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What Not to Wear

By Robert B. Carrigan, MD

The hand surgery community and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand have a long tradition of embracing technology and methodology to address challenging conditions related to hand surgery. Society members have contributed their expertise to develop appropriate use criteria (AUC) to aid in the management of clinical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and distal radius fractures.

I want the hand surgery community to address an additionally challenging situation: what neckwear is most appropriate to wear in the office. Neckties have long been the standard for professional men to wear in the office, often worn with a sporty blazer. Our infectious disease colleagues, sighting concerns over an infection risk associated with neckties, have advocated bowties. When is it appropriate to wear a mock turtle or even an ascot? Do regional differences support hand surgeons in the southwest to sport a bolo tie? I believe there is enough fashion expertise in the hand community to shed some light on this perplexing daily dilemma.

Comments (2)
January 9, 2020 11:16 pm

I wear ties and bowties. Surgeons are concerned about the fact that ties are rarely cleaned. Well, the same goes for the white coat that we wear for weeks before laundering….


Sandra Collins
January 10, 2020 1:36 pm

As a female, I wear modest vee neck tops or button front blouses open at the top button ( many women’s blouses omit the top button). Given my freedom, I have no objection to a male physician in a shirt without a tie and the top button open, or a mock turtleneck, or any tidy, clean sportswear in good condition. I deliberately avoid dry clean only clothes, as I feel they don’t get as clean as washable, so I’m fine with men abandoning the suit and tie in the patient care area.


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