A clever secretary who'd worked for a half dozen plastic surgeons once observed to me that the trust and closeness of patients to the surgeons was directly proportional to how informally they dressed. Doing particularly badly were the young guys who loved $5000 suits and $200 ties and the very best was an older man who wore slacks and a turtleneck and used the informality to his advantage to increase the perception that he was a friend, not somebody selling you something. It's not surprising, there are plenty of studies showing tiny things like sitting down massively change people's subjective perception of what went on. Dressing well can send the wrong message sometimes. I don't think you can allow it to dictate what you wear, but I do consciously consider what message my clothing may convey. Not for nothing, but i trust older doctors ALOT more then younger ones. No one wants to see doogie houser walk into the room when you're in the hospital, especially if you are in need or surgery. Not always true i'm sure, but just a mental thing. Between the best and worst doctors i've had, it had nothing to do with their clothes or age, but still i'm nervous about a young surgeon (i've had 3 lung operations) Honestly if you work at a place like Upenn and are a specialized surgeon, you can pull up in a Maserati wearing a kiton suit, and i could care less as long as you are the best, and vice versa.