When you are a patient in the ER, you may believe that the last thing you are thinking about is the appearance of the doctor who is going to be writing your admission orders or using a needle to take the fluid off your lung or wheel you off to surgery.
Subconsciously you are, though.
When I was in residency we were shown a graph from a study that showed showed that patients judge their physician more on how they look than what they know. This is particularly problematic for female physicians. Men can just roll out of bed and boom! they are ready to go. Not so for lady-docs. Oh, no. Patients do not have confidence inspired when faced with disheveled hair and smeared make up even if it is in the middle of the night. So I thought I would compile a quick list of helpful hints and tips for the ladies.
Make up regimen: One of those amazing lipstick paint-ons that lasts for 48 hrs, a bit of blush and face powder, and a water-proof mascara in case of the unlikely event that you get enough sleep to warrant a puddle of drool on the call room plastic covered pillow. I liked to avoid foundation because it always seemed to feel goopy after hour number 18. No need to worry about SPF. Your skin is not seeing the light of day for a looooong time…
Clothes: Scrubs. They are legal pajamas. Cover it with the white coat and you don’t have to pay attention to the unflattering bulges around the draw string.
Footwear: Sneakers or clogs.
Hair: Ponytail if you can. At the very least, something that can be fluffed up and smoothed out with a head shake and a few fingers through the hair. No sense losing precious sleep from preening.
Accessories: Large cup of coffee in the left hand and your lucky socks. I guess you could count the stethoscope around your neck here. You can get the Littmann Cardiology III in several festive colors nowadays to mirror your moods (or body fluids)… black (for melena or to match your black cloud), maroon (for blood), green (for bile, diarrhea, vomit)… do they make a blue (for the tears that you will cry from exhaustion at about 3AM)? Drape it like a scarf or something.
Deodorant/antiperspirant: Don’t forget to reapply after midnight. No one wants to experience your B.O.
Now go knock ’em dead! Ok. Maybe not that. Break a leg? Nah. Alright. How about this slogan? Do a good job and look good doing it!