Vet Med Best Dressed- Not your mother’s journal club: JAVMA’s veterinarian attire article

Journal American Veterinary Medical Association 2018 veterinarian attire summary vet scrubs labcoat stethoscopeVeterinarian attire in the emergency setting- a summary of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s article (2018)

Ooooohhh you guys!!

JAVMA just published an article on Veterinarians, clothes and client perception in the ER setting.

If you read my shoe blog, then you know I am a huge fan of personal expression with a side of bad-ass lifesaving. Despite a certain antipathy towards journal articles in general, I consumed this like a half-melted Ghirardelli square found in a side pocket at the end of a 12-hour shift.

Let’s journal club, shall we? Get your wine, I’ll wait…

Clients’ attitudes toward veterinarians’ attire in the small animal emergency medicine setting

Tyler Sugerman-McGiffinGabrielle C. HybkiJesse CastroLisa A. MurphyColleen TanseyJeffrey E. PatlogarReid K. NakamuraDillon Y. Chen JAVMA 253, 3, 2018, pp.355-359

Article link here

Who– ER folks in the Inland Empire, Upland, CA. This would be the greater LA area, merging into Orange County. Described as rural, but I suspect some of the population is economically displaced from LA, younger and upwardly mobile. Mainly because I’ve been there….

Why– trust is essential to the doctor-patient-client relationship. We can build or lose this quickly in the chaotic ER setting. In the human world, there is a perception of greater trust, empathy and confidence with physicians in more formal attire.

How– voluntary survey. Clients were given photographic examples of male and female Veterinarians in various style of dress. Figure 1.

What– theme and variations on the questions “how do you like your Doc dressed?” This included questions like “which of these doctors would you be more inclined to trust” and “which would you find more caring and compassionate?”

Conclusion– less than 50% of respondents gave a hoot. Seriously. Zero hoots given by roughly half of the 154 respondents.  Surgical or clinical attire won out over business or professional attire for the few clients who did pick, but of course this did not reach statistical significance…

So, there’s room, at least in the Inland Empire, for a blend of self-expression, comfort, practicality, perceived competency and trustworthiness. Figure 2.

Maybe not as scientifically valuable as bronchoscopy images of the Cavalier that aspirated what can only be described as a slime coated Lego (p. 295, same issue), but still interesting.

P.S. white coats and neck ties were identified as potential fomites… Style fail.


Figure 1.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian clothing in the ER clinic

Figure 2. Too much?