A long time ago or to be precise 5 years ago, back when I was in the 12th grade, my English professor asked my class if we would take a pledge with her.It was just another casual day and I don’t know what prompted her to do this, nevertheless curious as we were about what it was, the 32 of us said we would. She told us to raise our right hands and recite after her.”From this day forward I will never judge another person, solely based on how he/she appears.”
I kept my promise, I really did…for a WEEK.What?Its pretty hard and to this day every once in a while I remember my promise and try to renew my pledge.The thing is, in my opinion, its in our nature to judge someone based on how they look.I mean think about it, we dress up well because we want to make a good impression.People get tattoos, piercings, dye their hair so that other people notice right? Would we still do it if no-one else could see it ?Now I’m not generalising, there may be some of you saints out there who genuinely do not make snap judgments about people, but I’m speaking for the rest of us, mere mortals.
I think the first impression of an individual can be likened to a synopsis of a book.It gives you an insight, it might pique your interest or it might not impress you at all.However this assumption of yours can be changed after you read the book.This is why appearance matters, it is what you want others to see, it is that version of yourself that you want to project to the world.
Patients come to the hospital stressed and with potentially dangerous medical conditions, they obviously do not want to be burdened with dealing with a doctor who appears,well..queer. Not to mention that they could be two or three generations older than you.To put it plain and simply, a doctor will not be taken seriously if his attire his off, no matter the skill he possesses.Like the saying goes-Dress to attract not to distract.
Finally, as much a this hurts for me to admit, I think its justified for medical schools to frown upon students dyeing their hair in bright colours or getting large visible tattoos and piercings. Because although it doesn’t seem like it matters, it helps to ingrain the idea that a professional attire makes a patient feel respected and safe.I read a study on patients’ preferences for doctors appearance and apart from the usual, what I took away from the article was that if there is anything that a doctor should want to wear to impress a patient, it should be a smile.