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A. K. Reddy, D. K. Coats, K. G. Yen; An Evidence-Based Approach to Physician Etiquette in Pediatric Ophthalmology. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):4695.
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In pediatric ophthalmology, patient/family-physician relationships are founded on rapport during the initial clinic visit. The purpose of this study was to provide evidence to guide physician etiquette in this setting.
Parents/guardians of 150 children were surveyed regarding physician attire, salutations, and gender.
Of the 150 surveys completed, 84.7% were completed by female guardians. Physician greeting and attire affected the trust and confidence of 75.8% and 40.9% of respondents, respectively. Three-quarters of parents preferred to be greeted by handshake, and 53% wished for their children to be greeted by handshake. Forty-six percent of parents wished to be addressed as "mom" or "dad", while 36.9% wished to be addressed by their first name only. Greater than 97% of parents preferred that children be addressed by their first name. The majority of respondents preferred physicians introduce themselves by surname and wear a white coat; 92% expressed no interest in the gender of their physician. Most respondents reported no interest in physician dress, but, when a preference was expressed, parents preferred business casual attire to scrubs, casual wear, or business suits.
The families of children seen by pediatric ophthalmologists frequently have preferences with regard to physician behavior. Physicians can work to maximize patient satisfaction by understanding and acting on these preferences. Based on our results, pediatric ophthalmologists may wish to consider wearing white coats and business casual attire in clinic, greeting parents and children with a handshake, and addressing parents and patients informally.
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