Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maybe I should dress better

Yesterday a drug company hired me to do a lunchtime talk at an office down the street. It wasn't one I'd ever been to before.

I showed up at the appointed time, and politely waited at the front desk. After a few minutes a lady noticed me, and before I could speak, she said "Oh, glad you're here. Go through the door, and down the hall. It's the 3rd room on the right."

So I obligingly headed that way. I found myself in a room with a few business machines, and no people. An odd place to do a lunch talk, but some offices have very limited space. So I got out my speaker's notes and quietly glanced them over while I waited.

A few people walked by and looked at me, but didn't say anything. Finally the lady who sent me in came back.

Office Lady: "Uh, you can start whenever."

Dr. Grumpy: "But there's no one here yet to give my talk to."

Office Lady: "Talk? What do you mean?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm Dr. Grumpy, here to give a talk on Fukitol..."

Office Lady: "Oh, I thought you came to fix the copier."

35 comments:

Amanda said...

We might have to have a Dr. Grumpy closet intervention.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Grumpy, considering the number of times this has happened to you I think it's time to buy a suit. Only wear it when it would be the most inconvenient to be mistaken for the guy who's there to fix something mechanical.

Anonymous said...

So? Pull out the jammed paper, dump toner all over the place and bill them $400.

Packer said...

True enough it matters not.
When young and dapper new esq. walked into Courtroom, where I was the only suited and tied person wearing smell nice on my cleanly shaven visage,amongst 50 or so manacled, bracketed, jumpsuited sad and desperate creatures of God. The Judge took one look at me and asked What are you charged with ? The clothes as they say do make the man.

Anonymous said...

OK Dr. IG, basic dress shirt, no tie, chinos or slacks, POLISHED shoes. If the t-shirt shows it should match your slacks. (No running shoes. Stop whining. Look for Rockports or even the shoes cops wear. Just POLISH them. Looking like a resident does not work any more, esp. with your hairline. And I doubt you look like Hugh Laurie. Even "House" wears a jacket over the rock band t-shirts.) Colored socks that match the pants. Maybe a jacket, elbow patches optional. Shave and a haircut within the last month.
If you really want to pull off the "I am a MD" look, have a stethoscope peeliong out of a jacket pocket. Wearing it over your shoulders is trying too hard.

Don said...

Think of it as your uniform if that helps. Lots of people where uniforms to identify them and make life easier for everyone interacting with them.

If you think of it as a uniform you have the added benefit of not having to think about what you are going to wear in the morning. Just put on the uniform.

Or, you could go with the hospital classic, scrubs. Just where scrubs everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Open mouth, insert foot.

Did she apologize?

I would have said, "Sorry for the delay, I had to fix the copier before I started!"

Ibee Grumpy: MD, Mongolian Yak Herder and Maintenance Man.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

The job of Chief Resident everywhere is knowing how to work the AV equipment. So I once learned that trade, too.

Of course, back then we used SLIDES. The kind that came in trays.

Queen of the Road said...

You couldn't be more different than my husband: Suit, tie, contrasting pocket square - even patterned socks.

He HATES it when his patients comment on how nice he looks because they invariably ask, "Does your wife dress you?" (I'm the pig in the family.)

likebedsheetsRN said...

Maybe since I only see doctors in the ICU, it's different. Usually, the surgeons wear scrubs 24/7 and the other docs... well, sometimes you mistake them for lost family members. You go to ask them if they need assistance, and they start asking for lab results and you figure maybe it's a physician. My favorite is flip flops with scrubs, and a wool sweater on top of it (crazy neurosurgeons)! Perhaps in the offices doctors look more presentable... but honestly, if it were my doc, I'd prefer he be comfy. Shined shoes aren't cutting my co-pay in half for sure. But maybe I'm a slob, too :)

Mal said...

Dude, you are shortchanging your patients. Do some reading about the placebo effect, 'no-cebo' effect, and their relationship to doctors appearance.
If you dress like a maintence man, talk like a yak-herder, and chugg diet coke during the appointment, your patients will have less confidence in your abilities, and will find their medication less effective.

Moose said...

The problem, as I see it, is not you or what you wear.

The problem is people making assumptions.

OldSquid said...

Scrubs are very unprofessional looking IMO. Only to be worn if there is any chance of body fluids ending up on you. I would be very weary of anyone on TV wearing scrubs (pressed) telling me anything healthcare related. Seems like a dress shirt, slacks, dress shoes, tie optional with lab coat (while in your office) would be a dress code.

We "allow" physicians to wear polo's. I cannot even wear a polo as an "administrator" ( yeah, I sit at a computer for 6 hours a day working on spreadsheets I can have to be more dressed up than our physicians, but thankfully my boss won the battle about making up wear uniform shits with the group practice name on it), but I digress…

Jeanette said...

Fukitol! My drug of choice!!

PA Honeybee said...

OldSquid has to wear uniform shits? Poor guy!

What were you wearing to prompt that kind of assumption? I realize you stated in several posts that you prefer comfort clothes but, I just had to ask. I think the incorrect assumption is an issue as well. Who is she to assume, she knows why you're there? You could have been a patient with a question.

pharmacy chick said...

Once I went to an off site to do a flu clinic and walked into the receptionist. I was wearing my white coat with badge, holding a HUGE red sharps container and a cooler full of vaccines and boxes of syringes/gloves..etc. she asked me " are you here for the sales meeting?'

dunknow said...

el-o-el, stillll much better than being overdresss which happens with me- ALWAYS-
*rolls eyes*

Anonymous said...

I widely prefer a doc who keeps it real with his attire and his demeanor than one who likes to pretend he's not in the same universe as I am...

Anonymous said...

likebedsheetsRN: I agree! I prefer the comfy look. I think an MD is more relaxed, when they are comfy. I also feel like I am being spoken too and not spoken at. Be comfortable, take off the lab coat and stay awhile (or for the 45 minutes my appointments last). I have several doctors that get coffee and a sweet treat every visit and I encourage them to drink/snack while we take care of the medical business. Most of them don't have two minutes to pee, let alone keep hydrated. Lunch? What's that? I highly doubt any of my doctors are getting lunch breaks. It's the least I can do! All of my doctors are amazing, insightful, competent professionals.

In my former, profession (a teacher), I liked to get on the floor with my students, paint during art, and not care about ruining something nice. So, I usually opted for nice jeans and a shirt, shorts when hot (2nd floor of a non A/C building) on days with temperatures at 110 with the heat index, etc. Now and again, I would wear a skirt/dress if I had a meeting or somewhere to go after work, and the kids would always say, "Oh Man, she's in her dress up clothes, now we can't have our reading groups on the floor)!" We would still have reading on the floor, but I was less likely to lay on the floor on my tummy during silent reading or journal time (to work with a group of kiddos) in a dress or skirt! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Just wear a lab coat, with whatever you are wearing. That is what my PCP does: with his long hair, open shirt with colored T-Shirts. I dress a lot better than he does, and It does not bother me. What I like about him, is his passion for medicine.

He is the only one that can take my BP and my sytolic reading is normal.

Loren Pechtel said...

I disagree with the fancy dress comments in this thread--what you should be aiming for is something that marks your profession rather than just "professional". A lab coat seems like the right answer to me.

Old MD Girl said...

You neurologists are all the same.

I once worked with a fashion-forward neurologist. He was kind of a prick. Rumpled is better (and more comfortable).

Slob.

;-)

Anonymous said...

Packer, if you were dressed all nice and went into a courtroom, the judge probably thought you were the defendant on a really serious charge, like murder.

FrauTech said...

Oh Fukitol. I'm trying to get a job as a drug rep for them.

http://frautech.blogspot.com/2011/02/medical-science-to-rescue-.html

C said...

Omg I laughed for a good minute at this! Too funny.

Watercolor said...

My gosh. What if you had been a client? Receptionist should know better. Always assume the person entering is a person of great importance no matter how they look. Because they just might be to your firm......

RehabRN said...

I work for a neuro and he claims he only wears his white coat when 1) there are important visitors or 2) when he stains his shirt at lunchtime.

He can't help it that he wears Birkenstocks and socks with his shorts on weekends (wears pants during the week).

I think he thinks he's still in the lab or at med school (since he does teach) anyway.

I've worked with a crazy who wore fancy ties and outlandish (like ostrich) cowboy boots and he was an absolute boor.

I'll take the crappy dressers, any day if they're civil and nice to the nurses.

Dani said...

The dr I work for wears biking sandals with crazy socks. She's an avid biker! I don't think there's anything wrong with a casual doc. For the record, I like to wear crazy socks too but mine are usually hidden by my scrubs

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. With the copiers, eh? That was too funny. No one really wears scrubs at the small hospital I work except people in surgery. So, when a fellow showed up to the front door of the pharmacy in freshly pressed scrubs, someone called down to surgery to find out if there was someone new and the rest of us were asking ourselves, 'Just who does he think he is? We haven't heard there's a new surgeon. Perhaps we'd better contact security or the police for someone impersonating a surgeon? This was a new drug rep for an anesthetic product, and he was all ins scrubs and hadn't even been to surgery. He got the cold shoulder, and not just because it was a non-formulary product.

Dr Killpatient said...

Take off your tool belt with reflex hammers next time!

homes said...

I'm a receptionist. My boss would slit my throat if I let anyone go out the back without checking some kind of ID.

Anonymous said...

My husband went to visit a friend of ours who had just been taken to the emegency room (family was en route but wouldn't be there for another hour). Staff assumed he was a doctor(he's a geologist but looks knowledgeable, sp?) and immediately took him in to see a burn patient. So he had to convince them he was't an MD.

Kat's Kats said...

You should either get the t-shirt or button that says "My mother made me dress like this" for these occasions. ::snicker:: Like so many others, I prefer an intelligent doctor who treats me as part of my medical team and as long it looks like their clothes were clean when they put them on when they got to the office (or came on duty) I'm good. OTOH if that head of the sleep clinic comes in and acts like a know-it-all boobrain god of medicine the way s/he did last time I'll be filing a scathing evaluation of their behavior with the head of the clinics. ::narrows eyes at said boobrain::

Lois said...

Now, wouldn't it be funny if their usual office equipment maintenance man happened to be a dead ringer for you?
;^P

Curdie said...

Did you tell her that you clean fish tanks also?

 
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