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Guest Blog: My White Coat

I was so excited to get my white coat. The White Coat Ceremony was the beginning of medical school, the confirmation that yes, I was going to be a doctor, and I couldn't wait. As the dean of the program called my name and placed the coat on my shoulders, I smiled...and then noticed that the sleeves almost covered my fingers. I walked off the stage, a little disconcerted, pulling the coat around me, finding that it could wrap around far past the buttons. The shoulder seams hung loosely down my upper arms. It was a boxy, straight fit, and of course looked great on the guys. It should- it was a man's coat, that didn't come in a small enough size to fit me. Eventually, I shortened the sleeves. But it still hung loosely, awkwardly on my frame, like I didn't belong in it. I felt unprofessional, like I had put on my dad's coat and went to work. I knew how important perceptions are- I dressed well, in tailored, professional clothes...and then covered them up with this ill-fitting coat. Eventually, I graduated and got a longer coat, but this was still a man's coat, still as frustrating as before. Maybe even more so, because now I was a real doctor, but I didn't feel like it or look like I belonged in the coat. Then, I got my Medelita white coat. I ripped open the shipping package, putting it on over my workout gear in my kitchen. The first thing I noticed was how the sleeves came down- exactly to my wrists. The shoulder seams rested on my shoulders. The weight of the coat felt right- not flimsy, but still breathable, and it draped well. I eagerly checked out all the pockets, filling them with the pens, papers, granola bars, stethescope, and little books that were in my old coat. It still hung well, and didn't look overfilled as my other one had. I looked in the mirror and admired the princess seams, and the buttons on the back waist. I admired the small collar, professional and tailored. I adored the dark pink script with my name. My old coat had boring black block letters. I mean, I'm in obstetrics/gynecology! It should be pretty and pink! I tried it on with my work outfit, and scrubs, and wore it to work every day for the next few weeks. I got so many compliments, saying that I looked pretty, professional, that the coat was so well-cut, and where did I get it? (Of course I referred them!) The pink lettering was admired by all, and many commented on the pretty seams and back buttons. I watched blood drip onto it as a placed a central line, and then in amazement watched the blood drip off again, without leaving a stain. I dropped oatmeal on it, and wiped it off without at trace. On my day off, I washed and dried it with the rest of my laundry, and it looked great without even having to iron it. Over time, I became aware that I loved the coat not only for how it looked, but how it made me feel. When I used to walk into a patient's room, I felt young, like I was playing dress-up, like I didn't really fit in. Now, I walk in confidently, knowing that I look professional and polished, and that this is a better representation of me. My coat matches my nice work clothes, and can cover up the ill-fitting hospital scrubs I sometimes I have to wear for surgery. And even though it is a work piece, I love it's design and fit so much that it really is one of my favorite articles of clothing. Every day it makes me happy and feel good about myself. I definitely recommend Medelita to anyone that wants a beautiful, functional coat for everyday wear. Dr. Anne KennardMedelita Guest Blogger: Dr. Anne Kennard. Anne is an OB/GYN resident in Phoenix. She has kept a collection of writings about medicine/becoming a doctor since her second year of medical school, and we're honored to welcome her as a guest blogger for Medelita.