Is Your Doctor’s Necktie Full of Bacteria?

Is Your Doctor’s Necktie Full of Bacteria?

Dressing up for work has its advantages…as well as some drawbacks.

It might be the last thing that springs to mind when it comes to dangerous bacteria: your doctor’s clothing. But it kind of makes sense.

A study completed by researchers at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens has found that almost half of all neckties worn by medical personnel are playing host to bacteria that can cause disease.

“This study brings into question whether wearing a necktie is in the best interest of our patients,” says Steven Nurkin, one of the researchers on the study.

Related: This Patch Can Detect Bacteria in Packaged Food

Nurkin commented that being well dressed adds to an aura of professionalism and has been correlated with higher patient confidence.

In fact, senior physicians and hospital administrators in the United States often encourage staff to wear neckties in order to help promote this valuable relationship.

In doing so, however, they may also be facilitating the spread of infectious organisms.

Oh, the dangers of looking great.

“Studies such as this remind us about what we may bring to our patients’ bedside,” Nurkin added. “By increasing our awareness and making simple behavioral changes we may be able to provide a better quality of healthcare.”

So, if your doctor shows up in track pants an a t-shirt next time, don’t be alarmed. It’s nothing to worry about. He or she is just trying to keep you in your best health, even if they do look a bit shabby.

Photo credits: GIANT7STUDIO/

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