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File:Doctor Mario.jpg

So you can tell they're not a plumber or princess.

Things every doctor wears on TV (and those who play them). You know:

Nurses will usually have that cap with the red cross on it.

And specially for Deadly Doctors:

  • Big rubber gloves
  • Lots of syringes.

What easier way to tell the audience what the character does besides these things?

Examples of Dressed to Heal include:

Anime & Manga

  • Shinra Kishitani of Durarara insists on wearing his lab coat everywhere, to the point that his girlfriend has to bargain to get him to take it off.


  • Given a nod in Airplane!! when Dr. Rumack is introduced wearing a stethoscope for no reason, first shown right after he's asked whether he's a doctor.
  • Mr. Bean in Bean sees a doctor drop his stethoscope and tries to give it back to him. As a result of this trope he is mistaken for a senior surgeon and is scrubbed up for a major operation despite not having any identification or uniform and has to perform surgery on a patient. The patient survives. Somehow.
  • Exploited in Patch Adams when Robin Williams uses a white coat given to him by a group of butchers to gain entrance to a teaching hospital as a third year med student.

Live-Action TV

  • Dr. House usually averts this, not so much his colleagues.
    • In the early seasons a Running Gag is that House refuses to wear scrubs or the standard white lab coat.
  • Averted in Scrubs, where JD only ever wears the usual white coat in one episode and it's a plot point then. Many other doctors do wear it, though. They wear (and use) stethoscopes, however.

Video Games

  • Dr. Mario, as pictured.
  • Part of the whole ever-present costumes in Team Fortress 2: The Medic wears a white labcoat and gloves, and two randomly-dropped accessories include a surgical mask (which makes him look a little more like his previous incarnation) and a head-mirror.
  • In City of Heroes, Dr Vahzilok wears the head-mirror, though no other surgical garb (which likely would not fit his grotesquely surgically altered form). Interestingly, he is actually wearing it correctly, positioned over his right eye rather than in the center of his forehead.
  • In Bioshock, the Dr. Grossman Splicer model is dressed in a dirtied surgical gown and mask with gloves and a large magnifying glass strapped to his head in lieu of the usual head-mirror. Dr. Steinman, who is based on the Grossman Splicer, is dressed similarly, albeit his entire outfit is fully red (possibly not its original color). Ironically, their main purpose in the game is to cause as much harm to you as possible.
  • In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, white coats are not only worn by scientists and doctors, but often actually confer extra medical or scientific skills to non-doctors wearing them. Field medics and wasteland doctors instead wear fatigues and tanktops. With disturbing amounts of blood splatter. You can also find plenty of scrubs in Big MT, though never worn since their original owners are either dead or have become brains in jars.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, one of Jade's alternate costumes has him dressed as a doctor, with a head mirror accompanying the labcoat so that you know he's dressed as a doctor and not a Mad Scientist. (Given that this is Jade we're talking about, they did in fact need to make the distinction clear.)


  • The title character of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja always wears a lab coat and stethoscope, in addition to the ninja mask and katana.
  • Doctors in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal wear these. It's probably because there are zero recurring characters, so visual archetypes like this are needed.
  • Xkcd parodied this in a strip which featured a character dressed in a labcoat telling a pregnant woman "Until the second trimester, the baby hasn't decided which opening it will exit through," and the caption "Did you know you can just buy lab coats?"
  • Least I Could Do: Rayne's brother, Eric, wears a lab coat, not to show his intent to heal, but to attract women with his profession. Lampshaded hilariously when he removes it and hides it while walking past a car accident with an injured victim.

Web Original

  • On Neopets, the Gelert running the Hospital has a correctly-drawn and worn otolaryngologist's mirror--over one eye with an eyehole. Oh, and the rest of this trope fits.

Western Animation

  • The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken, whenever he's a doctor.
  • The Mr. Men Show: As part of its sketch comedy nature, any time the characters are portrayed as doctors, they'll have the headband with mirror and stethoscope.
  • Dr. Fish in SpongeBob SquarePants, complete with headband.
  • Daffy Duck wears a lab coat, gloves and head band while examining Michael Jordan in Space Jam. They're all about two sizes too big.
  • Spoofed in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Stare Master". For some reason, the Cutie Mark Crusaders wear head mirrors and stethoscopes while trying to be carpenters.

Taken to extremes in the Drawn Together episode where they were all babies when the doctor reveal he was four babies in a lab coat

Real Life

  • Nurses in the US no longer wear the white dress or the folded cap. Scrubs are much easier to move around in and keep clean. Also, nursing is no longer the exclusively female profession it once was, and male nurses would look funny in that dress.
    • Or creepy, just look at the Joker.
  • The white coat really is the traditional uniform for doctors, as it has been for the last 100 years. Many medical schools even have a special ceremony for awarding the coat, symbolizing that the students are ready to start seeing patients.
    • The white coat is so common a synonym for "doctor" that there is even a syndrome named after it.
    • Pediatricians are often allowed to wear casual clothes instead, as white coats can upset young children.
    • In the UK, Australia and other countries the white coat has fallen out of vogue for Doctors, scrubs may still be worn depending on the speciality, but the most common dress code is smart casual or business suits (usually worn by senior consultants).