Professionalism In Healthcare

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Professionalism Essay

There is a great deal of ease in wearing scrubs to work and most all of the interns and residents do this. We were told at the beginning of the rotation that some attendings preferred that we dress in business casual with our white-coats, and that some attendings don’t care. We were told that we should simply ask the attending if it’s okay to wear scrubs and go from there. However, I felt that it would be bit out of place to ask an attending, who was wearing business casual and whitecoat, if I could wear scrubs. Every single day for the past 3 weeks, I’ve seen Dr. Mustafa in professional attire. I believe this is a greatly overlooked aspect of professionalism in healthcare.
U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McCraven
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I had not truly reflected on it until the past few days. Like Adm. McCraven says about making your bed every morning, the same is true of wearing your whitecoat and professional attire. It is truly a very simple task. The act of cleaning and ironing clothes for the next morning is mundane and very few people truly notice. At a glance, it seems like this is a task that requires more effort than there is reward. But during this rotation I’ve witnessed every attending wearing professional attire.
It was not until about the end of the rotation that I realized how the whitecoat made me feel. Not only did it give me a sense of pride and purpose, but it also gave me a sense of responsibility. I felt the need to “fill the shoes I was wearing”. There is a certain amount of attention to detail that is essential in medicine. If I can’t bother to dress professionally, how could I expect a patient to believe I was a professional.
Wearing a white-coat reinforces the role that the physician plays. However, I am not advocating that students should be required to dress in professional attire. I actually think this is something that students should figure out on their own. There isn’t a single attending on internal medicine who wears scrubs and I believe that with enough time, any student will see this. I think that if you want to change someone’s life as a doctor, you start by wearing your whitecoat, and dressing
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