Public Perceptions of Physician Attire and Professionalism in the US

JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Jul 14(7):e2117779. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.17779.


Great importance: In recent a long time, everyday doctor attire (fleece jackets and softshell jackets) has grow to be significantly preferred, but to our expertise, public perceptions of these garments have not been analyzed. In addition, gender biases may possibly consequence in differing anticipations and perceptions of woman and male medical professionals and may well be associated with patient rapport and belief building.

Objective: To characterize community perceptions of casual physician apparel and implicit gender biases in public assessment of physicians’ professional attire.

Structure, Location, AND Participants: This survey study utilised a inhabitants-based survey administered by means of Amazon Mechanical Turk from Might to June 2020 between folks aged 18 a long time or older who had been US people and for whom English was the key language.

INTERVENTION: Study featuring images of a male or female design donning several types of medical doctor attire (white coat, small business attire, and scrubs).

Principal Outcomes AND Actions: Respondents’ rankings of professionalism, encounter, and friendliness of the male and female designs in different attire and perceptions of the models’ most most likely wellness care job. Preference scores for many outfits were being calculated as the variation involving the choice rating for an outfit and the mean preference score for the outfit-function pairing.

Final results: Of 522 surveys finished, 487 were being bundled for assessment the indicate (SD) age of respondents was 36.2 (12.4) several years, 260 (53.4%) have been woman, and 372 (76.4%) had been White people today. Respondents perceived models of overall health care gurus sporting white coats vs those carrying fleece or softshell jackets as considerably a lot more professional (suggest [SD] experience rating: white coat, 4.9 [1.5] fleece, 3.1 [1.5] softshell, 3.1 [1.5] P < .001) and professional (mean [SD] professionalism score: white coat, 4.9 [1.6] fleece, 3.2 [1.5] softshell, 3.3 [1.5] P < .001). A white coat with scrubs attire was most preferred for surgeons (mean [SD] preference index: 1.3 [2.3]), whereas a white coat with business attire was preferred for family physicians and dermatologists (mean [SD] preference indexes, 1.6 [2.3] and 1.2 [2.3], respectively P < .001). Regardless of outerwear, female models in business attire as inner wear were rated as less professional than male counterparts (mean [SD] professionalism score: male, 65.8 [25.4] female, 56.2 [20.2] P < .001). Both the male and the female model were identified by the greater number of respondents as a physician or surgeon however, the female model vs the male model was mistaken by more respondents as a medical technician (39 [8.0] vs 16 [3.3%] P < .005), physician assistant (56 [11.5%] vs 11 [2.3%] P < .001), or nurse (161 [33.1%] vs 133 [27.3%] P = .050).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this survey study, survey respondents rated physicians wearing casual attire as less professional and experienced than those wearing a white coat. Gender biases were found in impressions of professionalism, with female physicians’ roles being more frequently misidentified. Understanding disparate public perceptions of physician apparel may inform interventions to address professional role confusion and cumulative career disadvantages for women in medicine.

PMID:34328503 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.17779

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