Picture a doctor in your mind’s eye, and what do you see? A stethoscope, maybe. Perhaps a little black bag. And almost certainly a white lab coat.
But that last item may be destined for oblivion.
The American Medical Association is studying a proposal made at its annual meeting in June that doctors hang up their lab coats — for good. The group’s Council on Science and Public Health is looking at the role clothing plays in transmitting bacteria and other microbes and is expected to announce its findings next year.