an academic medicine weblog

mudphudder RSS Feed

an observation

Why is it that when I wear my white doctor’s coat, people call me sir but when I’m wearing jeans and sweatshirt people ask me for an ID when I pay by credit card? 


Although these days I’m not so sure that my white coat even has much power left.  Maybe it’s all the dirt and nastiness on it. 

You may have heard about the “white coat effect”–that patients tense up around physicians (e.g. in the doctor’s office) and their vital signs, like blood pressure, may be on the high side.  The last few times I’ve been in clinic and manually taken blood pressure on my patients, their pressures are just fine.  So either I have a calming effect or my patients aren’t taking me seriously.  My money is on the latter.


2 Responses to “an observation”

  1. 1

    Just as much as there is white coat hypertension there is also white coat hypotension.

    Moral: Get rid of the white coats. They’re just a North American medical affectation anyway.

  2. 2

    My husband has used the power of the white coat to get out of tickets twice, without even trying. Both times when he went to reach for his license, the police officer saw the white coat sitting next to him, asked if he was a doctor, and then just told him to have a nice day. Now he just permanently keeps his old white coat from intern year in his back seat!

Leave a Reply