Appropriate Work Attire as a Doctor in Healthcare

Dr Rimsha Qasim 05:20 PM, 30 Sep, 2022
Appropriate Work Attire as a Doctor in Healthcare

Professional attire is essential for doctors. Walking in casual clothes and not being recognizable you’re your clothes is not a good look. Clothing can make or break a person’s persona. How you appear and present yourself to the world is important for perception. Research published in BMJ Open conveyed that patients care about what their doctors wear, and their satisfaction depends on it. When they were asked to rate doctors based on their attire from some pictures, a formal dress with a white coat scored the highest, and it was especially popular with people over age 65. This was followed by scrubs with a white coat and formal attire without a white coat. They preferred that doctors wear formal attire in an office setting and a white coat during emergencies.

Some researchers have said that wearing proper attire improves work efficiency, ultimately increasing patient safety. Just like cartoon caps and badges attract children and make them comfortable in pediatric wards. Along with patient satisfaction, attire also works to increase approachability.

Doctors can wear different kinds of attire depending upon the environment they are in:

  • Scrubs: Scrubs are worn in surgical theatres or in emergencies. On-call duty doctors also wear them along with a white coat. They come in different neutral colors, but mostly they are green or blue. They are comfortable to work in and are cost-effective. Mostly scrubs are worn when doctors arrive at hospitals in order to not let outside germs in.
  • Business attire or traditional shalwar kameez: These are worn by doctors and physicians working in office environments or at appointments. It usually consists of a dress shirt and pants, shalwar kameez, sometimes coupled with a white coat. Women also wear shalwar kameezes or sometimes dresses as business attire.
  • White coats: White coats are clear identification of a doctor. A doctor can stand out in a crowd with their white coat. White is symbolic of purity and cleanliness. It is the most commonly used workwear for doctors.

The dress code also depends upon the hospital rules you work at. But, it should always be remembered that appearances matter. A suitable attire can enhance your confidence and make you appear intelligent and professional. Apart from this, one should ensure they are comfortable wearing what they wear. If hospitals don’t have a dress code, they should establish one according to patients’ preferences. A welcoming and professional environment should be the strategy.

Dr Rimsha Qasim

The author is contributing writer at Medical News Pakistan and can be reached at



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