We trained in central London, so moving between lectures and ward rounds we’d be swept out on a sea of people. When finally awarded white coats, we could easily put them away first before heading into the pedestrian current. But sometimes I’d keep mine on, or else swing it nonchalantly from a shoulder, stethoscope glinting in pocket. Embarrassing now, to remember it. But curious too: the whole performance and my need for it. What was it? Some display of identity? Status? Even authority? All of them, I imagine.