Home > Uncategorized > A Nice Clean White Coat

A Nice Clean White Coat

As I rolled into my office this morning I noticed that my white coat was looking a little dingy.  Fortunately, my AA ordered me a bunch of coats so I always have some hanging up, fresh from the cleaners.  Usually she has to tell me to switch them. Occasionally I notice myself.  Either way, I don’t tend to walk around with a coat that isn’t at least mostly white.

But it wasn’t always that way.  As a resident, I had a habit of finding out just how brown a white coat can be.  It was hard to tell for me, as the change was very gradual.  But a few years into a residency, I could stand next to someone with a truly white coat and the difference was, well, ghastly.  But now it is different, and while I have to give my AA credit, in truth the credit goes to my third year REI attending, Dr John Schnorr.

I started my REI rotation early in my third year.  Effectively, this meant that the two white coats I had been given at the beginning of my internship were somewhere between yellow and poo.  I walked into the Taj Mahal office, as REI offices tend to be, and presented myself to Dr Schnorr.  He gave me a funny look that I didn’t quite pick up on.  He then proceeded to go over all the rules and responsibilities for the rotation, as would be typical for the orientation.

We had a great first day.  At the end of it, I could tell he was a little uncomfortable about something.  He hesitated, then he came out with it. 

“Do you get your coats laundered?”

This was a very polite Southern way of saying  “Your coat looks like shit”

“Uh… no” 

As if I had to say it.

But then he said the greatest thing.

“Just throw your coats in our laundry bin…. our people will launder them for you.”

So I did, and was forever changed.  When I got that first laundered coat, all bleach white and starched, I never looked back.

So residents – take your coat to the cleaners from time to time… its only seven bucks, but it looks like a million.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 11, 2013 at 3:35 am

    I just ordered new white coats through our department and am sorry to say that the nice crisp thick white cotton has been replaced by thin, poor quality crap.

    They don;t make white coats like they used to…Sort of like baseball uniforms.

    Have a great day.



  2. Olga
    July 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

    There is reasonable evidence (infectious disease) to lose the white coat altogether. Ick.


  3. July 22, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I have a similar story about polishing my shoes. An older doc suggested unpolished shoes, actually looking like I worked as a garbage collector, reflected poorly on my overall hygeine. Nice story.


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