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Hair issue?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by PharmGirl214, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. PharmGirl214

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    I know, I feel like I'm going to ask a stupid question again, lol.

    Alright, here goes.. are there any professional guidelines by how your hair should look during med school/rotations and such. I'm Asian and I have blonde hair. I personally never thought it was a big deal, but some people find it unprofessional. While volunteering, people have always been hesitant because I'm Asian and I have blonde hair. I know, this is dumb, but does it really matter? Will it affect how others, physicians and what not, will think of me?
     
  2. BadVB750

    BadVB750 Senior Member
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    The way we looks effects how people judge us; right or wrong it is just the way it is. Prove them wrong by knowing your ^%*#.
     
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  3. Law2Doc

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    Every school has its own handbook indicating appropriate dress and grooming. Usually, as long as your hair is of a color that appears naturally (brown, black, blonde, certain reds), you are not breaking the rules. But folks absolutely do judge a book by its cover, and so you want to not only act, but look as professional as possible.
     
  4. BadVB750

    BadVB750 Senior Member
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    Maybe you should post a pic so that way we can judge as a group. :p
     
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  5. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    Thanks guys. I usually do my best to come off professionally. Generally people don't mind, maybe those incidents were just with really pricky people..

    Well, voila, the most recent picture. There's brown on the bottom, but it's all blonde now. Not too bad, right? :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BadVB750

    BadVB750 Senior Member
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    I think you will be fine ;) . In fact if you are free next friday .......... :laugh: . This is better then match.com
     
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  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Nothing in a swimsuit? j/k:laugh:
    I think you're going to be okay.
     
  8. blz

    blz Senior Member
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    pornstarish.


    nice...
     
  9. Critical Mass

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    Agree. As aspiring physicians, we seek practice in inspecting your landmarks. I promise that only L2D and I will look.
     
  10. Tired Pigeon

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    Not sure what you mean -- could you elaborate?
     
  11. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    For awhile, I was greeting and talking to people in the emergency room. I always felt like people were giving me strange looks and felt a sense of distrust from some people. They were hesitant to talk to me and such. Of course, I also get a lot of compliments too! But a few incidents like that just just leave me wondering about the image I'm portraying and "professionalism." And personally, I've never come across a blonde Asian doctor. :laugh:

    And as for you other guys, sorry, NO swimsuit pics, LOL. I didn't think SDN was a dating site..
     
  12. Critical Mass

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    Trust me, I'm a complete professional.
     
  13. SoCuteMD

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    Duh, it's not the Student Doctor Network, it's the Student Dating Network.
     
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  14. You may not like it but professionalism in health care means you have to look conservative. If you want to be taken seriously you need to get rid of your unnatural hair coloring. Patients want to be taken care by serious looking professionals and not just some GGW bimbos.

    BTW, an interesting article from NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/21/h...l=1&adxnnlx=1173570823-qfnoOpf8otPEUSGrvJ9qAA
     
  15. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    This is the current notion, but I don't buy it. Some patients might be bugged by a less traditional look, but some might actually trust a doctor more for not looking like a Baptist. The thing I don't like about the professionalism trend is that it assumes all patients respect the same things.

    I need to dig it up, but I an article recently about a study of patients' responses to physicians based on their dress. They discovered that patients actually didn't distinguish between physicians wearing casual clothing and physicians in professional dress.

    Editing to add the link for the news article --

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17239746/
     
  16. I think there is a big different between wearing casual clothing and wearing inappropriate clothing. And in the OP's case the completely unnatural hair coloring will probably hurt her chance in getting admitted into a program.

    To the OP: it is difficult to get in why make it harder for yourself?
     
  17. Tired Pigeon

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    Oh, OK. A few thoughts:

    1. Personally I'd have no problem with your hair color, but this may vary based on patient population. If you are in a very conservative part of the country or you serve more older patients, it could be more of an issue.

    2. Is it possible something else about you is making the patients hesitant to talk to you? Not saying this is the case since obviously I don't know you, but sometimes it's less about the actual appearance & more about the confidence with which you carry yourself. If you're kind of expecting someone to react negatively to your hair, it might become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    3. There is the possibility of some of your superiors judging you negatively for having an "unnatural" look. Sucks, and is completely stupid & unfair, but nonetheless it happens sometimes. A way around this might be to modify things slightly -- I have seen some Asian women with black hair and blonde highlights that looked really good AND really professional. As long as the 'base' color is 'natural', it seems to be less of a problem, though I'm not sure exactly why. Just a thought, anyway ... I'm not really one to give hairstyle advice.:eek:
     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Unless you work in peds or OB, the vast majority of your patients in the coming decades will be older. That is going to be the face of medicine in light of the aging baby boomer generation.
     
  19. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    The bigger issue, for us at any rate, isn't so much what patients think, but what our supervisors and interviewers think. I've heard rumors of African-American med students being "asked" by clerkship directors to take their hair out of cornrows. I don't know if this is 100% true, so don't take it too seriously. Then again, one of my sister's friends was a guy who had shoulder length hair all though med school. He was Chinese, but that hair made him look like Geronimo or something. I didn't think that was too professional, but I truly have no idea how that affected his 3rd and 4th year evals.

    OP: At this point in your life, it's probably not a big deal. Interviewing for med school, though...maybe a different story.
     
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  20. Law2Doc

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    Not hair specific, but I certainly have heard of folks who have been asked, not so nicely, to go home and change into more work appropriate garb by older supervising docs. You have to pick your battles and if it proves to be a problem, this certainly isn't worth the bloodshed.
     
  21. 78222

    78222 Guest

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    So, um... wanna make out?
     
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  22. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted
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    Well, personally I think people should be allowed to don whatever hair color they want. Why should anyone give you strange looks if your hair is a certain color? Especially if it's a color that is normally seen in people (I mean, I guess I could understand why BLUE hair would raise a few eyebrows, but normal hair colors? who cares?)
     
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  23. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    It doesn't happen very often, it was three or four times. Those three or four times made me second guess my appearance though. It's made me wonder about how others perceive me. I dress very consertively, so that can't be the issue. A lot of older patients actually compliment my hair :) , I guess it depends on the person.

    When interviews come around, I'll probably go back to a brown color (I haven't had black hair for 10 years!) Thanks for all the advice everyone. And no I don't want to make out and no swimsuit pics. :laugh:
     
  24. Critical Mass

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    I like your hair! Be yourself. Just to be sure, your hair has been dyed blonde, right? Are you saying that your hair as it comes out of you is black?

    From what I can see in your partial photo, I can't see anything wrong.
     
  25. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    Yep, naturally black haired. :D Sadly, I forgot what my real hair looks like..
     
  26. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member
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    I think it looks fine. just make sure it's all one color (not too streaky, no roots), and in a respectable haircut. it's a natural looking hair color (admittedly not for asians) so i don't think it's a huge deal.
     
  27. Critical Mass

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    I have to admit that I deleted an above comment that was a little racy because I think that this is the first time we've crossed paths. Dunno if you caught that or not. Sorry 'bout that. :cool:

    Do you mind if I ask you what stage you are in the med school process? I'm just curious because your name is "PharmGirl." Didn't know if you are currently in the pharmacy field. You look young in your pic.
     
  28. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    I agree -- there's a big difference. However, I don't think an unusual hair coloring or one random piercing, etc. are inappropriate. The article you posted was about people dressing suggestively, which is an entirely different situation. Dying your hair blonde when you're asian is not the same as wearing a skirt that's way too short.

    The other thing that we don't really know about it -- it appears that studies haven't addressed it yet (did a quick search last night) -- is the effect of having one non-traditional appearance feature coupled with traditional everything else, which I think is what happens the most. If you have an odd hair color, yet dress conservatively and look well-groomed, will it bug patients? If you have on discreet facial piercing coupled with an otherwise conservative appearance, how will that be viewed? My hunch is that it won't be a huge deal for the majority of patients.
     
  29. samenewme

    samenewme Senior Member
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    In the picture, your roots show. I have to tell you that though I have observed that in younger women it is very common to have your roots show, older people may not be used to it and to them it probably appears sloppy or like some sort of avant-garde fashion statement that is likely to rub them the wrong way. Asking people your own generation about the professionalism of your look is not going to give you a balanced sample of the reactions of admissions committees, program directors, and patients.

    So, being blonde is not just an accident of birth for you. It's clearly something you chose. Is it important to you? I'm guessing there's not a trouble-free way to go dark for a few days just to see if strangers in stores or on the street treat you differently, which is a shame because it would be an interesting experiment. I'd say you're taking a small risk if you stay very blonde with your current look, and if your roots show the least little bit, you're taking a bigger risk.
     
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  30. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    It's okay, a lot of the comments I've gotten back have given me a good laugh.

    Anyway, I'm still a sophomore in college, still as a pre-pharm major. (We actually have a pre-pharm major here.) For the past year, I've been trying to decide between pharmacy school or medical school, but I think I've made my choice. :)
     
  31. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    Wait, even I barely noticed my "roots" in that pic. :laugh: I usually do a good job of getting my roots covered up. I try to get it done when it gets out to an inch.

    Now, I have asked my pharmacy advisor about it, and she said I shouldn't worry too much right now. Apparently, a lot of blonde Asians have gone off to pharmacy school, not too sure about medical school though.

    Is my blonde hair important to me? I don't know. I've been blonde for three years now, it feels like it's just me. However, for the sake of medical school, I would def. be willing to darken up the color.
     
  32. Critical Mass

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    Do pharmacy. :thumbup:
     
  33. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    Why do you say that?
     
  34. samenewme

    samenewme Senior Member
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    The tricky thing is that the way people react to appearance is very subconscious, so people may treat you differently when you look unconventional without ever realizing they're doing it, much less ever tell you why. Or it may make no difference whatsoever. It's difficult to find out. I had a director who treated me completely differently depending on whether I was wearing a blazer or suit or not, but that difference was easy to discern and to test. More subtle behavior and harder-to-change features are tougher. You'll have to make a judgment call. My own experience has been that small changes in appearance CAN make a very big difference in how you are treated. Or not.
     
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  35. cgscribe

    cgscribe Member
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    Do medicine. :thumbup: .
     
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  36. TMP-SMX

    TMP-SMX Senior Member
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    Do Pharmacy :thumbup:

    Oh sorry I thought that was the pattern.

    Honestly, do whatever will make you happy and be your own person. Some people will look down on you no matter what you look like because you are female, Asian, or anything in between. The point is to be who you want to be and who you are.
     
  37. peace84

    peace84 Senior Member
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    I say keep the blonde hair...plenty of women have dyed blonde hair and that's perfectly acceptable...so why should it be any different because you're asian?
     
  38. Critical Mass

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    Shorter training, better lifestyle flexibility, nice commerical stores like Wallgreens frothing to employ you, good opportunity to get into research if you want to with a PharmD.

    I can't see your face, but you do look pretty. Go to pharmacy school and pick up a doc to marry while you're there. You can get all of the excitement/debt/patient care vicariously through your husband without the associated anguish and still make a decent living with less training.

    If you are not 100% and then some on medicine, I would never recommend it to someone in tomorrow's US healthcare world.

    :love: ya!
     
  39. OP
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    PharmGirl214

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    Ahh.. sounds like a good idea. It's been a confusing year for me.
     
  40. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    A similar study was conducted in the emergency department. Residents switched days of wearing neckties and not wearing neckties. Not only were the two groups rated the same in professionalism, but 1/3 of patients could not correctly identify whether their physician had worn a tie or not.
     
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  41. Anjlprincezz

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    Someone mentioned piercings and i was wondering how unprofessional those appear... I have a very small (0.01 carat white diamond stud) nose piercing but it's cultural... I got through med school interviews fine, but is it possible that patients/supervisors will think me unprofessional?
     
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  42. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    There have been past threads discussing nose piercings. I think if it's a small stud, it's going to be okay in most situations. I'm actually tempted to get my nose pierced again, so maybe I'll see. :) If it's cultural, I don't think anyone will say anything to you about it.
     
  43. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    School handbooks usually discuss what is unacceptable. I think you mostly run into issues if we are talking hoops in the nose, eyebrow piercings, lip piercings, tongue piercings, and metal studs sticking out of one's chin (don't know what they are called).
     
  44. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    Anything out of the realm of "conservative" will invariably be talked about by someone in the medical establishment at some point, and unfortunately no one ever knows when they're going to run into that person. "Small nose studs" are acceptable at my school, but stories abound about the people who have actually tried that in clinical settings. Ditto for any hint of cleavage, tasteful tattoos, obviously dyed hair . . .

    The other aspect of this thread I was suprised no one mentioned: I don't know where the OP lives, but in my (heavily Asian population) area, Asian girls who dye their hair blonde are considered . . . how shall we say . . . "of questionable morals" and tend to be the butt of a lot of jokes. Blonde highlights are okay, but full blonde is thought of as, well, kind of trashy. The OP might want to take the temperature of the cities that she applies to, because at least where I live, people tend not to take girls like this too seriously.
     
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  45. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    Ahh, how are they going to know if you have your tongue pierced? ;)
     
  46. Critical Mass

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    OP, I love you no matter how questionable your morals are. In fact, I've never felt more in love with you than right now.

    :love:
     
  47. sponge

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    I have an afro ( <-- see my avatar) and have gotten by so far. Granted, I'm MS1 and see patients one afternoon a week, predominantly black and Dominican patient populations. Nothing from faculty, patients or interviewers for that matter.
     
  48. Tired Pigeon

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    Yes, but is it a blonde afro?
     
  49. 78222

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    She isn't as loose a woman as she should be considering she declined my invitation to make out.
     
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  50. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    And in no way did I mean to imply that she was. Obviously I don't know the OP, and I wasn't commenting on anything relating to her personally or even about Asian chicks who dye their hair blonde. All I was trying to relate was a common stereotype on my side of the country. These are things that potential med students should be aware of, especially given the highly subjective nature of grading.
     
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