Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not Fit To Be Tied

The list of things to avoid during flu season includes crowded buses, hospitals and handshakes. Consider adding this: your doctor's necktie.

Neckties are rarely, if ever, cleaned. When a patient is seated on the examining table, doctors' ties often dangle perilously close to sneeze level. In recent years, a debate has emerged in the medical community over whether they harbor dangerous germs.

Several hospitals have proposed banning them outright. Some veteran doctors suspect the antinecktie campaign has more to do with younger physicians' desire to dress casually than it does with modern medicine. At least one tie maker is pushing a compromise solution: neckwear with an antimicrobial coating.

Rebecca Smith, Doctor’ Necktie Seen As Flue Risk, Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2009

As a doctor veteran clip-on bowtie wearer, I say out with tied long ties,

Out with the tied long size, in with the untied short size, you long tie guys.

To the young and casual,

I say be more professional,

Get a new guise, and above the flu rise.

Dr. Richard Reece is author, blogger, speaker, and innovation and reform commentator. Dr. Reece’s latest book, Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform ( is available at,, and for $31.95 (hardcover), $21.95 (softcover), and $6.95 (electronic). For information on speaking fees and arrangements, call 860-395-1501.

No comments: