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xASITISx

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Hi, I wasn't quite sure where to post this so I figured I would do it in the surgery forum since that is where I am most interested in. I am turning 16 soon and getting a tattoo on my forearm, now I know that usually that's a bad idea to get one at such a young age but its to commemorate my recovery. I had previously self harmed and had multiple suicide attempts and my date was set for my 16th birthday but I am not going to anymore thus I want to get this tattoo on the day it was planned. Its a butterfly on a rose and the meaning is significant to me (butterfly and aspects of it have symbols of recovery). As well as that, I do have my ears stretched to 1/2" which I don't ever plan on getting rid of. My problem is, ever since I was about 7 years old i've been back and forth between neuro surgery or cardio-thoracic surgery and i'm not sure if this would hinder me in the future. Being a doctor is everything to me, I spend my free time watching surgeries and researching it, im in HOSA club for my school, i'm extremely passionate about this and I don't want the preconceived notions of body modifications people tend to have to affect me. If any of you could speak on behalf of where you work and how they are perceived in the medical field, especially as a surgeon that would be amazing. I know people can be judgmental about these types of things which is pretty sad. Somebody could be the top surgeon and have body mods such as stretched ears and piercings and people would probably still find a reason not to trust them to do surgery. Sorry for the long post, i'm just really concerned about my future and how this will affect me..but who knows, maybe by the time I am in med school things will be different.
 

xASITISx

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Troll school? Im genuinely serious about this question. I want to know in reality, aside from the things read online, how tattoos and modifications are perceived in the hospital.
 

SLUser11

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One of the students we have currently on GS clerkship has a hipster beard, and mini-ponytail to match. I would assume he also has a sweet, possibly ironic (or at least funny in a subtle way only other hipsters understand) tattoo on his forearm. Alas, I have not seen him at the scrub sink....

Hope that helps.
 
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Señor S

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You'll be fine. Surgeons in general love individualism and unconventional personalities; the "free spirit" type is actually highly sought after for residency training and beyond.
 
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ACSurgeon

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Hi, I wasn't quite sure where to post this so I figured I would do it in the surgery forum since that is where I am most interested in. I am turning 16 soon and getting a tattoo on my forearm, now I know that usually that's a bad idea to get one at such a young age but its to commemorate my recovery. I had previously self harmed and had multiple suicide attempts and my date was set for my 16th birthday but I am not going to anymore thus I want to get this tattoo on the day it was planned. Its a butterfly on a rose and the meaning is significant to me (butterfly and aspects of it have symbols of recovery). As well as that, I do have my ears stretched to 1/2" which I don't ever plan on getting rid of. My problem is, ever since I was about 7 years old i've been back and forth between neuro surgery or cardio-thoracic surgery and i'm not sure if this would hinder me in the future. Being a doctor is everything to me, I spend my free time watching surgeries and researching it, im in HOSA club for my school, i'm extremely passionate about this and I don't want the preconceived notions of body modifications people tend to have to affect me. If any of you could speak on behalf of where you work and how they are perceived in the medical field, especially as a surgeon that would be amazing. I know people can be judgmental about these types of things which is pretty sad. Somebody could be the top surgeon and have body mods such as stretched ears and piercings and people would probably still find a reason not to trust them to do surgery. Sorry for the long post, i'm just really concerned about my future and how this will affect me..but who knows, maybe by the time I am in med school things will be different.

- sounds like you're not willing to compromise anyways, so why does it matter? You want to modify your body (and have already) and expect it to be accepted. So what question are you asking us?
- you have a long road ahead before you even think about what residency. You won't realize how long of a road until your half way through or more (ie at least through college and perhaps med school).
- you should focus on taking are of yourself (mental health esp) and your studies, and see where you end up in 5 years. If you're a strong applicant to med school, and get accepted, there'll be time to worry about the rest then.
- if you truly want our advice: don't modify your body in a visible way that you can't concele during interviews and at work.
 
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Druggernaut

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Call me old fashioned, but I've never met a person with gauged ears who I thought, "There's a professional I'd trust my life with." The way we present ourselves means something.

I'd also be very careful about telling people about your recovery and suicide attempts as the inspiration for your tattoo if you choose to get it. While we might be fine with dealing with those people as patients, many will have concerns about you as a colleague.
 
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