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Understanding patient preference for physician attire: a cross-sectional observational study of 10 academic medical centres in the USA
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  • Published on:
    President & Medical Director - Golden State MD Health & Wellness A Professional Corporation
    • Ahimsa P Sumchai MD, Sports Medicine/Emergency Medicine/Fitness & Nutrition Golden State MD Health & Wellness

    As an African American female physician and practice owner with a 37 year professional history I fully concur with the findings of this article. I have commented on other writings on Doximity around the issues of professional attire and efforts to restrict wearing white coats. As a practice owner with locations in San Francisco and Sacramento I travel weekly by Amtrak and this experiences reinforces my opinion that professional attire for a physician can improve patient and public interactions. In the course of my career I have experienced numerous incidents in which I was demeaned, harassed or disrespected as a physician because of my race and gender in areas dominated traditionally by white males. I have authored numerous writings about my experience as the first African American female to train in neurological surgery in the University of California system and my experiences as a flight physician and post doctoral fellow for Stanford Life Flight. I have been mistaken for a custodian, a "girl" and on a good day a pediatrician in my years of training. My white coat and my professional attire make all the difference in the world in how patients relate to me. When I appear without it I am called Miss or Ms. When I have it on I am called Doctor.I will never give up wearing my white coat!

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.