I believe that:
* Scrubs is the most realistic medical television show of our era, and an informal but long-lasting and multi-city poll I've been taking of other medical students and residents suggests that many agree.
* Scrubs are the clothing of the hospital as factory floor--the hospital as a production process with teams of workers working together--and their persistence and popularity suggest that more and more healthcare workers see their work in roughly those terms.
* Ties should be eliminated from the work clothing of male doctors, and I used to think they would disappear because we would follow the "creative" sides of the business, research and technology worlds. But I have come to think that I will wear a tie for a long time to come, and so will most of my colleagues. But perhaps not mostly for the reasons of "respecting patients" that most of us will use to explain the choice. We will wear ties because part of what the doctor is offering is the power he will wield on your behalf. We will not admit the extent to which this power is an illusion, perhaps even a dangerous one.
* Women in medicine will continue to struggle to find the right outfit that expresses what it means to be a doctor, without clear rules and with much criticism for breaking unclear rules. Men in medicine should continue to struggle to find the right outfit that expresses what it means to be a doctor, but they will stick to clear rules and not give it enough thought. Transgendered people in medicine will be too cautious to innovate in the workplace.
* The trashy semiotics of medicine--the television shows, the clothes--are more important than they first seem. They are the visible signs of unspoken ideas of our culture.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I believe that: