I'm a young woman and I don't look like the stereotypical cardiologist. So, I've become accustomed to the confused stares that I get when I introduce myself as a cardiologist. Often I suspect that my young looks give me less credibility than if I was a man and had some grey hair.
Normally, I wear pants and a shirt or sweater or a dress under my lab coat. I've never been one to wear a suit to work. But today, I put on my black pant suit and blue button down shirt, without the lab coat, to see if there's a difference.
One of my colleagues who noticed said, "I'll vote for you!" suggesting that I look like a candidate for office. Others complimented me on how nice I looked today. And I had a few questions of what the special occasion is.
There definitely is a difference in how patients react. Today, I felt like I got fewer of those looks of astonishment from new patients. And, patients seemed to take what I had to say more at face value.
Maybe I should wear a suit more often.Image from www.designerexposure.com