searun

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I graduated from college in May, 2005. I have not had a hair cut since early spring semester of my senior year. At this point I have very long blond hair which I kind of like. I have a good academic record and a good MCAT but weak clinical experience because I was a varsity athlete in college and didn't have time to volunteer and get clinical experience...so I have been doing clinical stuff for the past year, working at a free clinic and working as an intern for a doc and avoiding the barber. I submitted my AMCAS application last week and am waiting to get verified. Hopefully, I will get a few interviews but I guess that means I have to shear the locks and look alot more conservative than I do now. Right? Is it time go grow up and start looking like an adult instead of the wild snowboarder that I am? Any thoughts?
 

akademiks1989

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Are you male or female? Kind of important to know.
 

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searun said:
I graduated from college in May, 2005. I have not had a hair cut since early spring semester of my senior year. At this point I have very long blond hair which I kind of like. I have a good academic record and a good MCAT but weak clinical experience because I was a varsity athlete in college and didn't have time to volunteer and get clinical experience...so I have been doing clinical stuff for the past year, working at a free clinic and working as an intern for a doc and avoiding the barber. I submitted my AMCAS application last week and am waiting to get verified. Hopefully, I will get a few interviews but I guess that means I have to shear the locks and look alot more conservative than I do now. Right? Is it time go grow up and start looking like an adult instead of the wild snowboarder that I am? Any thoughts?
Give it the chop, bro. It's time to decide which is more important, your hair, or medicine. (And before you say I wouldn't understand how you feel, note that I got enough chopped off to prepare for interviews that it could be donated to locks of love. :cool: )

Besides, that's what residency is for! :)
 
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akademiks1989 said:
Are you male or female? Kind of important to know.
I'm guessing female. Seriously, what dudes visit the barber these days? And how many dudes do you know that look like wild snowboarders?

Sorry - I couldn't pass up the opportunity! :p
 

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danjo said:
I'm guessing female. Seriously, what dudes visit the barber these days? And how many dudes do you know that look like wild snowboarders?

Sorry - I couldn't pass up the opportunity! :p
The barber visits me!! LOL...nice


I say chop it off. Long hair exhumes stupidity...sorry.
 

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searun said:
I graduated from college in May, 2005. I have not had a hair cut since early spring semester of my senior year. At this point I have very long blond hair which I kind of like. I have a good academic record and a good MCAT but weak clinical experience because I was a varsity athlete in college and didn't have time to volunteer and get clinical experience...so I have been doing clinical stuff for the past year, working at a free clinic and working as an intern for a doc and avoiding the barber. I submitted my AMCAS application last week and am waiting to get verified. Hopefully, I will get a few interviews but I guess that means I have to shear the locks and look alot more conservative than I do now. Right? Is it time go grow up and start looking like an adult instead of the wild snowboarder that I am? Any thoughts?
If you have to ask this question, you already know the answer.
You are trying to get into a relatively conservative profession, and are going to be judged on whether you will be a "good fit" for the school. Now is not the time to express yourself. Look the part of the future professional the interviewer can picture themselves working beside in twenty years.
 

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searun said:
I graduated from college in May, 2005. I have not had a hair cut since early spring semester of my senior year. At this point I have very long blond hair which I kind of like. I have a good academic record and a good MCAT but weak clinical experience because I was a varsity athlete in college and didn't have time to volunteer and get clinical experience...so I have been doing clinical stuff for the past year, working at a free clinic and working as an intern for a doc and avoiding the barber. I submitted my AMCAS application last week and am waiting to get verified. Hopefully, I will get a few interviews but I guess that means I have to shear the locks and look alot more conservative than I do now. Right? Is it time go grow up and start looking like an adult instead of the wild snowboarder that I am? Any thoughts?
Don't avoid the barber any longer.
 

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Law2Doc said:
If you have to ask this question, you already know the answer.
You are trying to get into a relatively conservative profession, and are going to be judged on whether you will be a "good fit" for the school. Now is not the time to express yourself. Look the part of the future professional the interviewer can picture themselves working beside in twenty years.
unfortunately, there is a stereotype that those with longer hair aren't uptight, unfeeling pricks like doctors are supposed to be...geesh
 

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searun said:
I graduated from college in May, 2005. I have not had a hair cut since early spring semester of my senior year. At this point I have very long blond hair which I kind of like. I have a good academic record and a good MCAT but weak clinical experience because I was a varsity athlete in college and didn't have time to volunteer and get clinical experience...so I have been doing clinical stuff for the past year, working at a free clinic and working as an intern for a doc and avoiding the barber. I submitted my AMCAS application last week and am waiting to get verified. Hopefully, I will get a few interviews but I guess that means I have to shear the locks and look alot more conservative than I do now. Right? Is it time go grow up and start looking like an adult instead of the wild snowboarder that I am? Any thoughts?
i decided its best to be safe and conservative.. and if it seems right, let a little of your not-so-conservative side come out as the situation calls for it. better not to offend or have something so simple be a "turn-off"
 

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everyone is sleeping except 11 people... :( wake uppppp!!!! i'm borreeeddd!!!! :p
 

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I cannot make an informed desicion without seeing the actual length of hair. Need a picture. There are plenty of different ways to wear your hair and still be professional. If it's really long, like shoulder length or below, then go with a ponytail. If it's ear length to neck length, go with a nice slick back to the side, like Zack Morris from saved by the bell. Or you could slick it straight back and gel the crap out of it, like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.
 
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You don't need to cut it all off, but at least style it in a manageable way. There are plenty of ways to make long hair look good. Of course, I'm thinking about way less than shoulder length, so I don't know if your hair is super long or something.

Btw if you're a girl, really long hair really can look unprofessional, because it's harder to manage and stuff. I used to have long hair, like 3/4 down my back, and something was alway sticking out, and if I didn't keep an eye on it, it looked like I just got out of bed. I'm not a fan of gel, hairspray, etc., so I just cut it.
 

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quantummechanic said:
unfortunately, there is a stereotype that those with longer hair aren't uptight, unfeeling pricks like doctors are supposed to be...geesh
:laugh:
 

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Summer Sweet said:
You don't need to cut it all off, but at least style it in a manageable way. There are plenty of ways to make long hair look good. Of course, I'm thinking about way less than shoulder length, so I don't know if your hair is super long or something.

Btw if you're a girl, really long hair really can look unprofessional, because it's harder to manage and stuff. I used to have long hair, like 3/4 down my back, and something was alway sticking out, and if I didn't keep an eye on it, it looked like I just got out of bed. I'm not a fan of gel, hairspray, etc., so I just cut it.

that's how long my hair is and I'm getting it chopped in a couple weeks. I'm pretty glad to be rid of it at this point. :thumbup: i'm going with a bob so I don't have to worry about pulling ti back at all.
 

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What do you guys think about a goatee. I am 20 and look a lot older with a goatee but a little younger without one. So am trying to play that whole maturity thing, but if I look young will I go down the crapshoot? On the other hand, is a goatee professional?
 

instigata

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yahoo123 said:
If you have to ask...
Ah but my dilemma isn't keeping it for show, it is to look older. Without it they might just disregard me because I look young. Anybody else?
 

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let me speak from experience. I have pretty long hair for a guy which I like a lot. I refuse to gel it or anything. I went into interviews thinking "i'm going to present myself exactly how i am, screw catering to these people by cutting it short".

In retrospect I regret my decision. For reasons I can't explain, I couldn't help but think that my presentation was such that many viewed me as a young, naive, hippie-looking surfer from southern california. Obviously, this is not always the case but even if people don't hvae a stick up their ass this stereotype can come out at first meeting.

Give your hair the chop, don't be stubborn like me. Adcoms want mature individuals, and presentation is important. The hair will always grow back.
 

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Law2Doc said:
If you have to ask this question, you already know the answer.
You are trying to get into a relatively conservative profession, and are going to be judged on whether you will be a "good fit" for the school. Now is not the time to express yourself. Look the part of the future professional the interviewer can picture themselves working beside in twenty years.
couldn't have said it better myself.
 

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instigata said:
Ah but my dilemma isn't keeping it for show, it is to look older. Without it they might just disregard me because I look young. Anybody else?
In my experience, folks who wear facial hair for the sake of looking older tend to look younger in the eyes of the older. Same thing with smoking.

That said, I'm keeping my goatee. But I'm 34. I've got looking older nailed.
 
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Mine is shoulder length as well. My grades and activites are good enough and I'm keeping my hair the way it is. If a school has a problem with it, I don't care, the school wouldn't be a fit for me. If you wanted to mould yourself into what they want, should we all be overweight balding white guys?
 
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searun

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SeventhSon said:
let me speak from experience. I have pretty long hair for a guy which I like a lot. I refuse to gel it or anything. I went into interviews thinking "i'm going to present myself exactly how i am, screw catering to these people by cutting it short".

In retrospect I regret my decision. For reasons I can't explain, I couldn't help but think that my presentation was such that many viewed me as a young, naive, hippie-looking surfer from southern california. Obviously, this is not always the case but even if people don't hvae a stick up their ass this stereotype can come out at first meeting.

Give your hair the chop, don't be stubborn like me. Adcoms want mature individuals, and presentation is important. The hair will always grow back.

Thanks for the personal perspective. The hair is going to be chopped, even though the Northwest hippie snowboard look has been working very well for me socially. (Yes, I am a guy, former college soccer player who played with long hair). No point in making an issue of my appearance to admission committees. I can still ride the powder with short hair this winter.

Searun (Trout)
 

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instigata said:
Ah but my dilemma isn't keeping it for show, it is to look older. Without it they might just disregard me because I look young. Anybody else?
I'm an older non-trad student, and you folks ALL look young to me. I don't think the facial hair makes a difference in your age from the perspective of older adults interviewing you. Wear a nice suit, use a firm handshake, and speak confidently, and you will look as mature as you need to!

Unless you've got a sorry, weak chin, I'd say let the goatee go if it's all the same to you.
 

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Summer Sweet said:
Btw if you're a girl, really long hair really can look unprofessional, because it's harder to manage and stuff. I used to have long hair, like 3/4 down my back, and something was alway sticking out, and if I didn't keep an eye on it, it looked like I just got out of bed. I'm not a fan of gel, hairspray, etc., so I just cut it.

Hi there,
My hair is halfway to my waist and thick. Since I get up at 0400h (surgery resident), I usually enter the hospital with wet hair that is braided and rolled up into a scruchie. I pull my scrub cap over my hair and take it down after my first couple of cases. I then rebraid or reroll and back under the scrub cap (I don't wear those shower cap things that the nurses wear). At the end of the day, and as I am leaving the hospital, I literally let my hair down.

If I am not operating, I wear my hair in a chignon off my collar and out of my face. It's quick and easy to care for. I have never had a complaint about not looking professional. If I cut my hair, I would be stuck with having to blow dry or something equally time-consuming. BTW, I am not a fan of gels or sprays either.

njbmd :)
 

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WilliamsF1 said:
Mine is shoulder length as well. My grades and activites are good enough and I'm keeping my hair the way it is. If a school has a problem with it, I don't care, the school wouldn't be a fit for me. If you wanted to mould yourself into what they want, should we all be overweight balding white guys?

Ideal. But not reality. When your application is compared to the next, they will have an impression that you are unkept and non-traditionally American good looking...it's sad, but it is true. Just cut it off now and let it grow during medical school.
 

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WilliamsF1 said:
Mine is shoulder length as well. My grades and activites are good enough and I'm keeping my hair the way it is. If a school has a problem with it, I don't care, the school wouldn't be a fit for me. If you wanted to mould yourself into what they want, should we all be overweight balding white guys?
I can understand your sentiment. Trying to portray your true self is a goal that we would all like to accomplish.

Unfortunately, it is to your best advantage to accomodate to their standards. You've done it in almost everything in this cycle: done an appropriate PS, tried to get recommendors who would appeal to the schools, probably volunteered etc.

Basically, I'm saying that (like it or not), this whole process is about leaving the impression of a mature individual who fits their standard of a doctor. Honestly, I don't think one's hair willl create a lasting impression (granted it's not an afro or anything), but as an earlier OP posted (the southern california surfer dude), you DO NOT want to regret keeping your hair and wondering if it had an overall negative effect on your applications.

If you don't cut off your hair, you might regret it and feel that it was counterproductive towards your scholatic success. So I advise that you cut it, but it's ultimately your choice.

Best of luck to all of you and your barbers (or lack of),
-Dr. P.
 

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Summer Sweet said:
You don't need to cut it all off, but at least style it in a manageable way. There are plenty of ways to make long hair look good. Of course, I'm thinking about way less than shoulder length, so I don't know if your hair is super long or something.

Btw if you're a girl, really long hair really can look unprofessional, because it's harder to manage and stuff. I used to have long hair, like 3/4 down my back, and something was alway sticking out, and if I didn't keep an eye on it, it looked like I just got out of bed. I'm not a fan of gel, hairspray, etc., so I just cut it.
Me too, Summer. I cut it about two months ago--it falls just below the shoulders now. I will probably get it a bit shorter for interviews, though--just so the cut looks fresh & professional. :thumbup:
 

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Cutting your hair is the least of the insults to your individuality you will endure in the next 6-13 years, should you be accepted to medical school. We are Borg.
 
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Zyzzyva100

While my hair itself is very short, I have a goatee/beard thing thats considerably longer than the hair on my head, and I can't decide what to do about it. I have long side burns and a beard on my chin only (think amish, but the beard isn't connected to my side burns, and is only like 2 inches wide - think much shorter version of the guitarist from anthrax).

I have had the beard for 5 years now, and honestly its meaningful to me. It may sound stupid, but I found out that my great grandfather and great-great grandfather had a beard like mine, and had the same quirk in that our hair is dark brown but our beards (and no other facial hair) are red. I plan to cut mine shorter, but I feel like if I cut it I would be cutting off a piece of myself. I know it sounds stupid but now I understand how people get attached to their hair.

Since everyone else has asked for pictures from other people, what the hell.
 
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Zyzzyva100 said:
While my hair itself is very short, I have a goatee/beard thing thats considerably longer than the hair on my head, and I can't decide what to do about it. I have long side burns and a beard on my chin only (think amish, but the beard isn't connected to my side burns, and is only like 2 inches wide - think much shorter version of the guitarist from anthrax).

I have had the beard for 5 years now, and honestly its meaningful to me. It may sound stupid, but I found out that my great grandfather and great-great grandfather had a beard like mine, and had the same quirk in that our hair is dark brown but our beards (and no other facial hair) are red. I plan to cut mine shorter, but I feel like if I cut it I would be cutting off a piece of myself. I know it sounds stupid but now I understand how people get attached to their hair.

Since everyone else has asked for pictures from other people, what the hell.

I think it looks fine either way. You don't look unprofessional with the goatee, just a bit amish.
-Dr. P.
 

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Dr. Pepper said:
I think it looks fine either way. You don't look unprofessional with the goatee, just a bit amish.
Agreed. To compensate, be sure to use a mechanical pencil at your interviews.
 

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You can't be serious, would this really be an issue if he were a she...

akademiks1989 said:
Are you male or female? Kind of important to know.
 

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WilliamsF1 said:
Mine is shoulder length as well. My grades and activites are good enough and I'm keeping my hair the way it is. If a school has a problem with it, I don't care, the school wouldn't be a fit for me. If you wanted to mould yourself into what they want, should we all be overweight balding white guys?


Yes.

Alternative answer:

Doctors aren't balding white guys. Haven't you ever seen House or ER.
 
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Zyzzyva100

Dr. Pepper said:
I think it looks fine either way. You don't look unprofessional with the goatee, just a bit amish.
-Dr. P.
Meh, I'll take Amish I guess. I look a bit like a deranged maniac with a fully beard (tried it, never again). I never even thought about it until I moved to Ohio and started seeing lots of Amish and Mennonites. Maybe I can play up the amish thing.... :laugh:
 

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When you go to your interview, think of how a patient would view you as a doctor based on your appearance. Anything that draws attention to yourself in a negative way is bad. Piercings other than ears for girls, visible tatoos, and unconventional dyed hair (green, orange) are simply unprofessional. You don't have to look like everybody else. If you like the goatee or beard, make sure it's trimmed before the interview to a normal length. If long hair is your thing, make sure it's shaped and not all over the place. I'm a dude, and went to the interview for the medical school that I am now attending with hair that easily came past my nose, but it was parted and looked professional. I know two guys at med school who had pony tails during their interview.
 

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Also, especially for schools in the south, gel or wax in your hair that is obvious or overdone is not a good idea. This may apply elsewhere as well. That goes for cologne too.
 

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I know I'll be cutting my hair (sporting the fro right now...or maybe I should say it is sporting me) when it comes time for me to start applying.
 

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If you're asking the question in the first place, you must have some reason to be skeptical about the length of your hair. Don't make it another thing you have to worry about during the application process. Get a decent haircut and move on to something else...perhaps something a little more important.
 

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FYI...we had an alumni panel discussion a few months back about residency application. One of the program directors admitted directly that he judges the (male) applicants unfavorably "if their hair is too long". He informed us that he's looking for a good fit with the rest of the program (ie, who are conservative). I would assume these biases trickle down to pre-meds too, so eventually you'll have to get used to it, kiddo :luck:
 

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I'm an older non-trad student, and you folks ALL look young to me. I don't think the facial hair makes a difference in your age from the perspective of older adults interviewing you. Wear a nice suit, use a firm handshake, and speak confidently, and you will look as mature as you need to!

Unless you've got a sorry, weak chin, I'd say let the goatee go if it's all the same to you.
ah, you say that, but people in our class are shocked to hear your age - most of them think you're at least a decade younger. So, enjoy that thought for tonight, I guess.
 
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