Lab Coats for a Cause: Healing the Children

Healing the ChildrenOur Founder, Lara Manchik, PA-C, has a history of medical missionary work and has instilled the value of contribution and charity into who we are as a company.

Recently, we discovered that a customer, Jane Petro, MD, was involved in a non-profit volunteer organization, Healing the Children. Dr. Petro works with Healing the Children Northeast, headquartered in Connecticut. Dedicated to giving care to children in need, Healing the Children provides donated medical, surgical and dental services for children in the United States and abroad. Since 1985, medical professional volunteers have treated more than 33,000 children worldwide.

Healing the Children envisions a world where every child has access to medical care. It’s a vision that we are all too happy to share, and Medelita was proud to donate several men’s and women’s lab coats to their cause. Our lab coats will be traveling with the next missionary team to Santa Marta, Columbia at the end of October, where the Facial Plastics & Cleft team of surgeons, doctors, nurses, speech therapists and administrators led by Dr. Manoj T. Abraham will be assisting children and teenagers born with cleft lip palates and other facial deformities. During the week long mission, the team will provide life altering surgery and care to more than 50 children free of charge.

If you know of any non-denominational charity or organization in need, please email us at contact.us@medelita.com. We’re always happy to donate lab coats or scrubs for a worthy cause.

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iPad Pockets in Medelita Lab Coats

You spoke, and we listened. As the use of iPads in the medical industry has increased, so have the requests we receive from customers for iPad accessible pockets in our lab coats. In addition to making the paperwork easier, iPads allow doctors to easily bridge the gap between physician and patient understanding – having access to information in a visual format assists physicians with the often challenging task of communicating surgery, anatomy, and advanced medical information with patients.

Currently, we do offer select styles and sizes that fit an iPad 2, as detailed below.

However, we’re dedicated to remaining on the cutting edge of the convergence of technology in medicine, and, above all else, committed to meeting the needs of our customers. After several months of designing and testing (and redesigning!), I’m excited to tell you that Medelita will be adding iPad accessible pockets to all sizes of some of our most popular lab coat styles by the end of this year.

I can’t stress more that YOU are the reason we’ve put so much work into redesigning our pockets, without compromising the styles and tailored look that Medelita is known for. We want you to look professional and classy, but we also want our lab coats to meet your needs for functionality. We welcome your feedback, and any questions or comments can be sent to suggestions@medelita.com. Your opinions will greatly influence our future direction as a company.

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Why White?

Did you know that lab coats were originally beige? Prior to the adoption of lab coats in the medical profession, beige lab coats were generally worn by scientists. In the late 19th century, doctors adapted the tradition to symbolize a scientific approach to medicine. However, they changed the color from beige to white.

Historically, clerics and caretakers in hospitals wore black robes and physicians dressed in black, which was considered formal and representative of the serious nature of medicine.  The solemn sense of mourning conveyed by the dark clothing was unfortunately appropriate for the majority of patients in a time when being sick enough to require a hospitalization often meant an inevitable death. With advances in medicine in the 20th century, however, hospitals were no longer regarded as houses for dying, but as institutions of healing.

The white lab coat, therefore, symbolized not only healing and life, but a new hope in medicine. The word candor is derived from the Latin candidus which means white, and this representation of truth was a visual reminder of the physician’s commitment to do no harm, instilling trust and respect in patients.

White also conveys cleanliness, an innocence viewed in terms of being absent of infection – a sense of being safe. Angels are almost always depicted in white, and many patients now view the white coat as a “cloak of compassion” – a symbol of the care they expect to receive from their physicians.

A garment that symbolizes so much should reflect a certain standard of quality, and at Medelita, we have dedicated ourselves to providing white lab coats worthy of being universal symbols of hope, trust, and compassion.

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A $30 Suit

Imagine for a moment that you’re facing an important court case, and your attorney arrives in a $30 suit. Would you feel it didn’t matter, or would your confidence in that attorney be shattered, if only a little? While the dollar amount is just an example, the quality of a garment has a huge impact on the overall appearance of the individual wearing it – and in most professions, society demands that the appearance match the prestige.

Within the medical world, however, there is an unimaginably low standard for appearance. Most patients view their health and well-being with the same, if not more, importance as you may view a pivotal court case. However, it’s an acceptable norm for a practitioner to walk into a room wearing a $30 lab coat or set of scrubs. It’s a stretch to pretend that appearance in such a situation doesn’t matter, so how did the standard become so low?

At Medelita, we are raising the bar and creating a paradigm shift that is rippling across the medical industry and finally treating our customers like the highly qualified and dedicated individuals that they are – in all ways, including appearance.  We often say that a lab coat is your suit, and we believe it. As a garment worn every single day as an outward symbol of achievement and aptitude, you deserve the very best.

In comparison to other medical garments, we are indeed more expensive. What you get with Medelita is a higher quality, functionally innovative, and sophisticated garment that stands head and shoulders above the rest. After all, your lab coat is your suit.™

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Cleaning Your Lab Coat The Eco-Friendly Way

We recently had a customer ask if she could clean her Medelita lab coat with natural soap, vinegar, or orange oil. As we, as a society, become increasingly more aware of our carbon footprints and chemical toxicity, a desire for eco-friendly options is rising – so I wanted to take a moment to address this question for all of our customers.

For Medelita lab coats, we do not recommend using anything citrus-based as a cleaning agent. The acidity in orange or lemon oils acts like chlorinated bleach. Chlorinated bleach is extremely harsh and will slowly eat away at the cotton of your coat. While most lab coats are polyester, Medelita lab coats are 100% cotton treated with DuPont™ Advanced Dual Action Teflon® fabric protector,  which repels and releases stains. A gentle detergent in the agitation of washing is usually enough to leave your coat as white and clean as the day it was purchased. However, if you want to use bleach, a non-chlorinated version is acceptable.

For Green cleaning solutions, we suggest using white vinegar or a natural lavender-based soap. Lavender has natural antibacterial properties, and will kill germs and bacteria without compromising the fabric. As seen on Dr. Oz, lavender oil also kills bacteria on the skin and nails. For example, if you get a fungus from the nail spa, putting lavender oil on your nails at night will clear it right up.

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Win a Free Lab Coat

Part of my job here at Medelita is to interact with our customers on Facebook, and it’s a very enjoyable part of my day. Through these social media outlets, we can engage our customers directly and place their needs at the forefront of our growth. It’s a privilege to be involved with such a community of medical colleagues, experiencing firsthand the positive impact that Medelita has had in their lives.  We’re a company that embodies the values of health and wellbeing that you dedicate your lives to promoting, and we love being able to share our culture with the medical community.

We know you don’t have a lot of spare time in your lives, so we’d be honored if you joined our Facebook community to keep up with the latest Medelita news, share your everyday stories with your colleagues, or provide feedback, directly influencing the next generation of Medelita garments.

As a welcome, Medelita is launching its very first Facebook contest. Between June 15th and June 30th, you can enter to win a FREE LAB COAT OF YOUR CHOICE simply by becoming a fan of Medelita. The winner can choose from any one of our Medelita lab coats and Medelita Men’s lab coats.

If you’ve been curious about our lab coats but haven’t purchased one yet, here is a perfect opportunity to try your first Medelita lab coat. If you already have one of our lab coats, then take advantage of a chance to win an extra favorite lab coat or try one of our other popular styles for the first time. If not for you, perhaps there’s a medical professional in your life who deserves the prestige that comes from looking sophisticated and professional?

Only one person can win, but everyone who participates in the contest will receive a code for Free Name & Title Embroidery. It’s our Thank You for supporting us and continuing to inspire us here at Medelita.

Enter to Win Now

 

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Effort vs. Expectation

When talking in terms of companies or employees, we often label people as ‘hard workers’. I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about the role that effort plays within the context of work. It’s undeniably the most important piece of the puzzle – afterall, without effort, everything else becomes irrelevant. But is effort alone enough to be successful?

In my opinion, I think an understanding of expectation is just as crucial. As a company or as an individual, you can spend months tirelessly and painstakingly building a wall of impressive architectural prowess – but if the customer needs or wants a fence, then you have failed to provide a useful service.

It could be said that adequate communication can bridge the gap between expectation and delivery, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, it’s not always easy. As medical professionals, you are required to develop an intuition in regards to the needs of your patients – especially in situations like Emergency Medicine, where you often simply do not have the time to engage patients in substantial conversation. This intuition, whether you’re working in medicine or building fences, usually only comes with time.

Medelita is both fortunate and unique as a company in that it was founded by a clinician. Medelita is, in essence, led by a member of our customer base. The unacceptable state of medical apparel was not a market niche that appeared to be a good investment opportunity . . . in every way, it was a deeply personal absence of choice that affected Founder, Lara Manchik, PA-C, for nearly a decade.

As a result, Medelita was created with an innate understanding of the needs of its customers. There are dozens of small design features in our lab coats and scrubs that reflect this understanding – and we are the only medical apparel company in the world that has addressed such details. As an example, our lab coats are interlined along the front edges with fusing (similar to a shirt collar) – this prevents them from easily flipping open as you walk. Every stress point on every garment we produce is also reinforced, and every lab coat is designed to provide a built-in range of motion. We’ve also raised the bottom button to make sure you’re comfortable and still professional in your lab coat, even while sitting.

These little details are the result of the experiences of our Founder. In the case of Medelita, our efforts as a company have been guided by an accurate understanding of expectation from the very beginning – and it shows, in our outstanding quality and overwhelming customer satisfaction.

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The Perfect Father’s Day Gift

Medelita MensI think men got the short end of the gift stick. I find it incredibly easy to buy gifts for other women, whether friends or family, but when it comes to men, it’s a lot harder.  Women can appreciate non-essential things…flowers, candles, soaps, anything even remotely pretty, no matter how useless it might actually be.  However, I’ve noticed that the consumer world isn’t as full of useless items for men, probably because men are more practical about possessions (yes, I said it…don’t shoot the blogger.)

Every man I know already has any electronic gadget he wants, and short of golf-themed paper weights or socks, I’m out of good ideas. With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, it’s a bad time to be out of ideas, so I thought I would offer a suggestion for those of you with ‘medical males’ in your lives.

If you know a man in the medical profession, chances are that he has a lab coat or a set of scrubs already…but does he like them? Are they his favorite fitted suit or does he give them the same consideration as his socks or pajamas? When the man in your life doesn’t need anything, giving him an upgrade – a better, more durable and functional improved version of what he already has – is a surefire way to hit the gift jackpot.

Our Medelita Men’s lab coats and scrubs are leaps and bounds ahead of anything else on the market. Medelita scrubs are durable, comfortable, and functional, with moisture wicking and bacteriostatic properties – thanks to our  drirelease® with FreshGuard® fabric, and our male customers/colleagues love our products as much as our female customers.

“What I truly love, are the real, honest to goodness scrub pant pockets.  Finally I no longer need to juggle fifteen things in my hands.  And although I probably have an average build for a man my age, I actually don’t look like a fire plug when wearing them.  These are well worth the extra money compared to cheap, semi-disposable fabric scrubs sold by others.”
- Lawrence Herman, MPA, RPA-C, DFAAPA, Huntington, NY

Medelita also offers four distinct lab coat designs for men: the full-length Osler lab coat, the mid-length Laennec lab coat, the Fauchard dental lab coat, and the Fleming consultation lab coat.

“I just received the Osler lab coat and I immediately put it on and went about my rotations. The heft and feel of this coat is exceptional and the quality and design is second to none. Within twenty minutes I had lost count of how many of my colleagues had inquired about where I got it, and had run off to their offices to look it up online. In patient interaction the coat was comfortable and proved on its first day to be completely durable and resistant to fluids and stains. I will definitely be purchasing more of these coats and will likely never wear another. Bravo Medelita, Bravo!”
- Michael Vinson, BC-HIS, Santa Fe, NM

Medelita Men’s lab coats are breathable  100% cotton treated with DuPont™ Teflon® fabric protector to resist fluid, soil, and stains – including blood – keeping the coat clean and white with minimal effort required.  Impeccably hand-sewn, like a tailored suit blazer, the fit, functionality, and design features make our lab coats second to none. After all, a man’s lab coat is his suit.

So if you’re searching for a gift because the man in your life has ‘everything’ – does he have Medelita? Be sure to order soon for Father’s Day, especially if you’d like name & title embroidery. At Medelita, we’re dedicated to making sure that your gift is the best one he receives.

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The Secret Male Demand for Quality

At Medelita, we have separate private single-stall bathrooms for men and women (No, I’m not entering a contest for strangest blog intro, I swear). I recently saw a male coworker leaving the women’s bathroom, and I had to laugh because the men’s bathroom was empty and less than five feet away.

“It’s nicer!,” he said before darting back into his office. I’ve noticed that some men have a tendency to claim that the little ‘luxury’ details don’t matter…until they discover the difference. My boyfriend buys Irish Spring in a 6-pack and then uses my L’Occitane Shea Butter soap, and I’d bet you know at least one man that secretly swears by Bath & Body Works and prefers high-end hair products (although he’ll adamantly deny it).

When Medelita was founded, we only offered a women’s line of scrubs and lab coats. At the time, we didn’t think there was much of a market for a men’s line, since the ‘unisex’ styling was essentially masculine in both design and tradition. Boy, we were wrong!

Our Founder always relays a flashback to one of the very first medical conferences (AAD) she attended as an exhibitor.  Anxious about even the female MDs liking and accepting the new Medelita lab coats, she was caught off guard when a very pushy and vocal male dermatologist forged his way through the slew of female MDs happily trying on lab coats, and said, with his fist on the table, “Where’s mine???”  Ok, she realized, so it’s not just women that have been unhappily wearing frumpy lab coats.

It didn’t take long for more men in the medical world to speak up and demand the same quality of garment. We were flooded with requests for tailored and professional looking lab coats and scrubs designed specifically for men. At Medelita, when the customer speaks, we always listen…and the Medelita Men’s line was born.

Today, we now offer four distinct lab coat designs for men: the full-length Osler lab coat, the mid-length Laennec lab coat, the Fauchard dental lab coat, and the Fleming consultation lab coat. Medelita Men’s lab coats are 100% cotton and impeccably hand-sewn, like a tailored suit blazer.  At Medelita, we devote as much time to perfecting our garments for men as we do for women. The tailoring, fit and design features make our lab coats second to none because, after all, your lab coat is your suit, and you deserve to look your best.

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Honoring a Pioneer: René Laennec

René Laennec

René Laennec

Inspiration comes in all forms. Here at Medelita, we’re inspired by historical pioneers, and we often name our lab coats after notable medical figures. Our mid-length 100% cotton Laennec men’s lab coat marks a long awaited upgrade to the ubiquitous physician lab coat, and it is named after a man who changed the face (and the ears!) of the medical field.

René Laennec was a French physician. In 1816, he invented the stethoscope while working at a teaching hospital in Paris and pioneered its use in diagnosing various chest conditions. Prior to Monsieur Laennec, a physician would place their ear against their patient’s chest in order to listen to a heartbeat or for signs of infection or breathing irregularity. In the early 1800s, this was actually a rather mortifying practice for the vast majority of female patients. On one particular occasion, Dr. Laennec was presented with a young overweight female patient and was unable to listen to a heartbeat through traditional means. In a flash of inspiration, he rolled a piece of paper into a cylinder and the stethoscope was born.

Medelita Laennec Men's Lab Coat

The Laennec Lab Coat

What I love the most about this story is that Dr. Laennec’s inspiration came in the form of children. Children are, by far, the greatest inventors that the world has to offer, and in the days leading up to his innovation, René Laennec had seen schoolchildren playing with long, hollow sticks. The children held their ear to one end of the stick while the opposite end was scratched with a pin, delightfully turning the properties of acoustics into a fun playground game.

Clearly a humble man, Dr. Laennec chose not to name his invention a renéscope (a catchier name than a laennecscope, in my opinion) but took the far more practical approach of naming it after the Greek stethos (chest) and skopos (examination). However, he often referred to the stethoscope as “the cylinder,” and called it “the greatest legacy of my life.”

Medelita agrees, and we are proud to honor him. With a distinguished blazer-like appearance and ergonomic fit, our 40″ Laennec men’s lab coat presents a clean and prestigious appearance. It also features five total pockets, including a concealed pocket for your PDA and functional suit chest pocket. With a tailored, distinguished look and technically innovative features, the Medelita Laennec lab coat is  a perfect blend of quality and functionality.

Click here to learn more about the Laennec Medelita Lab Coat

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Medelita at the CDA Conference in Anaheim

Medelita Elsie G. Lab Coat

Our Medelita conference team is just returning from the California Dental Association convention, The Art and Science of Dentistry, in Anaheim.  Our only local conference of the year (as we are based in San Clemente, CA) The CDA Presents event was only a short car ride away.  This week we are still basking in the excitement – lots of repeat customers, many vocal previous customers coming back to the booth to thank us (as well as to entice others with their animated testimonials) and just an overall vibe that dentists, dental surgeons and hygienists are becoming familiar with our new brand, Medelita.  “Are you the ones with the cuffed sleeves and fluid resistant fabric?” so many would say.  Yep – that’s us!

Our dental lab coats being the newest in our lab coat lineup, this is all very rewarding to our small team, to realize that we are growing and the people are hearing about us.  Specifically, what makes our lab coats so unique and profession specific.

So what did they buy?  Elsie G. and Fauchard dental coats went flying.  These new 100% cotton dental coats are extremely well received by dentists and all dental professionals.  Women seem to truly love the sporty look of the Elsie G. lab coat with the preppy stand-up collar and snap closure.  And the men commented that the Fauchard cuffed sleeves and optional snap closure to the neck are ideal features for their everyday positioning and professional presentation.

Much to our surprise, no one seemed deterred by our lack of current inventory in both the Elsie G. and Lucy H.T. lab coats.  It’s true – they have been so popular that we’ve had a hard time properly planning for inventory.  A good and a bad problem, I suppose.  But one that is definitely being corrected in the upcoming months, never to happen again.  We are extremely grateful for the patience our customers/colleagues have displayed, as we experience these growing pains.

Looking forward to CDA in Anaheim next year.  Likely to see new and (now) plenty of old faces next year . . . . with new styles and new scrub colors in hand.

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Re-defining the Value of the Lab Coat

Towards the end of the 19th century, physicians began to set aside the leeches in favor of a more scientific approach that would become the foundation of our modern medicine. To honor this transition, medical professionals adopted the most recognizable symbol of a scientist: the white lab coat. The lab coat has, over the years, become a distinctive mark of achievement, wisdom, and authority.

Unfortunately, although the medical industry has evolved with innovative leaps and bounds, the average lab coat is still stuck unfashionably in the 19th century.  So why, in this age of progress and equality, do medical professionals have such low standards for their own comfort and appearance? When it comes to defining the market for lab coats, the major healthcare uniform manufacturers have set the bar low by emphasizing lower cost rather than higher quality.

It seems like a strange paradigm, doesn’t it? Especially when you consider that most professionals who purchase lab coats – physicians, physician assistants, dentists, and nurse practitioners, to name a few – have incomes that would allow them to spend more on a sophisticated, high quality medical uniform. But how do we change old perceptions that rely on price instead of embracing true value?

When you are buying a lab coat, you have a choice to either purchase a cheap, generic, and unisex garment, or to purchase a more expensive high quality lab coat. As consumers, it’s a decision that we all make regularly, especially in regards to clothing.  However, a lab coat is not an average piece of clothing, it is a respected symbol.  Would you meet the President in the lab coat you currently own? (If you already own a Medelita lab coat, I hope the answer is yes!)

Most of you wear your lab coats for far more than eight hours a day, so it needs to be able to meet demands above that of most clothing. Ideally, a perfect lab coat is a lab coat that you forget you’re wearing, as comfortable as your favorite pair of pants and as professional as your favorite suit. A high quality, breathable fabric won’t make you feel like you’re in an oven or weighed down by a confining jacket.  A lab coat also needs to be able to protect you from any fluids you come into contact with, as well as being durable and stain resistant. In all, a lab coat needs to be far more than a generic item of clothing.

At Medelita, it’s our goal to bring the comfort and style of medical professionals into the 21st century, redefining the value of the lab coat and changing the perception that a cheap lab coat is an acceptable standard for a respected symbol of achievement, wisdom, and authority.

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