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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bye Bye White Coats

Nosocomial infections (infections aquired in a hospital or nursing home setting) remain a very serious problem. Infections continue to be more and more serious with the spread of antibiotic resisitant organism like C diff and VRE.

In a move to try and reduce the transmission of these organisms from patient to patient, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently voted to recommend that hospitals ban the "white coat" and long sleeves to reduce transmission of these gross bug from the sleeves of the physicians that can come in contact with the patient. The AMA also voted to recommend the ban of "ties". How many men routinely wash their ties?

I think this is a great move. Anything to reduce the chance of spreading infection, should be encouraged.

I do worry about whether or not patients will miss physicians wearing a tie and white coat. Will we garner the same respect without these items? Will we be considered as professional? How long will it take for hospitals to adopt these recommendations?

What do you think?

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