Like a favorite pair of jeans, it's almost impossible to wear a garment consistently and remain emotionally unattached to it. As women (myself included), we tend to place a great deal of emotional emphasis on our appearance . . . as the fashion and media industries would attest. You wear your lab coat an average of 2000 to 3000 hours a year. The closest thing to wearing your diploma, your lab coat signifies title, prestige and aptitude. It signifies the journey you've taken - your acceptance into the medical or dental program of your choice, and your survival through the years of hard work, long hours, and constant study to graduate and pass your board exams. And at the end, diploma in hand and a brand new title to your name, you are now able to don yourself in a full-length, frumpy, boxy, poor quality lab coat?? It seems a bit illogical, doesn't it? Medelita founder, Lara Manchik, PA-C, definitely thought so. "I couldn't understand why businesswomen and attorneys wear upwards of $2000 suits, and people in medicine are forced to wear something of lesser quality - no better than rigid jail uniforms," explains Lara. When Medelita was founded, the purpose was to introduce uniform choices for women that resembled the traditional unisex style lab coats and scrubs, but were designed to fit and flatter the female figure and still exude professionalism. We also wanted an emphasis on profession-specific functionality, so we chose fabrics that really worked for the wearer. By introducing modern fabric technology, we were able to match the function of the fabric to the needs of those clinicians who wear scrubs and lab coats daily. This solid philosophy behind Medelita – to offer truly high-quality, performance based medical apparel with perfect fit and comfort - continues to be the passionate driving force behind every new development and innovation to our products. What we didn’t anticipate in those aforementioned priorities was the emotional significance of introducing non-unisex garments that were truly flattering and well received by female clinicians. Three short years after launching Medelita, we have had the pleasure of watching thousands of female clinician faces completely change from apathetic (about a lab coat) to complete happiness. Common scenario . . . at a medical or dental conference . . . Medelita rep says “what size do you wear?” . . . female clinician tries it on . . . complete transformation of facial expression to a huge smile. The Medelita rep is typically talking about all the great fit and performance and fluid resistant features of the lab coat, and the woman simply continues to look at the coat in disbelief. The emotion in their faces, the curve of a smile and the softening of the brow, as an internal monologue begins. "I can’t believe how well this fits" . . . "Wow, this is really great" . . . "Finally.” At an AVMA conference in Seattle a few years ago, the representative in the booth next to us approached us after the conference to say, "You know, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed being right next to you at this conference. It's been an absolute pleasure. Every single time a woman tries on a garment, they get a huge smile on their face. They feel happy when they try on your coats, and it's been really neat to see that emotional reaction." It's a very special experience to be a part of - to serve people who so greatly deserve to feel good about their professional appearance and be able to offer a garment that allows them that opportunity. "I know our customers have a difficult profession, and it sometimes forces us into a hard exterior. All of that is oftentimes broken down when they try on a lab coat. It's like magic. I miss medicine a great deal, but I have to say that this is rewarding in a different sort of way," says Lara Manchik, PA-C and Founder.
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