Dressing for Success in the Medical Field



In any profession the way you present yourself needs to represent not just you, but it also needs to be a good representation of the job you perform.

Dressing for success in the medical field demands more than just how you are perceived by your employer or a client. In the medical field, you are being asked to care for another person’s well-being. You are asking your patients to have faith that you know what you are doing and that you have answers to the questions that will impact their current and future health. If you are a doctor, nurse, medical assistant or you have a private practice with a staff of professionals that work under you, the image that you present to patients will have a direct impact on their faith in your abilities.

In the medical profession, a good majority of your time is spent in scrubs. Even when you are a physician, you wear a white coat over your street clothes. In the sterile environment of a medical office or a hospital, there are dress codes that are set not just for professionalism. When you shop for this type of clothing, you need to know what those specific requirements are. Once you are aware of those location-specific standards, here are a few tips to follow:

• Stock your closet – Start with the basics. There may be color requirements, or even limits on patterns and designs. So, know what your starting point is, and then remember you are going to spend more time in these ‘uniforms’ than in normal street clothes. Quality makes a difference, and so does comfort. Then make sure you stock enough to get you through a long period of time. If you have to wash them more often because of wear, they will show that wear faster.

• Keep it neat and clean – Make sure your scrubs are ironed, clean and in good condition. When your scrubs are wrinkled, you look sloppy. Wearing a set of scrubs that have stains and are worn out does not lead to professionalism.

• Look the part – Look at scrubs that are appropriate for the office or hospital department you are staffed in. A children’s wing at a hospital usually allows for some more creative ‘uniforms’. Do not compromise quality and comfort for style. It will cost you more in the long run.

Dressing for success in the medical field is critically important if you want to ensure confidence in your ability to care for your patients. It will also tell your employer that you take your job seriously and that you understand the importance of the confidence that the patients need to have in you as an individual and as part of a team.

After checking in with your office or hospital dress code guidelines, take care to select scrubs that will help you make the impression you truly want to make. If you are the managing physician of a medical office, you already know the kind of image you want to present to your patients. Setting high standards for your staff can make a difference in how your office is perceived.