UK Physician Fashion Police

If you're a doctor in a British hospital, don't even think about wearing a necktie, long sleeves and jewelry to work. You can't even wear your traditional white coat. I've talked about docs wearing ties and lab coats in the past.

According to this AP article, the Department of Health in England issued a hospital dress code on Monday banning the above clothing. They say that it will decrease the spread of infection.

"Ties are rarely laundered but worn daily," the Department of Health said in a statement. "They perform no beneficial function in patient care and have been shown to be colonized by pathogens."

The new regulations taking effect next year mean an end to doctors' traditional long-sleeved white coats, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said. Fake nails, jewelry and watches, which the department warned could harbor germs, are also out.

I guess docs will have to dress like Dr. McDreamy above. (You knew I just had to bring back that picture at some point. Remember this post?) Getting back to this article, US physicians will not have to worry about silly dress codes like this...
Infection control societies in the U.S. don't recommend similar dress restrictions because there is no strong evidence that health care workers who don't wear ties or jewelry reduce the risk of infection, said Dr. James Steinberg, an Emory University infectious disease specialist.

Steinberg said that doctors and nurses who don't adequately wash their hands pose a far bigger risk to patients and that hand-washing should be the focus of infection control efforts in hospitals.

The [CDC] does have guidelines advising doctors and nurses against wearing artificial nails in operating rooms and around high-risk patients. It says there is evidence that health care workers who wear fake nails have more germs on their fingertips both before and after hand-washing than those with natural nails.

Now, let me get this straight. I can keep my tie and lab coat. But, I have to get rid of my artificial nails? What's up with that?