addicted to coffee, (3) addicted to sex, and last but not the least, all of them are (4) physically attractive. Srsly. I think it’s not easy(and unfair!) to be hot and smart at the same time, but doctors in Grey’s Anatomy prove me wrong. Look at this picture, can you point out a cast member who’s physically appalling?

The answer is no. And that, in itself, created this thought in my mind that doctors need to look good. I mean, even if doctors are not blessed with the “hot” genes, they usually still present themselves well. Maganda manamit. Malinis. Mukhang may alam. Usually, people create ideologies of doctors in that specific manner. It all starts with the physical appearance of the person. So what happens when doctors fail to present themselves in a good manner? That was the question running in my mind when I came across this article by Rehman, S., Nietert, P., Cope, D., & Kilpatrick, A. in 2005 entitled “What to wear today? Effect of doctor’s attire on the trust and confidence of patients”.

The article answered my answer, and it gave me so much more than what I asked for. Basically, the objective of their study was to determine whether the way a doctor dresses is an important factor in the degree of trust and confidence among respondents. The method that the researchers used was through a survey form. It was intended for patients and visitors in the waiting room of an internal medicine outpatient clinic. Respondents completed a written survey after reviewing pictures of physicians in four different dress styles(business suit, professional attire with white coat, surgical scrubs, casual attire). Afterwards, the respondents were asked questions related to their preference for physician dress as well as their trust and willingness to discuss sensitive issues.

The results? Well they were what we would’ve expected, but no one was ever brave enough to blatantly say out loud. On all questions regarding physician dress style preferences, respondents significantly favored the professional attire with white coat (76.3%), followed by surgical scrubs (10.2%), business dress (8.8%), and casual dress (4.7%). Their trust and confidence was significantly associated with their preference for professional dress. In addition to that, respondents also reported that they were significantly more willing to share their social, sexual, and psychological problems with the physician who is professionally dressed.

This gives us the idea that the perception of “looking professional” can directly affect the doctor-patient relationship in many ways. This is particularly important especially if this preferred attire results in better adherence and thus positive health outcomes. It would be critical since the diagnosis is partly based on the medical history of the patient, which he/she will disclose to the doctor.

The study made me realize how much of a factor physical appearance, clothing, and general “look” can affect very important aspects of our lives-including our health. Imagine what would happen if you get to see a person who tells you he’s a doctor, while sporting an attire that’s similar to what this group of people are wearing:

Would you trust your deepest, darkest medical secrets if your doctor would dress up like that?

Thankfully, I don’t have to be mean and be judgmental based on the picture itself. The study actually provided me with an answer: OH HELLLLL NO. And even though we all try to treat everyone equally, we have to face the hard truth: How we present ourselves, in one way or another, will affect our interpersonal relationships, no matter what field that may be. Now that I know of this, I’m sure gonna try to take a look on my doctor the next time I visit her from head-to-toe. Who knows? If her look is Lookbook worthy, I might even share some secrets I’d never tell(You know you love me, xoxo gossip girl).;)

Rehman, S, Nietert, P, Cope, D & Kilpatrick, A. D. (2005). What to wear today? effect of doctor’s attire on the trust and confidence of patients. The American Journal of Medicine,118(11), 1279-1286. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.04.026


About sensemachine

We are Sir Diwa's Psych 135 students, and this is our Academic Blog! This blog is a venue for us to review and write about different journal articles related to the processes of perception, where we can integrate other areas of psychology and other related disciplines through insightful and creative thinking. Welcome to SENSE MACHINE! Because your body is your sense machine. Enjoy! Nika, Bea, Adi, Angel, Nikki, Raisa, CV

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