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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