If it doesn't open fully, it shouldn't be called a Doctor's Bag. It's the great beauty of the whole design. Big or small. One can plonk it down, it doesn't fall over, then open it up, and see everything! No fishing about hopelessly for the sunglasses. Or my phone which is just heavy enough to always fall to the bottom of my purse.
Of course my great issue with this bag is that it has the single or double short handle, and not a shoulder strap. Unless you are really lucky. This makes it a challenging bag to shop or travel with because one hand is always occupied with the bag. I prefer single shoulder strap bags myself, for my daily use beasty. But I wouldn't say no to a beautiful doctors bag for events.
That said, I know plenty of ladies who, in a respectable effort to prevent spinal curvature, refuse to use a shoulder bag in which case the doctors bag is a lovely daily use option.
They also have some smaller ones for evening or special occasions. Or, if you are one of those amazing women who doesn't carry much around with her just go smaller! I, unfortunately, pretty much have to have a bag that carries a trade sized book for most events and even my clutches and evening bags have to hold my phone, wallet, and compact. Yes, I'm a Large Bag Girl.
The doctor's bag, by its very nature, is quite retro in appearance. It will add a retro touch to any outfit, which is one of the reasons I was so delighted to see it all over the Fall 2012 runways. You can buy one to be in fashion now, and use it forever to add a retro look to day-to-day outfits.
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.