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August 1987

How Dress Affects Perceptions of House Officers

Author Affiliations

Department of Family Practice University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(8):830. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460080016010

Sir.—The data collected by Taylor1 concerning the attire of house officers were very interesting to us. We were especially interested in his statement that

it was not possible to make an estimate of the relative role that dress plays in the many factors that may influence initial perceptions of competence nor of the extent to which the influence of dress may be modified through integration with other factors.

A study similar to Taylor's was conducted at our institution, and the results were published nearly simultaneously.2

The open-ended format of our study afforded us insights to the relative role that dress plays in patients' perceptions of house officers. In our study, patients were shown 12 photographs similar to those described in Taylor's study and asked to choose which they would prefer to see for a medical problem. Although patients commented on the house officers' attire, they were quick

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