Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

Does Pre-Meds need Lab Coats?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ATB Pre Med, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. ATB Pre Med

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Why would a Pre-Med need to own a lab coat? Is one needed? If so, why?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. katarina90

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I was required to wear a lab coat in chemistry lab.

    But aside from a laboratory setting, never needed to use one.
     
  4. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,678
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Same as previous poster. I have one that I haven't used since my O-chem classes. I just use my research lab's when I need one (they have less chemical stains).
     
  5. iduwanna

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Are you inclined to spill stuff all over yourself?

    I've taken lots of chem, bio, biochem labs and only 1-2% of the students wear a lab coat.

    They weren't particularly disposed to soiling their clothes, they were just blow-hards.

    Don't want wear a labcoat. It's an ugly trait among undergrads that compels your labmates to spit in your petri dish.

    The cardinal sin is wearing a labcoat with your name embroidered over your breast pocket :eek:
     
  6. katarina90

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Lol, I am a bit clumsy...:laugh:

    But no, actually it was a university requirement. They wouldn't let us participate in lab without one. Also we had to wear closed-toed shoes and goggles. For liability reasons.
     
  7. bryce

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    1,059

    We had to at my university for g-chem, orgo, and anatomy labs. If we didn't have one, we were not allowed to participate.
     
  8. justdoit31

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,225
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    we had closed toe shoes and goggles rules but no lab coat- so no I haven't needed one
     
  9. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    13,817
    Likes Received:
    109
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I had one lab where we were supposed to have lab coats. But I never purchased or wore one.
     
  10. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    3
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    shadowing
     
  11. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Never had to wear a lab coat until I interviewed my first patient in med school. Our chem and o-chem classes didn't require it. Besides, lab coats are fugly looking.....
     
  12. shaggybill

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    40
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    :thumbup:
     
  13. cpants

    cpants Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    250
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    We had badass black pleather aprons to wear over our clothes in chem lab. You may need a labcoat for working in a lab, but don't wear a white coat shadowing. You aren't even close to being a clinician yet, so don't represent yourself as one.
     
  14. LittleRocker

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    My analytical chem professor wouldn't even let us step FOOT in the lab without our goggles and coat on. Guess he was worried we were gonna spill 10% bicarbonate solution on ourselves... /sigh :confused:
     
  15. MedMan25

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yeah, you definitely don't need to wear a white coat while shadowing.
     
  16. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student

    I still don't understand why premeds would wear a white coat for shadowing, nor why an attending would request that one does.
     
  17. MedMan25

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I've never heard of an attending that would ask a premed to wear a white coat while they shadow
     
  18. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student


    Not an attending, but a hospital administrator in this example.
     
  19. LadyWolverine

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,682
    Likes Received:
    35
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I worked in a lab for several years and only wore my lab coat on certain occasions - when doing tissue culture, working under the fume hood, handling live virus/bacteria, or working with radioactive materials like P-32. We all had unisex coats that were oversized and had embroidered patches with our last names on them, which were reminiscent of gas station attendants or mechanics. Needless to say, we rarely wore them unless it was mandated for a certain procedure, or wanted an extra barrier of protection from nastiness.
     
  20. howelljolly

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,059
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    NO!

    When you shadow, you should dress professionally, and thats it.

    You should not wear a lab coat while shadowing. Depending on if the lab coat length is at the waist, above the knee, or below the knee, you are identifying yourself as a med student, resident, or attending physician.


    If your school requires a lab coat for chem lab, they should provide it. And you shouldn't schlep that radioactive, toxic thing around with you.
     
  21. MedMan25

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    If a hospital administrator told me I had the option of wearing a lab coat while I shadow I would choose to dress professionally and avoid taking on the appearance of a tool.
     
  22. 87138

    87138 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Medical Student

    As any self-respecting person would.
     
  23. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    34
    Status:
    Medical Student
    i own a lab coat. i needed it for microbio and dissection. oddly, didn't need it for any lab in chemistry (though some people opted to wear them).
     
  24. Revilla

    Revilla New Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Mine did. It was a requirement for all shadows at this particular practice.
     
  25. theacks1

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    26
    Status:
    Medical Student
    My chem lab course required us to wear disposables they had set aside, with usual no open toe shoes, no bare mid-riff, no loose hair type rules. The other labs I took were a little less concerned.

    The real biochem lab I worked at for two years on the other hand; sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt. There were lab coats hanging up, but no one wore them. I even had to wear face shields and them things that cover your mouth/nose when doing certain experiments, but never a lab coat.
     
  26. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,678
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I agree that it is extremely unlikely that you will be asked to wear a white coat. However, one case where I did wear a white coat was because it was hospital policy. The big difference, though, was that none of the attendings wore the white coat where I was shadowing, they all wore scrubs. The only people who wore the white coats were volunteers, people shadowing, and techs. I think it is highly unlikely that you will need to wear a white coat, and if you have an option do NOT wear it.
     
  27. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer
    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,472
    Likes Received:
    53
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Here, a labcoat is a requirement for all labs, and also a requirement for shadowing in any of the hospitals. I'd just buy one anyway, they aren't that expensive. :)
     
  28. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
    Moderator Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    9,678
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Yeah, they should sell them at your campus store. Alternatively, you can get them at any scrubs store, but these are more expensive.
     
  29. katarina90

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hmm, I guess it does vary depending on university. Ours was really strict, perhaps because we had some "incidents" (or so they told us). One TA related the story of a female chem student who was wearing a low-cut shirt and managed to spill 10M HCl on her um, decolletage.

    I wish we got badass pleather aprons...
     
  30. DrJonesss

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I was required to wear one for gen chem, orgo, and microbio labs, but I wouldnt recommend wearing one outside of that, and being "that kid" who wears his lab coat around campus. Unless you like people making fun of you behind your back. Don't buy one from your school store, it's a ripoff. Scrub shops, yo.
     
  31. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    32
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I needed my own lab coat for microbiology lab and microbial physiology and genetics lab.
     
  32. DrMcGangsterMD

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    This seems to be a case by case thing. I took a basic Bio at a community collee and they were required for all sessions, but I now attend a university and nobody has even mentioned a lab coat.
     
  33. copingmethods

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    When I shadowed, I was asked to wear one by the attending. He didn't make it sound like I had an option, either.

    edit: Oh, and he introduced me to patients as Dr. ______. I dunno why he couldn't have just said this is a student, as it was a major teaching hospital.
     
  34. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Membership Revoked
    Removed 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,655
    Likes Received:
    43
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I was only asked to wear one when I shadowed in the ER. It makes the already, highly stressed ER patients more comfortable thinking you're a doctor or med student when you're in the room haha.

    Other than that, you look like an idiot as a pre-med wearing a white coat. The pre-meds who come to class or to voluneer in the hospital/clinic always get laughed at. You don't want to identify yourself as one of those haha
     
  35. Tired

    Tired Fading away
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    3,886
    Likes Received:
    776
    Lab coats are very warm. I would recommend wearing one all the time. Not because you're pre-med, but because they're just nice and warm.

    Also, scrubs are very comfortable underneath a lab coat, and you want to be comfortable, so you should definitely think about investing in 6-7 sets.

    Yup, scrubs and a lab coat. Warmth and comfort. Wear it every day.
     
  36. bluesmd

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,207
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    i had to wear one whenever i am doing bench work in all of my research jobs. and for one of the research, it was a clinical trial and i shadowed the doctor who was also the principal investigator, i had to wear a lab coat when he meet with patients, coz i also drew blood and did some other stuff. but i don't think you need a lab coat if you are only shadowing.
     
  37. 236116

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,327
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    unless you're going to tell them how to deal with pee on their scrubs, don't tell them to do that.
     
  38. Hyperstudyosis

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    2
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    We were required to wear a lab coat for ochem lab and microbiology lab.
     
  39. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    3
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    i sometimes put on a lab coat and just walk around in the hospital, to experience what being a doctor is like
     
  40. KeyzerSoze

    KeyzerSoze Scrambled Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You have to write orders in a few patients' charts to get the full experience.
     
  41. Abulcasis

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Lab coats are also a source of boasting.

    So why not? :rolleyes:
     
  42. Forthegood

    Forthegood ProcrastinationAficionado
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Hilarious. So the med students and physicians either say no or make fun of the idea, and the premees give stories about their schools and justifications. Priceless.
     
  43. 229141

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Why yes! You MUST wear a lab coat to all of your lectures so others know that you are indeed pre-med. Watch as all of your friends bow down to your glory! Professors tremble with fear as well.
     
  44. han14tra

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I had to wear a lab coat when I shadowed at hospitals. Both were teaching hospitals, and they wanted me to look like a med student. It had to be hip length.
     
  45. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir
    Staff Member Administrator Rocket Scientist Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    8,741
    Likes Received:
    550
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    So, without being snarky, what I've gathered is it's not a bad idea to own one, but it's not necessary.

    Some programs/hospitals require or recommend you wear one, but not all.

    What I learned from shadowing: Get over what is said on here and do what you're told by the person you're shadowing.
     
  46. variablistic

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    My school had a program that went through the area hospitals and we were required to purchase and wear a lab coat for all shadowing experiences (except OR).

    At the time, I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but I realize now that it probably looked pretty weird. Especially since we all bought long ones...:rolleyes:
     
  47. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    12,216
    Likes Received:
    4,156
    Really? Are you sure you wouldn't do it? Ever? Not even as a joke?
     
  48. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    12,216
    Likes Received:
    4,156
    Most definitely
     

Share This Page