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The white coat and the liaison psychiatrist

  • Alan N. Wear (a1)
Extract

Medical care in general hospitals is a collective activity and liaison psychiatrists may become part of this process. Cornerstones of successful management are co-operation with colleagues and ‘teamwork’, although these elusive goals are not always achieved. A shared uniform is one possible solution to improve this teamwork, the white coat being the livery of the hospital doctor. Furthermore, patients may appreciate a uniform. One survey of 200 North American general hospital in-patients showed the white coat to be surprisingly popular (Dunn et al, 1987); 65% of those replying wanted to see their doctor in a white coat. But the white coat is often unpopular with doctors and perhaps a more relevant question is whether it makes any difference to patient behaviour.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Blumhagan, D. W. (1979) The doctor's white coat. Annals of Internal Medicine, 91, 111116.
Dunn, J. J., Lee, T. H., Perclay, J. M., Fitz, J. G. & Goldman, L. (1987) Patient and house officer: attitudes on physician attire and etiquette. Journal of American Medical Association, 257, 6568.
Klein, R. H., Pillsbury, J., Bushey, M. & Snell, S. (1972) Psychiatric staff: uniform or street clothes? Archives of General Psychiatry, 26, 1922.
Rinn, R. C. (1976) Effects of nursing apparel upon psychiatric behaviour. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 43, 936945.
Stockwell, F. (1972) The Unpopular Patient. London: Royal College of Nursing. Pp. 6768.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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The white coat and the liaison psychiatrist

  • Alan N. Wear (a1)
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