The white coats doctors wear go back more than 100 years and started with Dr. Arnold P. Gold, who used the coats to welcome new doctors into the fold. Prior to the introduction of white coats for doctors, they were in black clothing.
Doctors do not have to wear white coats, depending on their geographic location and place of employment. Those doctors working in the fields of psychiatry and pediatric medicine usually go without wearing a white coat. In Finland, Sweden and Norway, patients expect to see their doctor wearing a white coat. However, in England and Denmark, patients usually see doctors without it.