Put Your Patients First When Choosing Clinical Attire

clinical attire

Dress like an intern, not a hipster, not an executive
When I was in first-year medicine I had my ears pierced and grew my hair out. I went to attend a surgery and showed up with my piercings in and my little ringlets popping out from beneath the surgical head mask. The consultant gave me a look of consternation, the same look you’d expect from your curmudgeon next-door neighbor who’s disgruntled at kids skateboarding outside his house. He said to me, “Those piercings you have there; that hair of yours; you don’t look like a med student. I’ll tell you what. If you go back to the locker room, take out those piercings, and tuck that hair into your cap, you can observe this surgery.” I acquiesced. But I hadn’t learned the lesson yet.

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How My Research Degree Taught Me I’m Not a Surgeon

Recognizing the connection between lab work and surgery
What surprised me the most during my medical school journey was that it was primarily lab work, not my surgery rotation, that taught me I was not a surgeon. The type of experience my lab work entailed had absolutely nothing to do with surgery or clinical medicine, so it was a peculiar and fortuitous realization. I do not believe when entering medical school that I had ever thought about doing research, but our program strongly advocated it. I met with various advisors in first year and decided I was going to transition into the combined PhD program.

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