By Nancy Etcoff
Harvard Design Magazine
Here is an excerpt:
Others wonder if the white coat is out of step in a culture of informality, and should be abandoned like the wigs of court dress in the United Kingdom—a topic of ongoing contention. Symbols of power and authority make people nervous, causing their blood pressure to rise (“white coat syndrome”) and their thoughts to shut down. Doctors seek compliance and trust. Today, they are taught to read emotional signals and are given empathy training. They no longer want to be intimidating authorities issuing orders, but providers offering services to clients. Fittingly, some are now wearing business attire.
But if some doctors are shedding the white coat, people in other professions are eager to put them on. They are showing up on different sorts of body experts, those found at cosmetic counters, spas, and salons, who are eager to align themselves with symbols of power and authority, and with the aura of objectivity, truth, and service.
The entire article is here.