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Fourth-year UNC School of Medicine student Casey Hribar, who is also pursuing an MBA at Carolina, led research on patient perceptions associated with scrub color, and published the findings in a JAMA Surgery research letter.

The researchers examined whether scrub color is associated with the ability to be perceived as a surgeon and the perception of selected clinician character traits.

Doctors wearing green scrubs were most strongly recognized as surgeons, while black scrubs were not highly thought of; some patients associated black scrubs with death.

Other authors are Carolyn Quinsey, MD, assistant professor of pediatric neurosurgery, Martin Piazza, MD, a resident in the UNC Department of Neurosurgery, and a former UNC epidemiologist Avinash Chandran, Ph.D., now at the Datalys Center for Sports Injury, Research and Prevention, Inc. in Indiana.

More information:
Casey A. Hribar et al, Association Between Patient Perception of Surgeons and Color of Scrub Attire, JAMA Surgery (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamasurg.2022.5837

Journal information:
JAMA Surgery

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University of North Carolina School of Medicine