Sometimes it can be hard to read the scientific literature without peering through the lens of one’s own prejudices. That said, I must agree with this:
Malaysian doctors have declared neckties a health hazard and called on the heath ministry to stop insisting that physicians wear them.
Citing studies that show ties are unhygienic and can spread infection, the Malaysian Medical Association says they are not often washed and carry germs that can cause pneumonia and blood infections, the Star newspaper said on Tuesday.
“And when doctors are doing their clinical rounds, they dangle all over the place,” the paper quoted association president Dr Teoh Siang Chin as saying.
But the Star quoted a ministry official as saying it needed more proof that neckties were a danger before it relaxed the dress code for doctors in hospitals. (Reuters)
I hope Reuters will forgive me for scarfing up their piece in toto. I don’t usually do that, bu I didn’t know where to cut it. Except maybe high up, near the collar.
In the interests of full disclosure, I routinely don’t wear a tie, mostly on the grounds a tie serves no purpose. I only wear one when the occasion calls for it as a sign of respect. I have observed that my pediatrician colleagues frequently wear bowties. I always assumed this was to prevent a necktie swinging, unbidden, into the infant’s crotch during exams. Or maybe some pediatricians are just nerdy, how knows?
The Malaysian health ministry wants proof a necktie is a hygiene hazard? How about proof a dress code that requires a necktie improves medical care? If that’s not the reason, then what is? Just asking.