Doc Oc

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I'm a conservative, teetotaling, polite married chick with a bit of a "hard rock" past. Always on the straight and narrow, but sharing the interests of my headbanging friends, I kept myself clean partly by staying away from substances and by making sure I looked "normal" and modeled good behavior.

So I'm starting residency this summer, and am done with rotation. I want blue hair. I've always wanted blue hair, but it never quite worked with the life plan. Well, I mean, I could have done it and have met med students with fun hair and piercings, but I suppose my balls are just smaller than theirs when it comes to things that are against the grain.

I just want the blue hair for a little while, and will dye it back before I start residency. However....


My husband is adamantly against this. He feels that it will ruin my reputation in the small town (40,000 or so surounded by farming towns). I said that nobody knows me, and by the time I start residency, put my glasses back on and dye my hair back, it probably won't matter. I mean, I'm nobody's doctor yet. He also feels that it will cause waves if other future colleagues see me.

I just don't see what the big deal is. So my hair is blue. So what. Am I a different person? Isn't it their problem if they stereotype the person with blue hair? Or perhaps my husband is viewing the townsfolk as being more closed-minded than they really are. Maybe they won't bat an eye. I won't be the first person that they've seen with colorful hair, nor the last.

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing the opinions of others of residents with blue hair.

I'll decide on my own whether or not to get the blue hair (bright blue, have to bleach it first, with minimal blond streaks too. My hair is brown). My husband just wants proof that he's right.

And hey, maybe he just doesn't want to be the husband of the blue-haired chick. Or likes my brown hair. Or is afraid that pink is next.
 

Winged Scapula

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How is your husband anticipating you'll be mingling with your future colleagues and patients? Impromptu consults in the fresh fruit department at the local Piggly-Wiggly? Showing up to Grand Rounds in April, just to get a "head start"?

I highly doubt that:

1) anyone will care

2) that anyone will recognize you as a future doctor or colleague

3) that anyone will recognize you as that crazy new chick in town with blue hair once you return to boring (yet, almost assuredly, beautiful) brown haired vixen with glasses

You could always compromise and do one of those really dark blue-black hair colors - beautiful on my ex with his long dark black hair. Or you could ask your husband what's really worrying him? Is he afraid it will reflect on HIM and HIS future colleagues?

I wish I done it (not blue but pink...would look better with my coloring).
 
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Just when I thought that there where no interesting medstudents left, we had this 4th year elective student walk through the door with short green hair. It matched her beaten up subaru impreza that she used to drive her triathlon bike around. And different from the rest of the medstudents she was gosh NOT MARRIED (and dating a beer-brewer 3 hours away). Suffice to say, she didn't have too many points of conversation with the other girl-students who at that point where showing off their 2ct engagement rings to each other.

So no, I don't think there is anything wrong with blue hair, and yes, nobody will care.
 

casimir pulaski

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i was so sad when i entered medical school and got bombarded with "professionalism" talks that pounded in the fact that doctors get judged by details as small as their shoes... i felt i had to give up my rock'n'roll roots. i quit dying my hair and opted for unabashedly non-hip work wear. however, now that i'm at the end of my fourth year, i can slowly see myself drifting back to myself - dress code is becoming more lax and decidely more indie rock everyday...

I say that being a doctor doesn't damn you to a conservative life. as the next generation of doctors joins the workforce, i say we change this errant thought process and just be ourselves. if a person doesn't want to be treated by a doctor with blue hair because of the misfounded prejudices - i have no problem with that. but i think you should still have blue hair. more power to you. lead the way, and more will certainly follow ;)
 

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I agree it's probably harmless but be careful. Seemingly little things have a funny way of holding unintended and unforseen consequences, regardless of how trivial they initially seem.

In the professional world of medicine, perception is indeed reality.
 

Rain Elizabeth

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I had bright colored hair for a bit during preclinical years when I had no patient care responsibilities. People noticed, of course. Some people gasped and said, "oh my god how could you do that?!" But no one really cared in the end and lots of people loved it. I had a couple med students say it made them feel like they could be more themselves at school. I wouldn't dare do it during an elective caring for patients--there are a lot of conservative patients and it's not important enough to me to upset them. But when you're on non-patient electives, go for it! Some faculty may remember, but I don't think any of my faculty ever looked down on me for it. Occasionally someone brings it up with a smile on their face. In terms of possible future patients seeing you "out and about" in the town, very few if any will put it together once you dye your hair back. Granted, I am not from a small town, but unless you already know a huge percentage beforehand or will be hanging out personally with a large number of them while you have blue hair, people probably just won't recognize you again when you are Dr. Brown-Hair. Gosh, patients already don't recognize me when they meet me in street clothes! And for the few who will notice it and disapprove, it's not going to ruin your career. And you don't want to look back someday and feel like your career choice made you miss out--it already takes enough sacrificing to become a doctor. (Disregard all of this if you have like 100 people in your town!)
 

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The kids working at starbucks have blue hair. With that in mind, I say go for it.
 
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When bad things happen in my life, or something greatly upsets me, I mess with my hair. When my Dad died, I had just promised that I wouldn't cut my hair.

So I dyed it. Purple. Deep, rich burgundy on the bottom layer and bright purple on the top. Patients didn't seem to care and staff loved it. (Not attending staff - ancillary staff.) Attendings didn't seem to notice. No one ever said anything. I was a resident at the time - first year bleeding into second year.

Staff still know me. "Oh, you were the purple haired resident. I always liked that... Anyway, this kiddo has blah blah blah." All in all, I think that the purple hair served me well. I needed it, the staff were amused and nobody was hurt.

What else do you need?
 

barasch

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Hi.

I used to be pretty punk rock and then drifted as a hippy for a while before starting med school.

Anyway, from my experience, things are a lot *easier* when you dress/cut your hair 'normal'.

Having said that - I think blue hair is no big deal as long as you switch back to conformity before your residency starts at the end of the summer.

of course, your spouse feels differently. A good marriage is full of compromises, but maybe you can get this one to break your way.

Take care - good luck with the upcoming intern year.
 
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deleted4401

I also took some heat during the early part of this year for being a guy with long, messy hair with curls and scruff on my face. My patients didn't mind, many of them would say something (nice) about it, and way too many older women touched my head! The ancillary staff really liked it, as well. This month I decided to go with a Caeser cut and actually shave my face, and I'm actually getting complaints from patient ... go figure.

Point is, if you're nice to your patients, they'll love you no matter what your hair looks like (color, length, style). Your attendings/chiefs might give you grief (a few of mine did), but who cares? Go Blue ... and that's not just because I'm from Michigan.

-S
 

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do it. I had my purple hair, and got it out of my system. I'd be leery of the husband, though. I think this is subconscious :) ARE you the conservative chick, or did you just model yourself that way? either way this desire is telling that you can't hide forever.
 

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i am usually quite conservative, and even i say DO IT! :)
i think it's great. and your'e just talking pre-internship?! TOTALLY do it. don't think twice.
 

greg12345

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Do it! But the jaded hipster in me must warn you that purple hair is so 80's. Plus, to me the punk/rock-n-roll ethos was always about scorning the mainstream, embracing non-conformity. Tattoos, piercing, and hair dye were reasonable ways to achieve this in the past I guess but now days everyone's grandma has a tatoo. And you know who are the people with crazy colored hair these days? All those pop tarts on MTV, not exactly the counter culture in my opinion. I guess doing something like that seems like something high school mall punks who shop at hot topic do, unless you are doing it ironically to mock them...since irony is always in (or is it out now, I'm not down with the scene anymore). But that's just my opinion. If you think it'll look good, go for it!

And my favorite rock'n'roll band of all time was Teengenerate who were just 4 nerdy Japanese people who wore disgustingly tight jeans and weighed a combined 75 pounds and couldn't pronounce the letter "L" to save their life, but they ruled despite not having punk hair or punk clothes.
 
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This story isn't about hair but facial piercings (same area, sort of). There was this med student at Duke in her 2nd year (Duke is clinical 2nd and 4th years, with 3rd as research, instead of 3rd and 4th clinical) that I called the "pierced girl" - she looked like someone was carrying a nail gun, tripped, and shot her in the face with it. Fast forward two years, and all the piercings are out - all of them, leaving little holes (some closed, some not) all over her face. Why? A two-year old that she babysat told her she looked "ugly".

From the mouths of babes...however, at the same time, hair color is more benign than piercings.

Before I read this thread, though, I thought "blue haired residents" was going to refer to older/elderly residents.
 

sophiejane

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So did I! :laugh:

Moving on...nothing to see here. ;)

Me too!!

At the ripe old age of 37, and daily yanking out grey hairs which always grow back, I'm getting sensitive to such comments!
 

sophiejane

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And hey, maybe he just doesn't want to be the husband of the blue-haired chick. Or likes my brown hair. Or is afraid that pink is next.

It's your hair, chica. I say go for it. One more thing to check off your list of things you always wanted to do.

There are so many alternative types in my city that I'm starting to feel weird for NOT having blue/pink/green hair!

;)

He'll get over it.
 
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How about tatoos? I was at music festival and saw a girl with something like this
caduceus.gif

on her lower back. Man was she hot. Been thinking of getting a big one done over my entire back, but just to chicken $hit.
 

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How about tatoos? I was at music festival and saw a girl with something like this
caduceus.gif

on her lower back. Man was she hot. Been thinking of getting a big one done over my entire back, but just to chicken $hit.


I personally have 3 tats, but I would never have a name or my profession branded on me. That's just me.
 

Doc Oc

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When I was 16, one of my friends was wasted and got convinced to get the FORD emblem on his bicep. You know, the blue oval with the cursive "ford" in the middle? He's always regretted it, but, ah, what can you do.


Fast forward 10 years, and my friend was interviewing for a design job at ford. It was going ok, but not stellar, when one of his interviewers noticed the tat through his white shirt.

He got the job, and still works there 5 years later!

I don't want a tattoo. My mom has 5, I live vicariously through her. Maybe I can convince her to get blue hair too :)
 

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How about tatoos? I was at music festival and saw a girl with something like this
caduceus.gif

on her lower back. Man was she hot. Been thinking of getting a big one done over my entire back, but just to chicken $hit.

Interesting twist on the tramp stamp....
 

doctawife

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I have a 'tramp stamp' - aka a tatoo just above my buttocks in the midline. It's a flaming female sign, and quite cool. Or at least original, since I had the design done just for me.

Anyway, since scrubs are fickle pants and sometimes to ride a little too low - I've had patients remark upon my tat. Most parents don't seem to care, especially when I present a very nonchalant front. Sort of a "yes, I have a tatoo, what other questions can I answer about your child's care?" approach.

Acknowledge and move on, baby. Acknowledge and move on...
 

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Dying your hair should be the least of your concerns. I'd be much more worried about those balls you mentioned!
 

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I was thinking of getting a caduceus tatooed on my chest so I could whip it out if anybody ever questioned me. That, and "Healing is my business" on my left arm and "and business is good" on my right arm.
 

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Before I read this thread, though, I thought "blue haired residents" was going to refer to older/elderly residents.

Is anyone else now considering going for the elderly blue hair color in early July? I figure it will add some street cred with my older patients, and make the younger ones think I'm older than I am and make my fellow residents and attendings think that I'm wise beyond my years.
 

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as the next generation of doctors joins the workforce, i say we change this errant thought process and just be ourselves. if a person doesn't want to be treated by a doctor with blue hair because of the misfounded prejudices - i have no problem with that. but i think you should still have blue hair. more power to you. lead the way, and more will certainly follow ;)

I SO need to find a residency with people like you. :love:
 
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Is anyone else now considering going for the elderly blue hair color in early July? I figure it will add some street cred with my older patients, and make the younger ones think I'm older than I am and make my fellow residents and attendings think that I'm wise beyond my years.

First you have to color it white or grey, THEN blue. However, unless your face looks like you've been bathing in salt water for years, I'm not sure you'll get the bang for your buck!
 

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Uhm - is anybody else picking up on the fact that her husband is strongly hinting NO?

I gotta say - the man you love, who has to look at you every day, and wake up next to you is sending a signal that he isn't into the blue hair. I certainly don't think you have to "subjegate" yourself to your husband or anything, but by the same token - if something as simple as keeping a non-blue hair color keeps him happy, why not stay away from the blue?
 

ekydrd

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When all is said and done... at the end of the day it's just hair! Be it blue, pink, purple, gray (as in my case) or any other color of the rainbow, it's not the hair that makes the doctor, it's the time and caring being given. To the OP... go blue, blonde, or whatever color you choose... it can always be dyed back or grow out. Have fun with it and good luck in residency.
 

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Just a word of caution. I had blue hair in college. Of course I had bleached it beforehand and the best i could get was a pale yellow. We all remember our color charts from elementary school and what happens when you mix blue and yellow. Yes, my blue hair soon became a nice grass green variant. Actually i suppose it was a more fitting shade for spring.
 

tum

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I was thinking of getting a caduceus tatooed on my chest so I could whip it out if anybody ever questioned me. That, and "Healing is my business" on my left arm and "and business is good" on my right arm.

oh my god. i think that is officially the funniest damn post ever.
 

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Thank goodness you are referring to younger people dyeing their hair. When I hear "blue hair", I think of old people because some of us are close to being referred to as that and we did not do it on purpose.
 

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I SO need to find a residency with people like you. :love:

I agree. I think as doctors become younger and younger, we bring with us new sets of mores that include acceptance of a variety of personal appearances. It's pretty cool.

That being said, I have a lot of tattoos (none visible at work, except for the aforementioned scrub ride-up when bending over) and my attendings, even the crusty one about to retire, are amused by it. If you are good at what you do, who cares. (however, if you're a slacker, you might want to reconsider!)
 

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i think being different is great. everyone can't be the same. differences help make life interesting. i think you have to know you environment. it's all very well being different in new york were no one will bat an eye; middle america, they may bat a few eyes.

i think you have to adjust your dress, speech, and general attitude to the environment in which you will be working in and the patient population that you will be working with.

for instance, i do peds. i have tattoos. 2 larger pieces (a half sleeve and a back piece) and one small memorial tattoo for my son. my memorial tattoo is on my wrist, usually under my watch and i don't always wear a watch. if i am with a kid, kind of a punk teenage kid. i purposefully let it show. why? it is rather small, shows that i am not an old dude, i kinda understand his/her music and popular things, and we connect. if a child has had a bad trauma, family is dealing with the heart ache; i let it show. usually they ask, because it has a date; i tell them it is for my son who died. it humanizes me; when i say i understand, they can may actually believe me.

now, my larger arm and back piece, i keep those covered. why? it's not appropriate in my environment.

the choice is yours.
 

tum

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You think I'm joking? I'm going to get the text on my arms written in funky cursive so it looks like barbed wire.

no sir i do not. barbed wire tattoos are making a come back. that and sleeveless scrubs.
 

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no sir i do not. barbed wire tattoos are making a come back. that and sleeveless scrubs.

I always laugh when I see people with those 'arm band' style tattoos. Might look good when you're 25 and toned, but take a look at the upper arm of, say, a 65 year old woman and project yourself into the future....:smuggrin:
 
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