What do doctors in training carry in their white lab coats?

The study was done in Ireland in 2001 and quite a few things have changed since then but it is still an interesting one to have a look at. Nowadays, many students and residents do not carry handbooks but an iPhone or another type of smartphone. And I hope than less than 33% have cigarettes in their lab coat pockets.

The authors designed a study to ascertain the weight and type of items carried by 54 junior hospital doctors in their white coats.

- Mean weight carried was 1.63 Kg. There were no statistical difference between males and females.

- Interns and senior house officers (SHOs) carried significantly more than registrars.

- Medical specialties carried significantly more than surgical specialties.

- 33% carried cigarettes.

The conclusion was that junior hospital doctors carry the equivalent of almost two 1Kg bags of sugar with them in their white coats, this added weight may contribute to increased fatigue during long hours on duty. As doctors become more senior they carry less.

Junior hospital doctors: a weighty issue. Hone S, Mackle T, Keogh I, Colreavy M, Walsh M. Ir Med J. 2001 Jul-Aug;94(7):208, 210.
Image source: Lab coat and scrubs. Wikipedia, Samir, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

A Cartoon Guide to Becoming a Doctor: What's in your short white coat? http://goo.gl/aGhE


  1. 33% carried cigarettes inside Lab Coat

  2. now we have a statistical study for this too???!!

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