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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.
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
University of North Carolina School of Medicine