Fist Bumping with Patients: A Healthier Alternative to Shaking Hands?

July 28, 2014

Many physicians start off their patient visits with a friendly handshake. But some researchers say that's not the healthiest approach. What do you think?

Many physicians start off their patient visits with a friendly handshake. But some researchers say that's not the healthiest approach.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control describes how David Whitworth, a senior lecturer in biochemistry at Aberystwyth University-Ceredigion in the United Kingdom, and his colleague, tested three greetings to determine which transmitted the least bacteria.

They found that a fist bump and a high-five fared better than the traditional handshake. In fact, they found that handshakes transmitted about 10 times more bacteria than the fist bumps and about two times more than the high fives.

Given the study findings, what do you think is the healthiest and most appropriate way to greet patients?