ROBERT A. FAGUET, M.D.
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To the editor: I read with interest Dr. Blumhagen's (1) excellent paper (July 1979) on the symbolic nature of the physician's white coat. In it he states that white evokes the concepts of life, purity, justice, and superhuman power.
I should like to call attention to the actual appearance of a "white coat" in the myth of the healer Aesculapius and suggest that white also refers to the physician's strict and specific obligation to honor and protect his patients' confidences.
According to McLaughlin (2), the earliest Greek story of Aesculapius is as follows: The mortal maid Coronis of Thessaly was
FAGUET RA. White and Aesculapius. Ann Intern Med. 1979;91:930–931. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-930_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(6):930-931.
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