Doctors of the soul

Bedside prayers

I have long envied the white coats that physicians wear in hospitals; they’re simple, no nonsense and authoritative. Drape a stethoscope around the neck and the coat is perfectly accessorized.

To me, the coat says, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing. I just came from the lab where I was working on something that may win a Nobel Prize. Since my skills are in such demand, I didn’t have time to take off this lab coat before rushing over here to talk to you about your gall bladder.”

OK, maybe it doesn’t say all of that to everyone, and my words probably aren’t what doctors want to convey about themselves. But the uniform does suggest years of hard training, earned respect and—best of all—a sense of belonging. When a white coat walks into a waiting room, conversations stop and everyone looks up.

 

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