Head to Head: Should medical schools have a say in how medical students dress? Yes
Deborah Bowman says that what you wear has no bearing on your ability to practise medicine, but Daniel K Sokol argues that it is an important mark of professionalism
I am writing this on a plane, flying over the mountains of New Zealand. The captain walked to the plane in a smart dark suit and cap. On the public address system his voice was soothing and self assured. My life and that of the dozens of passengers on board are in his hands. His appearance, his walk, the tone of his voice, and his words inspire confidence. If he had been wearing torn jeans and a T shirt, stumbled on his way to the cockpit, and spoken with a meek and trembling voice, I would be anxiously reading the safety instruction card rather than composing this article.
The truth is that I don’t know the first thing about flying an aeroplane. I therefore make judgments about the pilot based on external factors. Similarly, most patients know little about medicine and so form an opinion of their clinician based on