Are white coats going out of fashion?
Do white coats still have a place in modern medicine as we practise it today? Iqbal Naveed Khan thinks so
- By: Iqbal Khan
Over the years, the white coat has become an item of clothing symbolising doctors and other medical personnel. Indeed, the website of a London medical school describes that “despite all the challenges the thrill of the white coat never leaves you.”1 Doctors are often seen in white coats in television programmes, and the dress is often used as a means to distinguish doctors from other people. White coats have become something of a symbol of hygiene and authority, but should they really be used in modern medicine?2
The white coat has been worn since the 19th century; its main purpose is to prevent cross contamination.2 Since then, however, the symbolic value of the white coat has increased. It seems that the white coat generally stands for authority and professionalism. “White coat” ceremonies in the United States welcome new students into medical school.3 The families and friends of new medical students