Okay, everybody knows that saying, “dress to impress.” And if you don’t, you’re missing out on some serious life advice. As a physician, one of your best tools in the workplace may not be your stethoscope. Nope; it just may be your award winning smile and charm. Physician attire is a key player in deciding varying aspects in your work life and success. Dressing the part of a physician may only be the beginning of a world of success for you and your practice.
If there is one thing humans do as a collective, it is judge first off of appearance, then personality. So, why not look your best? After all, when you look good, you feel good. And who wouldn’t want to start the day feeling their best?
Physician Attire: Dressing for Success
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “all doctors wear the same thing right?” Wrong. No matter what specialty you work in, not all doctors have to wear the typical doctor uniform. You know what I mean; the long white lab coat, blue scrubs, and white sneakers. While those outfit choices certainly serve their purpose in functionality, they aren’t always as stylish and you can often be confused as a nurse.
As long as you keep to the designated rules of your hospital’s dress code, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to dress as a physician should dress (and maybe even add some flare).
Dress for each Role
Okay, I probably don’t have to say this, but if you’re in the operating room, you obviously MUST wear the appropriate scrubs, jackets, gloves, hats and whatever else you need to perform surgery. No need for heels or silver cuff links in there. But when you’re treating patients outside of the operating room, your physician attire can change how your patients view you. So, it may be a good idea to change your outfit.
This doesn’t mean you need a full-on suit. In fact, putting on a suit to treat patients could give them the wrong idea. Suits are often associated with more business oriented professions like lawyers or insurance agents. They can make the room feel stuffy and cause you to come across as showing off your money. Try putting on some nicer dress pants or dressier khakis with a buttoned up dress shirt. The same goes for women; dress pants or an appropriate length skirt and blouse will do the trick. And guys, please wear a belt. I cannot stress the importance of a belt enough, but if you need to hear more about it, this article will teach you all you need to know.
Remember that saying I mentioned earlier – “look good, feel good?” In addition to physician attire, your personal grooming habits are going to be your best friend. Whatever daily care routine you go adhere to, make sure its a good one. If you’re a man, the type of facial hair you maintain says a lot about you. Whether your preferred look is clean shaven or full on lumberjack, make sure to keep your facial hair as neat as possible (especially when performing surgeries).
And same goes for the ladies as well (well maybe not the facial hair, but you get the point). When you’re not in the emergency room or dealing with patient’s open wounds, it’s probably okay to leave your hair down as long as it’s tame. But in higher stress areas, it may be more comfortable for you to wear your hair up. There are so many great up-dos for the professional lifestyle.
Whatever your style or grooming routine, just remember that you’re dealing with anxious people in need. And while looks are not the most important part of a person’s life, in the workplace, they can set you apart and help you succeed.