Attire for the female surgery interviewee

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by 2003doc, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. 2003doc

    2003doc Member
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    Something I have been wondering about...

    What is considered appropriate and what is frowned upon for females applying to surgery to wear on interviews? I could guess basic black/dark suits and conservative hair/makeup/jewelry would be a good starting place, but how about things like skirts versus pants and skirt length? I personally feel more comfortable in a nicely-fitted pants suit or a long skirt (in opposition to a shorter one) when I am doing something serious. Is is completely looked down on for a woman to show up at a surgery interview wearing a pants suit? What is the appropriate skirt length? What is considered too long? Any other fashion tips? I wear scrubs 90% of the time so I don't really have tons of professional attire and appreciate any advice on things to do and things to stay away from.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
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    I think you should dress in any type of professional attire which allows you to feel confident, and polished, and to present yourself at your best.

    Conservative is expected, but that doesn't mean androgenous. Look pretty! Go out and invest in a shockingly expensive tailored outfit, something that you would never spend that much money on under normal circumstances. You'll feel like a million dollars. You can wear the same outfit to all of your interviews (I bet most people do...).

    Your interviewers want you to
    1. represent their program well
    2. take good, responsible care of their patients
    3. be fun and easy to work with

    Now you can do that, right? Knock 'em dead, girl!
     
  4. LaCirujana

    LaCirujana Smoking Gun
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    Ditto what womansurg said!

    I wore a black, very nicely tailored suit (pants--I hate skirts!), that I wore to every single interview (yep, most people do). I didn't spend tons of cash, but more than I normally would, and I looked and felt great! I also can't abide heels (and you will do a ton of walking on tours, etc., at your interviews), so I invested in some (expensive as hell) fabulously comfortable shoes that I was eternally grateful to be wearing at the end of some of the longer days.

    You'll do just fine!
     
  5. triathlete411

    triathlete411 Senior Member
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    There is a great discussion of this topic on the Association of Women Surgeons' Residents/Students forum. You have to join to gain access to it, but I think it's well worth it.
    I am going for a traditional suit with a skirt and heels, but I am definitely going to do a lot of walking in my heels before I go on any interviews so I can break them in.
     
  6. SomeFakeName

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    No way, you guys and gals are way off. I strongly advise you to show up at least 20 minutes late to all your interviews in blood-stained scrubs, be completely arrogant and rude to the person interviewing you, complain immensely about the decreased income surgeons are making, and give short, monosyllabic answers to all questions posed. This way they'll know that you're way ahead of the game as far as becoming a true surgeon. None of this neat, polished stuff. What are you guys, aspiring dermatologists?
     
  7. gwb

    gwb Junior Member
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    i went back and forth between pants v. skirt in med school and for surgery interviews last year. in med school i went with a black pant suit, which i think was fine since med school interviews tended to be more informal. for surgery, most of the advice i received was to just be comfortable, but since i wanted to be as professional (and conservative!) as i could, i wore a grey skirt suit- hemline just above the knee. be sure to sit down too and see how high that hem goes... in reality, about half the women wore skirts and half wore pants so it's mostly voodoo anyway. whatever makes you feel most confident. good luck!
     
  8. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
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    You're killing me.

    But too accurate to dismiss offhand.... ;)
     
  9. surg

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    OK, I'm not a woman but I have interviewed some for surgery positions.

    Couldn't agree more with the initial comments about wearing what is comfortable. Your comfort will allow you to project a better image of yourself far beyond what you wear. Pants? skirt? can't say I ever noticed.

    Obviously don't wear anything that will detract from a professional image (e.g. extremely low-cut blouses or a micro-mini), but anything that a person would feel comfortable sitting in a front-office job with, should be fine.

    Not once did I ever remember hearing, "Well we really liked her, but did you see what she was wearing? Forget it!" Maybe it's because everyone who showed up was dressed appropriately, or maybe it's because most of us just don't care that much.

    One other thing, consider getting 2 suits to travel with, especially if you are doing long swings. A number of places have an event the night before and then the interview day, and if you manage to get your one nice suit dirty the night before, well... you won't be comfortable trying to cover up the wine stain on your sleeve!
     
  10. droliver

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    I on the other hand have heard it commented upon during the process & the last thing you want to be noticed for is something inappropriate. You really can't go wrong with something conservative, classy, & traditionally
     
  11. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
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    At my program, every resident has total veto power over any applicant - a tradition which is respected and maintained.

    I'm ashamed to admit that last year one of our female junior residents vetoed a very talented, qualified higher tier applicant, a non-trad woman in her 30s from the western US, because she didn't have stockings on with her suit. "I can judge any woman by the character of her footware!" she was heard crowing afterward.

    I was mortified when I heard and was very 'clear' in expressing my disappoinment in her.

    To my delight, when I interviewed for surgical positions in the western US as a chief, we held our interviews and dined in the most expensive restaurants in town. None of the woman, myself included, had stockings on with our suits. :)
     
  12. fourthyear

    fourthyear Senior Member
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    I really hate stockings, and heels. I've always been very thankful that medicine is one career women aren't required to wear them in.

    However, in the interview setting, I'm probably going to opt to suffer with them on in light of the above comments - just in case. It's only one day, and with interview season being winter, I guess it might give some warmth at least?
     
  13. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
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    When I was a first year med student we were sent to a doc's office a couple of afternoons to acclimate to clinical practice.

    I drew a woman colorectal surgeon as my preceptor. My first day there, I stood by silently in awe while she discussed with her (also female) partner the particulars of a difficult case she had done. Unfamiliar technical terms flew as they dispassionately examined the outcome, considered alternative approaches, and compared various research protocols and published data.

    Suddenly my preceptor reached over and felt the collar of her partner's blouse, saying, "excuse me, but this is just adorable. The peach really brings out your natural colors, too. Where in the world did you pick this up?"

    You're right, girls will be girls...:clap:
     

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