Handshake vs. Fist bump?

There’s been a lot of talk about removing the handshake from the doctor-patient interaction.  It’s no surprise that it’s an easy way to spread germs and some patients feel uncomfortable about asking a doctor if he/she washed his/her hands.  An alternative, the fist bump, has been suggested, but I have yet to see it in use between doctor’s and patients.  Sure, I give my coach a fist-bump at the end of my workout, but a patient?  It seems strange.  Plus, a handshake stands for many things, partnership, greeting, support, and I’m not sure if the fist-bump really encompasses all those sentiments.  A study published in the J. of Cog. Neuroscience found that social interactions that began with a handshake resulting in a more positive evaluation and interest in working with the individual again in the future compared to those who did not shake hands.

 

Sources:

http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jocn_a_00295#.VK3WeHt3eWk

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fist-bump-better-handshake-cleanliness-201407297305

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