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First job; how to dress professionally and tastefully?

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  • #31
    It depends on the informal code in your practice. Look around and see how others dress. If your specialty and practice site has many other women at various stages of their careers, then see what they do. If the practice is almost all men then try to draw your inferences from the level of formality and style you see from them.

    As Kamban points out, the expectations might unfairly be different for men than women. You need to feel your way into this.

    At my place showing up in scrubs means you anticipate doing at least some procedures that day. Some people who do procedures but not all day long always dress formally, change into scrubs for a case, then change back until the next case.

    I have zero fashion sense, but among the residents, I think scrubs all day is far more common among the men than the women. I don't know why. None of the attendings would dare tell people how to dress so I assume this is by choice.

    Among the attendings, across the hospital, scrubs all day is far more common among men than women. But there are far more men that women in heavily procedure-oriented fields. I don't know whether there would still be a difference if one were to take into account the specialty effect.

    The people in leadership positions who are often in meetings overwhelmingly show up in formal business attire- suits and ties for the men, whatever is equivalent for women. Even the surgeons do this. My place is very much on the formal side.

    Where I did my residency, wearing a white coat over scrubs would lead people to ask whether you had a audience with the queen.

    You should have a starting idea of how others dress from visiting. When in doubt be a bit more dressy than whatever you take to be the norm. Then adjust as you settle in. There is always a range and some people prefer to be dressier than "required". Free country and nothing wrong with that.

    It could be limiting to be too casual for your workplace. But everything depends on the local norms.

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    • #32
      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...octors/620380/

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      • #33
        Thank you for the responses! I think I'm going to cobble together something simple/functional but not drab. I have never worn a white coat and don't intend to start.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by oocyte_ View Post
          Thank you for the responses! I think I'm going to cobble together something simple/functional but not drab. I have never worn a white coat and don't intend to start.
          Ironic that a Whitecoat ceremony is the beginning of the journey to become a physician. Then it seems to be not very popular when the training is finally over.
          Symbolism and reality are very different.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by oocyte_ View Post
            . I have never worn a white coat and don't intend to start.
            in UK, they found out that white coat was a major culprit for nosocomial spread of infection. They have banned full sleeved white coats. So either no coat or half sleeved versions only there.

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            • #36
              This is zero to do with scrubs and just plain sexism. Being mistaken/respected never changes with dress. It happens all the time, every woman I know has tried to fight it with all tools available and it still happens.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Zaphod View Post

                This is zero to do with scrubs and just plain sexism. Being mistaken/respected never changes with dress. It happens all the time, every woman I know has tried to fight it with all tools available and it still happens.
                Probably should have added some context: I agree. People suck regardless of dress and women bear the brunt of the suckiness. Comes from society, parents not teaching their kids good behavior/manners, among many other issues.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Zaphod View Post

                  This is zero to do with scrubs and just plain sexism. Being mistaken/respected never changes with dress. It happens all the time, every woman I know has tried to fight it with all tools available and it still happens.
                  I agree it happens all the time. I have known senior women, department chairs, who were initially blocked from providing emergency care for people on airplanes while the flight attendants waited for a "doctor" to assist.

                  At my place, there is a color code on the IDs, which must be immediately visible at all times, that identify the job description of the person. That was not enough, so now the docs have a large red supplementary sign that says "DOCTOR" applied to the bottom of the badge. The first people I noticed wearing these were young women. I do not know whether it has helped.

                  The thing that I found distressing about the Atlantic article, besides the fact that this keeps happening, is that the author let it get to them. There will always be people who are crude, disrespectful, or otherwise inappropriate. A large proportion of the people we see are there because of their impaired cognition. Life should not be like that, but sometimes it is. In the last episode described in the article, I doubt that the patient's inappropriate conduct really changed the perceptions of her colleagues. They all knew who she was. Unfortunately, everyone in medicine, no matter their gender, has seen this far too many times.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Zaphod View Post

                    This is zero to do with scrubs and just plain sexism. Being mistaken/respected never changes with dress. It happens all the time, every woman I know has tried to fight it with all tools available and it still happens.
                    I remember being a 3rd year male medical student with a short white coat, shadowing a female orthopedic surgeon attending in clinic and at the end of the visit, the patient (also female) told her son to thank “the doctor” as she pointed to me and “the nurse,” as she pointed to my attending. I hadn’t even said a word during the entire visit, looked like I was 12 at the time, and the attending had been talking the whole time.

                    Some people just kill me.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Dusn View Post

                      I remember being a 3rd year male medical student with a short white coat, shadowing a female orthopedic surgeon attending in clinic and at the end of the visit, the patient (also female) told her son to thank “the doctor” as she pointed to me and “the nurse,” as she pointed to my attending. I hadn’t even said a word during the entire visit, looked like I was 12 at the time, and the attending had been talking the whole time.

                      Some people just kill me.
                      Its so incredibly amazing really.

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                      • #41
                        +1 to Stichfix!! Have had great experience and used them to build up my "professional" wardrobe- including the caveat that I need machine washable items that can be cleaned of bodily fluids! I've been amazed at their ability to send me pants that fit better than I've ever found in a store.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by mpdoc View Post
                          +1 to Stichfix!! Have had great experience and used them to build up my "professional" wardrobe- including the caveat that I need machine washable items that can be cleaned of bodily fluids! I've been amazed at their ability to send me pants that fit better than I've ever found in a store.
                          How are the prices

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                          • #43
                            Professional attire for women? Ann Taylor or Nordstrom. Don't pay for Needless Markup or Bergdorf. Higher end scrubs are fine too, though some folks still are boycotting Figs.

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                            • #44
                              Fashion Coward…it’s just Ann Taylor

                              https://youtu.be/JE4VdrKf40s

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Hank View Post
                                Professional attire for women? Ann Taylor or Nordstrom. Don't pay for Needless Markup or Bergdorf.
                                Another good option for the young and broke (or older and thrifty by choice) is thrift stores. Some very high end clothes in timeless styles end up there; it's not all low-quality fast fashion.

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