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Male + Long Hair = Problem?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by ucsb101, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. ucsb101

    ucsb101 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    If you are a male with long hair (shoulder length) can this be a problem in your M3 and M4 years? Will the older physicians down grade you because of this?
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  3. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    I think the important thing is to look neat, clean, and well-groomed. Can you pull it back?
  4. Pianoboe01

    Pianoboe01 Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    I don't think a male with long hair looks very professional, but it may be ok if it's back in a ponytail. Keep in mind that you don't need to look a certain way just for your residents/attendings/etc., but appearance can be very important to your patients as well.
  5. WatchingWaiting

    WatchingWaiting 7+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    It's going to depend more on your overall appearance and the rotation. If you have a bad personality or don't shower daily, it could give additional material to be ripped on. On the other hand, if you're competent, enthusiastic, dressed approriately, etc., most attendings/residents won't care. On a rotation like surgery, however, it would probably get you ripped on regardless of other factors. Then again, you're pretty much guaranteed to get ripped on during surgery regardless of who you are.
  6. Bertelman

    Bertelman Maverick! 7+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Had a Cooch
    I don't think he'd have any problems on the ward...

  7. Anka

    Anka Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2003
    You might have a good reason (e.g., spiritual beliefs or family tradition) for having long hair. But if not, if it's just the way it happens to be or a style thing, I'd suggest a low threshold for cutting your hair. The fact that you asked the question indicates (1) you know that long hair might not be accepted in socially conservative circles; and, (2) you have the sense (and a correct one) that medicine is, as a rule, conservative, and people tend to make snap judgements. The last thing you need, as you go through the next year, is to have people coming to a negative snap judgement about you that you both forsaw and could easily have prevented. Why risk it?

  8. ericdamiansean

    ericdamiansean High Profiler 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    I've got a friend who failed his clinical exams because of long hair, but I guess it would depend on your school and what is culturally correct in your community. Religion would probabyl be the only "legal" reason why you can have long hair ie. Sikhism

    Tuck it back into your collar if you want to hide it:D
  9. QuinnB

    QuinnB Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    We get two evaluations during surgery, one for each month we're on service. My classmate received dramatically different grades (better) b/w the first and second months that he is convinced is related to cutting his hair. There are way too many factors to know for sure, but I really do think that it changes people's perspective, maybe they will be less willing to cut you some slack (i.e., accidentally sleeping in - which happens to everyone - obviously means that you are a total slacker...especially with that long hair).
  10. latinfridley

    latinfridley 7+ Year Member

    Dec 21, 2001
    I say get a hair cut. People do have a stereotype of the hippy college student or rock band member with long hair. Its not worth the hassle to keep it long.
  11. ucsb101

    ucsb101 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    yeah that kinda describes my look to be honest with u. But I think it's pretty lame that I will be judged based on that.
  12. dpmd

    dpmd Relaxing Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    When I was on an ortho rotation we had a away student come through that had longish hair (not to the shoulders, about 3 inches long I would say). My supervisor is a joking kind of guy, so when he told that student that he better cut his hair or he would make sure he didn't come there for residency I thought he was just joking. When I asked the doc about it later, he said if he saw that guy again without him having cut his hair, it would be a big red flag to him (maybe just for not doing what he asked, I don't know). Is that fair or right? No. But are you willing to risk it just so you can look cool?

    When another away student (male, with longer hair) came to stay with me for his ortho sub-I, I told him that story. It didn't take him very long to decide that the hair was not worth risking his chances, and he got a haircut the first chance he got.

    If you don't want to cut it, I second the ponytail idea. I am a female with long hair, and I would never feel comfortable without a ponytail, or some other method of making sure my hair isn't going to be falling onto my patient's when I examine them (but I don't envision you in a headband, or hair clips).
  13. Bertelman

    Bertelman Maverick! 7+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Had a Cooch
    I think it's ironic that you are disappointed to be judged by your hair. I'm guessing you actually grew your hair out to present yourself a certain way. You wanted that look, now you're just disappointed those evaluating you don't appreciate the look.

    You want people to judge you in public as "the cool guy with the long hair", but you also have to accept the fact that some people would prefer short.
  14. eirinn152

    eirinn152 2+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    spoken like a true psychiatrist Bertelman.....
  15. ucsb101

    ucsb101 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004

    It's more of something that I have had for like 5-6 years of my life. More of a feeling thing rather than "oh I look cool"...Just like how people have shaved heads (but oh...that is acceptable)

  16. Bertelman

    Bertelman Maverick! 7+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Had a Cooch
    See, there is generally some level of envy with long hair, especially when it looks good. If I see a shaved head, I reserve all judgment. After all, that guy is going bald. The last thing he needs is my style judgment. ;)
  17. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
  18. ucsb101

    ucsb101 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2004
  19. Mayhem

    Mayhem Scut Bear 5+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Somewhere only we know
    It's a huge issue here. Technically, there's no rule so all they can do is bitch and moan about it and maybe give me a bad eval. I was going to grow mine out anyway, since most of our grades come from the exam, but one of my patients overheard me saying it one of my classmates and he said it was a bad idea. After that I asked the rest of my patients and even though they all said it wouldn't stop them from seeing the doctor, most of them said that they would notice it and it would seem out of place. It was so obvious that all of them hated the idea but didn't want to say it out loud so I decided not to bother, plus I think I only wanted to grow it out to piss off a couple doctors. Yes, I have some passive-agressive tendencies.
  20. Bertelman

    Bertelman Maverick! 7+ Year Member

    Feb 11, 2006
    Had a Cooch
  21. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2006
    Iserson suggests that on the interview trail you just dress like "the men who run the world." Blue, grey, and dull. He is right. Your clinical years of medical school are not the time to exert your personality through your appearance.

    Is that fair? Nope. But come on, if you end up wanting to do ENT/Uro/Surg/Ortho/anything I think chopping off your ponytail is a small price to pay for not having some crusty old attending think you look like a "[email protected] hippie." While your lower grade might reflect an unfair bias on the part of some pole-up-his-arse attending, all it says on your transcript is "Pass."

    Then when you're a resident you can do pretty much whatever you want. I had a resident back on IM who would wear sweatshirts every day under his white coat. Not a nice sweater from J. Crew, a cheap sweatshirt like you buy at Wal-Mart or a truckstop. Did he look like crap? Yep. Is the program going to fire him for it? Not a chance.
  22. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert DINH 10+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Gilead, MW

    Iserson is a nerd!
  23. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2002
    I don't judge men with long hair -- it is a personal preference, and I understand that. However, I have found that most men with long hair look much better (more handsome, better looking, cuter, whatever other word you can think of) when they cut their hair. I have known a few guys in college who had long hair, and as soon as they cut it, they looked so much better, IMO.

    I have found that there are two different types of long hair on men. Their hair either looks "grungy" (rocker-like) or looks like they walked off the set of an Herbal Essence commercial. Either way, I think they look far better with short hair. However, I do encounter the occasional guy that looks good with long hair.
  24. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    It really does depend on the "culture" of your school and hospital.

    My ex had long hair, very well-kempt, during medical school, cut it short for residency interviews and then grew it to shoulder length during his first two years. When we met, I liked it so much, he grew it to waist-length! Some of the attendings gave him flak for it and of course patients commented on it, but often it was covered with a surgical cap (the bouffant one of course, since the men's regular cap wouldn't work), but when he cut it, it wasn't really for fellowship interviews (although we discussed it) but rather he was simply tired of it. His hospital was less conservative and I think the environment and the way he kept it (either covered, or clean and neatly pulled back) gave him more lee-way.

    So, in your case, you need to assess the environment in which you are practicing. Its not fair, I agree, but we all live in a society where we are judged by our looks, our clothing, our accents, etc.

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