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Editor's Correspondence |

White Coat Cover-up

Jai Chakrabarti, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(21):2652. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.21.2652-a.
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I read with interest the recent article by Dr Brandt1 titled "On the Value of an Old Dress Code in the New Millennium." While it is commendable for physicians to attempt to enhance patient confidence and satisfaction by appearing neat, clean, and professional, I think we may be treating external symptoms rather than the true causes of the decline of patient confidence in physicians.

The questions we should really be asking about appearance are these: has the medical community over the last few years appeared to be truly concerned about the access of all to medical care, the disparities of available health care to different segments of the population, the lack of a prescription drug benefit for the elderly, many of whom have to choose between food and medications at the end of the month; and have we advocated for adequate medical care on behalf of the least privileged segments of our society who have increasingly been marginalized in recent years as a result of ruthless state and federal budget cuts?

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