When you google your Rheumatologist, do you want to see Tie & Suit?

When you google your Rheumatologist, do you want to see Tie & Suit?

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TiesBy Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

The staff photos on our BJC Health website were taken in-house for convenience and definitely need updating (check out photos of the doctors, warts & all). We're going to get professional shots but before that, we need some feedback from you.

Might seem a little trivial but what we wear has become a debated topic! First impressions are supposed to matter.

Our internal "debate" has raised a few differing opinions (these aren't mine):

Opinion 1:

It's more classy <for> Everyone <to be> dressed in suit in their photos. That is what the general public perception is of specialists and I have raised this point so many times but no one agreed......Image is everything and a good image sells.

Opinion 2:

..doctors need to dress up and look like what they perceive to be...

Opinion 3:

My initial thought is that the tie and full suit makes you look like ....medical specialists who look like they could be working in a law firm in the middle of the financial district.

However, I have no idea what potential patients are looking for when they go to a doctor's profile. Are they looking at your hair style, your smile, whether you look trustworthy, whether you look intelligent, does the suit mean you have a position of authority and you know what you are talking about or does it mean you are a pompous XXX who can't relate to the general person and think you are above me? By all means, look professional and make sure what you wear fits well - tailored in fact and it will look good.
As a group, you guys should decide a standard and then look like a cohesive team no matter what you choose but if everyone does their own thing and has their own agenda, you won't look like a team. Perhaps the public has no expectation that you are a team but your non-doctor colleagues whom you work with do.


Some of you long term readers may recall my thoughts on this. Read "Am I a better doctor if I wore a tie?".

But, I'm happy to be corrected.

While you may not necessarily be representative of the patients who visit our rooms, you are probably representative of people who google their doctors and who check out their website either prior or after a visit.

Given that we all want to make a good impression, even on a website, your opinion does matter.

What do you think? When you google your rheumatologist, do you want to see him/her in formal attire?

If it's a male, does he have to be in suit and tie to help that patient/doctor relationship?

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here.
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