UNC study: Dermatologists should ditch their neckties but keep white coat

The UNC Department of Dermatology recently surveyed patients at a dermatology clinic, and their opinion was clear - only 20 percent of those surveyed felt doctors needed to wear neck ties.

"We're going to proclaim that ties are dead," said Dean Morrell, MD, one of the study's authors and director of pediatric and adolescent dermatology.

Morrell and his colleagues surveyed 176 new patients at an adult dermatology clinic and the parents of 248 children attending a pediatric clinic on their views of what doctors should wear. The results, published in the Archives of Dermatology, were the same across all groups who answered the survey regardless of age, race, education level or gender.

But at least for the grown-up patients, the white coat is still in vogue, with more than half of patients in the adult dermatologist's office expecting to be treated by a physician wearing a white coat. When it comes to children, parents are less demanding of the white coat, with only around 25 percent wanting to see their children's doctor in the attire. 

The story was covered by the Los Angeles Times and Reuters last week.

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