Doctors in Scotland have shed their white coats in the name of health and safety, says the NHS. To stop the spread of infections, they are telling their doctors to take off those iconic duds in favor of new less-infectious uniforms with shorter sleeves (that allow for hands to be washed and don’t get as dirty) and more stylish colours.
So what will new medical students in the UK get? A short sleeve blue uniform courtesy of the NHS? Perhaps it will be a good thing–with the white coat creating a sort of boundary between patient and physician that can prevent good communication, information sharing, and difficulty building trust–perhaps the more casual looking, short-sleeved doctor in shades of blue will be the more approachable 21st century physician that Britons are looking for.
Summer Johnson, PhD