One of the most exciting rites of passage in medical school is receiving your white coat. The white coat is a symbol of all the hard work that has led you to become a medical student as well as a symbol of the long road ahead to becoming a physician. It represents authority, professionalism, and dignity all of which are worn with pride when you slip on that coat for the very first time. My white coat ceremony was one of the most memorable experiences as a first year medical student. It was my welcoming into the medical profession, something I had worked hard for over the past 6 years. At that ceremony, I was exactly where I was supposed to be: studying medicine to become a doctor and on my way to change the world. After a few months however, the novelty and excitement of wearing a short white coat begins to wear off. You leave it crumpled at the bottom of your bag next to your anatomy scrubs, spill coffee on it more times than you can count, and pretend you have no idea where that smell is coming from. The 15 hour days start to drag you down and you develop tunnel vision, thinking only of the next 24 hours ahead of you.
When Medelita sent me one of their white coats to review, I was thrilled. I had heard so much about their beautiful coats, and it was no surprise that they exceeded all my expectations. What did surprise me was the feeling I got putting on a long white coat for the first time. Just as I had felt at my white coat ceremony, I felt a sense of renewed wonder and motivation. It helped me to remember that the countless sacrifices we make as medical students and health professionals are all for a reason. It reminded me of the promise I’ve made to my future patients to continually strive for progress even in the face of adversity. I won’t be able to wear this coat for another 3 years, but it will be hanging in my closet as a daily reminder of why I started this journey in the first place.
Now, on to the review! Medelita generously allowed me to pick a lab coat from their website to try on using their at-home try on program. I narrowed it down to the Estie coat and the Ellody coat. The Ellody coat is specifically designed for petite women, a category that I fall under, but I decided on the Estie coat because I really liked its sleek, sharp lines on both the collar and the front panels. Medelita offers an at-home try on program where you can order 2 sizes to try on at home and return the size that doesn’t fit (free shipping both ways!). Once you decide which size fits best, you can send both coats back, and they will embroider the correct fitting coat for you and send it to you. I personally, did not have mine embroidered yet as I don’t know what field of medicine I will be going into. That will be something to look forward to when I do pick a specialty.
I used the Medelita size guide and determined that I would need either a size 00 or 0. My Estie coat arrived quickly after ordering, and as soon as I opened the package, I could tell the quality was second to none. The coat is made of M3 fabric, a thick and durable material with dual-effect technology. This means that the interior keeps you cool, dry, and comfortable while the exterior repels fluid, soil, and stains. The size 00 ended up fitting perfectly whereas the size 0 was a bit too large in the shoulders and the sleeves and overall coat length were too long (see above photo).
When I first put on the coat, it felt like one of those rare times in a clothing store dressing room when you don’t even have to look in the mirror to know it fits perfectly. The coat hit all the right spots on my body: the sleeves were the perfect length, the coat hung nicely on my petite frame, and the collar stayed put. The coat allows you to move around freely without tugging at your clothes underneath. There are two huge front coat pockets that will easily fit my iPad Pro, cell-phone, notes, and snacks. There is also a left breast pocket large enough for an iPhone 6. There aren’t any slits on the sides of the coat, so if you need to access your pants pocket, you will need to unbutton your coat and reach in from the front. This isn’t a big deal to me as I rarely use my pants pockets anyways. Overall, the coat is stunning, stylish, and far superior to any other white coat I have ever worn.
My Overall Thoughts
- Perfect fit for my frame (5’4″ 115 lbs)
- Thick, durable, high quality material
- Fluid, soil, and stain repellant (but I did not test this)
- Sleek design
- Flattering fit
- Large pockets
- Comfortable and non-restricting (allows for easy movement)
- No side slits for access to pants pockets
- May be too long for anyone shorter than 5’4″ (in that case, try out the Ellody coat!)
A huge congrats to all the new grads who will be donning their long white coats as residents in just a few short weeks! To all the rising second, third, and fourth years, keep pushing! We are one step closer to our dream jobs and the light at the end of the tunnel is nearing! Wear your short white coats with pride and don’t ever forget why you are chasing your dreams.