Soundings: The “mum test”
Who would you rather be treated by? An exceptionally gifted diagnostician who is completely committed to your wellbeing, or a burnt out cynic who is not interested in you at all? And would it change things if one was wearing ripped jeans, while the other was in a suit? It's a silly question of course. You wouldn't last very long in the health service in ripped jeans.
So do clothes matter? Well yes they do. Many patients say that they do not like the relaxing of hospital uniforms, as they cannot easily tell who is who on a ward. More than this, though, some people also have what I call the “serial killer in a suit syndrome.” A friend of mine is convinced that her father would describe Slobodan Milosevic as a “nice young man” just as long as he was wearing a Marks & Spencer shirt and tie. To