The White Coat-Demise of an Icon

This is a reprint of a blog that I have posted elsewhere on the internet previously, but I am re-posting it.  I was triggered to do so when an employer insisted that instead of wearing my suit, I ” should wear a White Coat, being as it looks more professional.”

The White Coat-Demise of an Icon

By Dr. Cheryl Bryantbruce, M.D.

One of the strongest symbols in the history of medicine has been the “White Coat.”   It is an icon that has represented the authority, knowledge and wisdom of the doctor it seems since time began.  It is a sacred cow, now ritualized in medical school “White Coat Ceremonies” all across the country as eager medical students cross the threshold to becoming bona fide medical doctors.  Yet, all good things must come to an end.  So it seems to be the case with the white coat, as the American Medical Association (AMA) is considering a proposal that the white coat be done away with.

Although he was nearly laughed out the door at his proposal to the AMA that the long sleeved, flowing white coat should be discarded, Markeplace reported today that the recommendation of one medical student is now being taken under serious consideration.  You see; his argument is logical. The astute young man proposes that the coats become harbingers of germs that can be spread from one patient to another, particularly as the sleeves are draping across contaminated surfaces.

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