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Comment & Response
February 2020

Methodological Flaws in Improving Physician Role Identification via “Doctor” Badges

Author Affiliations
  • 1Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Graduate School, Beijing, China
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China
  • 3Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(2):337. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6426

To the Editor In their pilot study, Foote and colleagues1 assessed the use of badges with the title “Doctor” for physician role identification and reported a high prevalence of role misidentification experienced by internal medicine residents, in particular female residents. It is not uncommon in routine clinical practice to encounter a large proportion of patients who are unable to name anyone when asked to identify a hospital physician in charge of their care.2 In a study conducted by Lill and Wilkinson,3 76% (344 of 451) of patients surveyed felt that physicians should always wear name badges. As a low-cost tool, badges can help inpatients correctly identify their hospital physicians and also can improve team members’ workplace experience. The study by Foote and colleagues1 highlights the importance of using badges to improve resident identification.

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