“Perhaps the speaker refused to answer your question because you’re young.”
My jaw dropped when the product manager offered that explanation. We were in a symposium and the European speaker her company invited had just answered my question in a vague, roundabout way. When I asked the product manager why the speaker behaved the way he did, I never expected her to answer the way she did!
I thought at first, maybe the speaker didn’t know the answer. However, a few minutes after I asked my question, another doctor – this time, an older male – repeated my query.
Surprise, surprise: The speaker was more than happy to answer in detail.
I bristled in my seat. Any other day, I would have smiled at the thought of being called young. But that day, I didn’t appreciate the apologist way the speaker’s behavior was rationalized by the product manager. After all, I will be forty in a few years, making me about a decade older than most of the doctors in the room.
I wondered, did the foreign doctor shrug me off because I was the only female who dared to speak? Or was there another reason?
Half-convinced that he was a chauvinist, I believed there was nothing I could have done to make him treat me differently. Then again, fate had a way of proving me wrong when I least expected it.
The very next day, I attended a post-graduate conference that gave me the epiphany of a lifetime: That exasperating man might have treated me the same way he did the other doctors… if only I wore a different outfit.
Dressing the Part: How a Doctor’s Attire Affects the Patient
Wait, what? That’s ridiculous, you might think. Did what I had to wear (which was appropriate – you can take my word for it) influence the speaker more than what I had to say?
The simple answer is yes.
“[…] Judgments about the cover are good proxies for judgments about the book – even after reading it,” said Dr. Geraldine Racaza, quoting a psychologist from Cornell University.
Dr Racaza talked about how doctors could dress to impress, addressing the Internal Medicine residents of Manila Doctors Hospital during the second day of the post-graduate course held at Diamond Hotel from June 18 to 19, 2015.
Here’s how doctors can dress to impress. Whether you like fashion or not, it doesn’t matter – using your daily attire to improve your relationship with your patients is simply smart thinking.