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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-92

Patients Preference for Doctor Attire in an Outpatient Department of a Government Hospital in New Delhi, India

Department of Community Medicine, North DMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sandeep Sachdeva
Department of Community Medicine, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital, New Delhi-110007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_31_18

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Objective: To assess patients preference for preselected doctor attire in outpatient department (OPD) setting of a government hospital. Materials and Methods: An anonymous, predesigned, pretested, semistructured interview schedule was administered to adult (>18 years) ambulatory coherent patients. The brief questionnaire captured selected sociodemographic details of patients, department visited, and use of aprons (white coat) by attending doctor observed and desired practice. To the item—“Was your attending doctor in OPD wearing apron (white coat)?”, the possible response was yes/no. For the item—“Would you like to see your attending doctor wearing apron (white coat)?”, again the possible answer was yes/no. When a patient responded to this item as “no,” we further explored their reason for the same. The patients were shown four colored pictures each for male and female doctor in different dress. They were probed regarding their preference that they would like to see their attending doctor to be wearing. These attires were labeled as 1 = cool casual, 2 = casual, 3 = professional informal, and 4 = professional formal. Result: The mean age of 547 patients was 35.34 (±12.81) years; 322 (58.9%) were males. Out of 547 patients, nearly 395 (72.2%) wanted (desired) to see their attending doctor to be wearing apron; however, only 256 (46.8%) reported that attending doctors were actually wearing the apron in the outpatient department. Only 152 (27.7%) patients responded that it does not matter to them whether attending doctor was wearing white coat (apron) or not. Majority of patients preferred male doctor to be wearing professional formal (42.3%) and professional informal (40.9%) attire, whereas for female doctor, also majority preferred professional formal (38.7%) and professional informal (37.5%), respectively. Casuals were the least preferred attire. Conclusion: It is reiterated that majority of patients in our OPD setting preferred formal attire of attending doctor with apron, a clear and loud message for future physician in training.

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