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According to The Los Angeles Times paging Stacy London and Clinton Kelly: Apparently dermatologists need some help in deciding what to wear when they see patients.

The biggest controversy appears to involve whether skin specialists should wear their iconic white coats into the exam room or leave them in their offices. A survey reported this week in Archives of Dermatology found that 54% of adult patients want their dermatologist to wear the coats; however, only 26% of parents who brought their children to a pediatric dermatologist think the white coat is helpful in that setting.

“For patients, the white coat exerts a positive placebo effect in some cases and an anxiety-provoking effect in others,” Dr. Charles Ellis, a dermatologist at the University of Michigan Medical School, notes in a short commentary that accompanies the survey.

The survey administrators, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, note that children in particular “may feel intimidated by a white coat,’ which is why many pediatricians choose not to wear them.

A doctors white coat in some settings may seem intimidating. For plastic surgeons, some choose to wear their white coat as a reminder to patients that plastic surgery is serious and should never be taken lightly.Dr O’Toole explains to his patients the importance of his board certification as well as his credentials. Plenty of before and after photos are available for prospective patients to review. Breast augmentation patients are encouraged to review the photos and determine the size they think would fit their body and lifestyle best. Patients need to have a level of trust with their plastic surgeon for  the best experience.

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