A smile makes up for doctors’ lack of dress sense, a New Zealand study has found. Most patients prefer smiling doctors in semi-formal attire to po-faced doctors in the same garb. The next most popular options are white coat, formal suit, jeans and casual dress. Patients tended to be more comfortable, researchers found, with relatively conservative styles, such as long sleeves, covered shoes and dress trousers and skirts. Facial piercings, short tops and men wearing earrings are not popular.
As for forms of address, the New Zealand study found that most patients prefer to be addressed by their first name — although New Zealanders are not known for their formality in any case. But they do want doctors to introduce themselves by their title and first and last names. The breast pocket was the most favoured location for a name badge.
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